Ducks lay eggs year-round. I feed my ducks an all purpose layer feed, the same as our chickens. You might want to consider raising ducks in your backyard. Thanks for sharing on Farm Fresh Tuesdays! They will make a mess out of whatever water you give them, so smaller quantities near the food is a good idea. Some people opt to use a special duck feed. The Aylesbury, a form of Pekin, produces a good number of eggs, but it is critically endangered according to the Livestock Conservancy. Raising Ducks in the Garden for Eggs. Tips for natural duck keeping, including cold climate duck keeping, what to feed ducks, raising ducks naturally, and more. We have a large front pond but the water quality isn’t good. They don’t take the winters “off” like chickens typically do. I dream of raising ducks. We keep track of how many duck eggs we collect in the morning to know if we need to keep looking or not. Either way is wonderful but there is a special wonderful when hatching your own critters. Now, for the downsides of raising ducks. To tell the difference, look at their tail feathers. (Raising as many different animals and Poultry as we do, people often ask what is the best way to get started with a particular species. A very small one. I have attempted to put them in a coop or something similar, but they just won’t do it like chickens do. I have heard that there is sometimes an issue with ducks needing higher niacin. Please see my, cracked eggshells can be used in the garden, Your Winter Duck Coop: 5 Tips for Keeping Ducks in Cold Weather. Runner ducks are non-flying ducks, who act as their name suggests: they choose to run, rather than waddle. Reply. It’s a daily egg hunt since they don’t nest like chickens do. How to Start a Business Duck Farming and Raising Ducks for Eggs. Raising ducks for eggs has many benefits. Of course, having more protein and … This system is mainly followed for raising ducks for eggs. You can read more here about what ducks eat. My ducks also enjoy getting into the irrigation ditch and floating down it. When people think about raising ducks, they often envision this white duck as the stereotype. There are several ways to begin with ducks: buy day-old ducklings or hatch duck eggs! The Free Range Life has a great article discussing the differences between chicken eggs and duck eggs. Starting with ducklings offers instant gratification, and may be best for first-timers. Ducks usually do just fine on plain old chicken layer feed. Lower the temperature five degrees per week until they no longer need the extra heat. DIY Kiddie Pool Duck Brooder. Your hens will start laying eggs at about 20 weeks of age. Even “domesticated” ducks will take care of themselves completely without intervention from humans. Choose the breed based on your primary purpose for raising the ducks. Most of the time, they won’t even go into a coop! Want to learn more about raising ducks for eggs? We answer why we have ducks. One question. Please make a post/video of butchering and cleaning it! If raising ducks for eggs is something that appeals to you, but you’re not sure where to begin, this list of six egg-producing duck breeds should help “egg you on.” 1. Ducks are easy! how frequent do ducks lay their eggs, is it the same as chickens? With the concerns about salmonella, what is the healthiest way? The feed-to-meat conversion of ducks is outstanding. Here, what to feed ducks and ducklings, along with some other pertinent information about how to raise ducks — and five reasons you might want to. Lots of bakers swear by using duck eggs, since they make cakes and pastries fluffier. Getting started with ducks on the urban homestead is easy, really. Maybe the decision to raise ducks is about egg production. One of them hatched out 8 babies, all on her own! Most times, people choose to raise ducks for meat or for eggs. They are SO much quieter than roosters. If you have ever considered raising ducks, I definitely suggest trying it! No one can think about that ‘ducks can lay more eggs than hens, and ducks can be raised commercially for profitable business purpose’. Of course they make great pets too, but this is what makes ducks useful to humans. I really wanted to be able to have eggs but was not liking the idea of chickens. They take baths in any water source (which can be less desirable if you have large animal water troughs), and eat as many bugs as they can find. A chicken waterer is a good option — they can’t dunk their heads and spill the water everywhere. Ducks really only need a pretty constant supply of water, and some supplemental feed. Each year, during winter, they go on hiatus. Old Paths to New Homesteading & Self-Reliant Living. They love to roam in the garden for short periods to search for insects, and they do so without damaging the plants themselves. Related: 3 Good Duck Breeds for Beginners. I don’t have any experience with such a system, but I can tell you that ducks will nest where they nest, no matter how many comfy boxes you make for them! Cakes, quick bread, and muffins made with duck eggs are fluffier and more moist and rich in flavor! While poultry researchers in North America have spent the last 100 years and countless millions of dollars on improving the productivity of chickens, ducks—for all practical purposes—have been ignored. Khaki Campbell ducks lay more eggs than Pekin ducks at 280-300 eggs per year, but you’ll get less meat from them. (and they are so quiet too! When raising ducks for eggs, you really need to think about the habitat in which they live; remember, ducks aren’t chickens. Ducks need a place to lay their eggs. Once you are well-acquainted with how to raise ducks, hatching them can be a fun process for you. (The ducks stick together and ignore the chickens.) Duck eggs tend to be more expensive than chicken eggs If you’re buying eggs, expect to pay 3-4 times the price you’d pay for chicken eggs. We have had ducks for quite some time, and we love watching them waddle around the farm. We want to get some Muscovies (a great multi-purpose breed), but don’t have any yet! Your email address will not be published. It was just an odd smell! Reply. Our ducks have never needed that extra care. Please advise me on the availability of either India Runner or Khaki Campbell breeds of ducks in Kenya, where I can source them, & their prices (from ducklings