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Why you should raise ducks at home

Views: 2023     Author: LONGMU     Publish Time: 2023-07-26      Origin: LONGMU


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Ducks are one of the most versatile and useful of all domestic fowl. For many circumstances, it is difficult to find a better all-purpose bird than the duck.

Duck attributes

There are many reasons why people raise ducks. These amazingly adaptable fowl produce meat and eggs efficiently; in many situations require a minimum of shelter from inclement weather; are active foragers; consume large quantities of flies, mosquito larvae, and a wide variety of garden pests (such as slugs, snails and grubs) and weed seeds; produce useful feathers; and are exceptionally healthy and hardy. A wonderful bonus to their myriad practical qualities is the entertaining antics and beauty they add to our lives.

Easy to raise

People who have kept all types of poultry generally agree that ducks are among the easiest domestic poultry birds to raise. Along with guinea fowl and geese, ducks are incredibly resistant to disease. Even when kept under less-than-ideal conditions, small duck flocks are seldom bothered by sickness or parasites. This is LONG MU Animal Husbandry Technology in China

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duck farm

Temperature resistance

Mature waterfowl are practically immune to wet or cold weather and are much better adapted to cope with these conditions than are chickens, turkeys, guineas or quail. Thanks to their thick coats of well-oiled feathers, ducks of most breeds can remain outside in the wettest weather. Muscovies and any duck that has poor water repellency due to infirmity should have easy access to dry shelter during cold, wet weather.

While poultry chickens have protruding combs and wattles that must be protected from frostbite, as well as bare faces that allow the escape of valuable body heat, ducks are much more heavily feathered and are able to remain comfortable — if they are provided dry bedding and protection from wind — even when the temperatures fall below zero degrees Fahrenheit. Because poultry ducks have the ability to regulate how much down they grow depending on weather conditions, they also thrive in hot climates if they have access to plenty of shade and cool drinking water. During torrid weather, bathing water or misters can be beneficial.

Poultry Species Characteristics

Coturnix Quail: Have good disease resistance and are fairly simple to raise. They provide egg and meat production in extremely limited space.

Guinea Fowl: Have excellent disease resistance and require a bit more hands-on attention to raise than the Coturnix quail. They have gamey-flavored meat, provide insect control and act as alarms, as well as thrive in hot climates.

Pigeons: Have good disease resistance and are fairly simple to raise. They are message carriers and provide meat in limited space. They are quiet.

Chickens: Have fair disease resistance and require a bit more hands-on attention to raise than pigeons. They provide eggs and meat, are highly adaptable and are natural mothers.

Turkeys: Have generally poor to fair disease resistance and are considered harder to raise than the other birds listed. They provide heavy meat production.

Geese: Have excellent disease resistance and are considered very easy to raise. They provide meat and feathers, act as lawn mowers, watchdogs and aquatic plant control, and they thrive in cold, wet climates.

Ducks: Have excellent disease resistance and are considered very easy to raise. They provide eggs, meat and feathers, and act as insect, snail, slug and aquatic plant control. Thrive in cold, wet climates.

duck farming

Effective exterminators

Because they nurture a special fondness for mosquito pupae, Japanese beetle larvae, potato beetles, grasshoppers, snails, slugs, flies and their larvae, fire ants and spiders, ducks are extremely effective in controlling these and other pests. In areas plagued by grasshoppers, ducks are used to reduce plant and crop damage during infestations. Where liver flukes flourish, ducks can greatly reduce the problem by consuming the snails that host this livestock parasite.

Garbage disposal

Ducks are omnivores and will eat most food items that come from the kitchen or root cellar. The rule of thumb is this: If humans eat it, ducks most likely will, too — as long as it’s in a form they can swallow. They relish many kinds of leafy greens (they tend to be wary of red- or purple-colored leaves, but, oddly, not fruit of these colors), garden vegetables and root crops, both temperate zone and tropical fruits (even bananas and citrus if they are peeled), canning refuse, most kinds of stale baked goods, and outdated dairy products and by-products such as cheese, whey and curdled milk (these last two are best used to moisten dry foods, such as baked goods and finely ground feeds). To make it easier for these broad-billed fowl to eat firm vegetables and fruits, place apples, beets, turnips and such on an old board and crush them with your foot or cut them into bite-size pieces.

Cooked potatoes are an excellent source of carbohydrates and protein — avoid raw, green or moldy potatoes. Other root crops are typically consumed in larger quantities if cooked rather than left raw.

Find creative ways of having your ducks utilize waste products, but avoid moldy or fermented foods and anything known to have harmful toxins, such as raw soybeans and potatoes. Keep in mind that certain sticky foods, such as milk, can compromise water repellency if allowed to splash onto the ducks’ feathers.

duck farming


Ducks are one of the most efficient producers of animal protein. Furthermore, duck eggs are 20 to 35 percent larger than chicken eggs produced by birds of the same size.

Meat-type ducks that are raised in confinement and fed an appropriate diet are capable of converting 2.6 to 2.8 pounds of concentrated feed into 1 pound of bird. When allowed to forage where there is a good supply of natural foods, they have been known to do even better.

Useful feathers

Down feathers come in a wide array of sizes, colors and shapes, and have both practical and artistic value. The down and contour body feathers of ducks are valuable as filler for pillows and as lining for comforters and winter clothing. Fly fishermen use duck feathers in fly tying, and artisans incorporate them into artworks. Because of their high protein content, the feathers yield valuable plant fertilizer when composted with other organic materials.

Valuable manure

A valuable by-product of ducks is manure, which is an excellent organic fertilizer that is high in nitrogen. In some Asian countries, duck flocks are herded through rice fields to eat insects, snails and slugs, and to pick up stray kernels of grain. The birds are then put on ponds where their manure provides food for fish.

Ducks in Winter

When the duck have decided it’s too cold & snowy to go out of the coops, or can’t figure out what happened to the ground — the ducks are out and about playing in the snow. They love it. They eat it. It’s so cute.

The ducks also love rain. Turns out, the expression that folks use around here when the weather is cold, rainy and basically miserable is actually true: “It’s a great day if you’re a duck.” But if it’s horrible, cold and pouring the ducks couldn’t be happier.

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Ducks Need a Place to Sleep

Our ducks are coop trained. They are free-ranged poultry birds. It did take us some time to convince the ducks to walk up the ramp to the poultry duck coop — but with a little help, they got the hang of it.

Here is our poultry birds coop just before I spread all the soft hay into the poultry nesting boxes.

We have duck nesting boxes in our coop, and the ducks sleep in the duck nests box.

Bedding is important in coops:

It provides a soft poultry nest box for laying eggs.
It absorbs manure.
As the manure and bedding “compost” they create heat for your flock in winter.
It keeps down the humidity in the coop. Too much dampness in a coop can cause frostbite.
It makes cleaning the coop easier.
It give the ducks a nice place to bed down for the night.

Ducks are Messy

As far as the mess goes … we heard the same thing, “Ducks are a disaster.”

If you’ve never heard of rotational grazing, it’s a very simple system. A building is placed with several “fields” or “runs” off of it. In a rotational grazing situation for ducks or chickens, I think 2 runs would work.

Ducks Need Water

They do need water. Like, really really need water. Ducks have to have access to water each time they eat in order to wash their eyes and nostrils. They need water deep enough to dip their heads into it — this prevents infections. Water is really important.

If you can let them roam free, your ducks will be nothing but fun. Just be sure they have water and a place to sleep. If free-range isn’t a viable option, setting up a couple of different runs may give your land the rest it needs to support those messy ducks.

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