When you want to be more independent from society, it can also mean taking more steps to change the way you live in your home. People have learned to grow their own gardens so that they have their own source of food, but nothing is more rewarding than raising their own flock of ducks. Many people think that only the task is difficult and that the rewards do not exceed the means, but it is much easier than you think.
Here is a guide on how to raise ducks and the benefits that the process can bring to your life.
What to know
If you’re going to raise ducks, you have to worry about them. If you do not like animals, it is unlikely that you will enjoy having them around, since they require your attention throughout the day in order to thrive.
Ducks can be an excellent source of food, since both the meat and the source of eggs daily. They require very little care and are practically free of many diseases and problems. Nor do you have to worry about feeding them much, since they can still gain weight very quickly, even when they are left to look for their own food.
When you know where to start, you have three options to work with when trying to start your own flock of ducks:
- You can keep a small flock of breeders throughout the year,
- buy ducklings a day and raise them, or
- You can buy duck eggs and let them hatch.
Each process requires different amounts of attention, so you can try a combination of them to see which one works best for you.
Keeping ducks breeders.
To keep your duck population easily, keeping breeding ducks will ensure that you always have a constant supply of animals. Before you know how to raise ducks, you should do some research to find a local farmer or breeder who can provide you with breeder ducks in advance. It is definitely useful to have a stream or pond if you plan to keep breeding ducks.
If you do not have a foraging area for your ducks, you can always keep them fenced. It seems that they do not care about the lack of free space, but you will have to feed them more often, and if you do not have a pond, you can fill a trough with a little water so that they can swim and swim around. They will survive without a pond, but the ducks are kept clean and this will promote their good health and happiness in general. It is also much easier for ducks to lay eggs, since they will use their wet feathers to keep them moist when they are on them.
If you are looking for the right kind of shelter, then a small chicken coop with a door would be better so you can have more easy to collect your eggs. All you need is some bedding like hay to keep them warm and dry. You do not have to worry about making prefabricated nests for them to use; they will build them all on their own and hatch at least twelve to fifteen ducklings twice a year.
Ducks are also capable of producing eggs throughout the year and are heavier from early spring to July. In order to maintain its population, it must find a balance between how many eggs it will take as food so that the rest can hatch.
The best ratio between men and women is usually one drake for every five to six ducks, but this may be too much to handle for the first time in a duck breeding. It may be better for you to start with one draco and two females, and then increase your numbers steadily over time so that it is not too much for you to handle.
If you are looking to eat your ducks, they are at their maximum age in about ten weeks. After this, the ducks will begin to move and gain weight very slowly, no matter how much they eat. It is up to you to decide when your ducks are large enough to be eaten and keep some to use as future breeders or use them all as a food supply. Your original ducks will only last two to three years, so it is important that you always consider new breeders of your flock to replace them.
The three breeds of ducks most suitable for people to raise at home are the Pekin, the Muscovy and the Indian Runner. You may want to select the breed of duck you want, according to your needs. The Muscovy is the largest of the ducks and will provide a lot of meat, while the Pekin is the second largest. On the other hand, the Indian Runner puts most of the eggs of the three, but he does not and # 8220; sitand # 8221; Eggs very well and will require more incubation if you want them to hatch.
This option may be easier for those looking to save some money, since ducklings are very cheap to get. And who does not want to take home a box of adorable ducklings? The best way to get one-day-old ducks is through your food distributor or people who advertise their ducks in farm diaries. The easiest times to obtain them are between April and July.
A dozen baby ducklings are fairly easy to maintain and will need some artificial heating during the first three weeks they have them. These baby ducks will be ready to eat in mid-June and until the end of autumn, but you can eat duck all year round if you have a good freezer to keep them. You should also consider keeping some of the babies. as breeders if you find that you like to have ducks and are interested in starting your own flock.
Many people who have ducks also raise chickens, and will use them to incubate the duck eggs they have bought. This is easy to do, but it takes a week longer than the chicken eggs and the hens can get tired of doing the work.
If that is the case or you do not have chickens, you can always use a heat lamp and / or an incubator to help you incubate your eggs. The eggs should be stored in a cool place and should be returned daily. Draw an X on one end and an O on the other to know which ones have been rotated.
Eggs can be stored 7 to 10 days before they require incubation. Then place them in the incubator. At first, you will have some trouble determining which configuration will work best for your eggs, so you may lose some batches before you figure out what works. Set to the recommended temperature with your first batch of eggs and then wait to see if hatching occurs.
Always leave your incubator running for one or two days to make sure there is a uniform distribution of temperature when you lay your eggs.
It is a good idea to create a heat sink in the incubator to help maintain a uniform temperature at all times. You can do it by adding a few stones or a plastic bottle filled with water. This will help keep the temperature high when you have opened the door. You will also want to convert your eggs an odd number of times each day; Many duck breeders choose to go with three.
It is best to leave the eggs alone as much as possible, and soon you will hear and see the babies breaking their shells. If you notice that some ducks have trouble getting out of their shells, you do not lose anything by helping them to make sure they get the most out of their eggs to hatch. It is required that you get the advice of an expert on how to do this, since doing it wrong can cause the death of your ducklings.
Once the ducks have incubated, they should remain in the incubator for another twelve hours to dry completely. This also maintains moisture levels so that the unhatched eggs can thrive, and the other ducklings can even help those who are still struggling to hatch.
Ensuring that your ducks are comfortable.
In addition to raising ducks and keeping your flock, there are some essential elements you must keep in mind to keep your ducks happy.
In the first place it is your home. Because domestic ducks are not very good at flying, that means they can not escape predators. That means you’re going to create an area to keep these predators away. Many choose to use old wooden doghouses like ducks, which can save you a lot of money, but it does require some work to convert them properly.
The house needs to be lifted off the ground and there must be enough space for there to be sufficient ventilation. Ducks release a lot of moisture from their feathers and breathe, so they need a lot of airflow.
A layer of straw is all you need for bedding and nesting material, and you will not need any special heat in winter to keep them warm. Ducks are quite tough when it comes to colder temperatures. The straw should be changed regularly, but should be removed completely if it is wet or if there is an ammonia smell.
In addition to the house, the wire fences around it can be used to keep predators away. It must be 1 and # 8243; or smaller, and should sink into the ground at least 8 and # 8243; to stay out of the excavation. It would also be a good idea to cover the top, since foxes and other predators can scale the fences quite easily.
Any water source you provide for them should also be cleaned and refilled daily. Ducks tend to use their water sources to facilitate the descent of food, as well as to bathe in them and spread their natural oil on their feathers to keep them waterproof. These containers should be cleaned regularly to inhibit the growth of algae and bacteria.
That feed your ducks
You can choose to buy special pellets at food stores, as long as you add brewer’s yeast to the mix. Ducks tend to grow very quickly, and brewer’s yeast helps their bones grow properly. The food should be placed in tubs or wide containers that can not tip over.
An adult duck can eat 4 to 6 ounces of feed per day, but this changes according to the season. If any of the food has been wet during the day, it is best to simply discard it, as this promotes the growth of bacteria and does not want the ducks to get sick.
You will also want to include some leafy greens in your ducks’ diet. Cutting weeds, lettuce, Swiss chard, cucumbers, peas and corn grains are excellent treats for ducks. They will not eat them if they are withered, so throwing them into the water not only keeps them fresh, it’s also fun to watch the ducks submerge to catch their meals. You should also provide some coarse sand or dirt to help the ducks digest the food in their gizzards.
Keeping your ducks healthy
Ducks are known to be generally resistant animals that do not require annual vaccines or vaccines. They also do not run much risk of getting intestinal worms or external parasites, since the time they spend in the water helps to keep them away from the skin.
However, they are prone to some diseases that require medical attention, and it is worth knowing what the signs of these conditions are so that the whole flock does not contract them.
- Wing of the angel: it is a life-threatening condition in which the wing does not lean against the body. This may be the result of overfeeding a high-protein diet that has caused the wing to grow too fast. This condition can be reversed simply by switching to a food that has lower protein levels and providing a lot of exercise to their affected duck (s).
- Aspergillosis: These are caused by fungal spores and can cause heavy and difficult breathing. It can be treated by eliminating wet beds and keeping the interior of the duck house well ventilated.
- Bound Harvest: Long grasses and other objects can get trapped in a duck’s crop, causing the duck’s neck to swell and feel hard. You can massage the neck to get rid of it or add a little vegetable oil to help break it.
- Botulism: This bacterium thrives in pools of water containing decomposing waste. Keeping water sources clean will prevent this from happening, since the onset of botulism can kill a duck in a matter of hours. Use vinegar and a scrubbing brush in the water containers to keep them clean.
- Bumblebee: This is an infection that starts with a black scab and swelling in the lower part of the foot. The infection can spread quickly if left untreated and can cause lameness. Observe the enclosed area for rocks or sharp branches that can cause a duck to cut off your foot.
- Binding of eggs: This happens when a duck can not pass an egg. You can help the duck by soaking the duck in a warm water bath and applying a little vegetable oil around the vent to make it easier for the egg to pass.
- Eye infections: This is usually the result of mating, since the males grab the females in the back of the head where the paranasal sinuses are located. These infections can also be the result of dirty straw or rice hull bedding, so it is important to make sure they are also kept clean. A rinse with saline water is sufficient to eliminate them, as well as having access to a source of clean water.
In the event of a more serious problem, it is important to have on hand the number of a farm veterinarian or any other veterinarian who has experience in the care of farm birds. You do not want to prolong the suffering of your duck if it is not necessary, and the vet will definitely know more than you when it comes to more serious matters that you are unable to handle.
Raising ducks can be a wonderful experience for all involved, and the ducks will appreciate their presence in their lives. Being patient and careful with your ducks will ensure that they will live happy lives, whether you choose to eat them or simply use them for their eggs.
They are an excellent way to be more self-sufficient if you are looking to save money at the supermarket. Just keep in mind that this money will be used to keep your ducks fed, as well as to take care of any condition that may arise in the future.
DO IT YOURSELF