to egg-laying young hens). Source: University of Georgia - Poultry Science - March 2006 Oh you should! Our goal is to have an abundance of FREE knowledge and information concerning duck care: housing, feeding, breeds, hatching, record-keeping, profiting, managing, preventing problems, and more. Lots and lots of water. To keep your older ducks happy and healthy, you will need some supplies. They find ducks better than chickens for a lot of reasons. We’ve raised all kinds of birds here, but have found that ducks are by far the most efficient. How Many Chicks Or Ducks Do You Need To Raise For Eggs? Ducks are better at foraging than chickens, and they will chase mosquitoes down to catch and eat them. (During the summer, we do it more often as they dunk their heads more to cool off.). In the wild, the mother duck will add an oil to her ducklings to keep them afloat in the water. Do you sell ducklings in Spring? I am an amateur poultry hobbyist- Just getting started- Our propertyy does have a large pond…. Duck eggs contain more protein than a chicken egg. I have raised Cornish Cross meat chickens, and I have raised Pekin ducks for meat. Roast duck tastes very similar to roast beef. The females, or ducks, are the ones that do all the quacking. We also bought a bunch at the end of Tractor Supply’s chick days for 50 cents per duckling, so those will be way cheaper to raise. Thank you for sharing your insights! Ducks quack and can be very noisy. Like I said, raising ducks is easy! Raising Khaki Campbell ducks is easy and a very profitable business. We keep a small kiddie pool filled with water, and they love it. T his makes it much easier to find their eggs instead of the daily hunt, too. Your post is a really good read and made me smile. That is usually at about 4-5 weeks, when they start getting feathers. They lay around 225-330 eggs a year but produce more heavily during spring and summer. It’s high enough that the ducks don’t get in it, though. I have been, or can be if you click on a link and make a purchase, compensated via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value for writing this post. When we had no chicken eggs, we still had plenty of duck eggs! Raising ducks for eggs. Raising Turkeys For a Natural, Self-Sufficient Lifestyle, Raising Chickens For A Natural, Self-Sufficient Lifestyle, So Much More Than Grass - Self Reliant Landscaping, Copyright © 2020 Homegrown Self Reliance Powered by Homegrown Self Reliance, Family Homesteading and Off The Grid Blog Hop. Keep plenty of water in your brooder, but NOT in the form of a pool. Eggs and meat: two of the main reasons we have ducks in the first place. Each year, during winter, they go on hiatus. They are very self-sufficient. Ducks are among four poultry species that are commonly raised for eggs. With a drake, you can increase your flock when you want/need to, as you will always have fertile duck eggs. Maybe you don’t have any chickens but are considering raising ducks on your farm or homestead or in your backyard? Add to Favorites . Lisa Steele, a 5th generation chicken keeper and Master Gardener, and author of the popular books Fresh Eggs Daily: Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens Naturally and Gardening with Chickens lives with her husband on a small hobby farm in Maine where she raises a mixed flock of chickens and ducks, grows herbs and enjoys cooking using fresh vegetables from her garden and fresh eggs from her coop. Raising ducks on the homestead is so easy! An extensive system of duck raising: In this system of raising, duck eggs are collected in the morning. You can watch the video below on EGG LAYING DUCKS! Which is nice, because ducks make a horrible mess of the brooders! Choosing a duck breed. Get a free excerpt from my book, Attainable Sustainable: The Lost Art of Self-Reliant Living! Ducks reach sexual maturity in as little as 17 weeks, and you can tell pretty early on if you have drakes or hens. Some people dream of owning fancy cars or taking exotic vacations. How Many Drakes Can I Have In My Flock? I have an estimate of the cost of the ducks we raised for butcher, in contrast with the Cornish Cross chickens we raised. Ducks have been such an easy addition to our little farm. Looks like I may be baking a cake this weekend! Ready to add some ducks (or ducklings) to your little homestead? The Cayuga duck breed has the ability to lay various shades of grey to charcoal colored eggs. Plus, I just *might love duckling more than chicks in the extended fluffiness and sweetest, itty bitty, webbed feet! They are tucked neatly in rows around the edge of the straw nest. Most Cornish Cross chickens are butchered at 8. But I came to a conclusion that I want to keep raising ducks! If you raise your ducks from ducklings and spend lots of time handling them, they will grow up to be friendly, affectionate pets who, as an added bonus, will lay you delicious fresh eggs. The other scheme for raising ducks is through the confinement system using a duck house (kamalig). Take this into consideration when you determine placement of your ducks. If you can free-range, I would strongly suggest it. I’ll definitely do a post and a video of butchering and cleaning, as soon as my daughter lets me butcher one of “her” ducks! Raising Ducklings. They are very healthy, self-sufficient birds. by Alina J., and with many thanks to Tara Dodrill for contributing to this guide. Here are five great reasons to consider them. Duck eggs are larger than chicken eggs, so many chicken egg incubators will not accommodate duck eggs. Some modifications need to be addressed when raising ducks, and they add a new dimension to your barnyard. Could poor water quality hurt ducks? 11 Types of Poultry for Homesteads and Farms. They’re also great for making egg noodles and baked goods. You need to make sure that your incubator is prepared in advance before you purchase duck eggs and attempt to hatch them. Meat birds should weigh at least 4 kg at time of slaughter. Ducks make cute farm pets that are entertaining to watch waddle around, but they also lay deliciously rich eggs and can provide an additional source of protein. If you’d like to read more about our challenges with raising Cornish Cross, you can go here, here, and here. The feed costs are cut drastically by letting them free-range. Ducks need water. Ducks need a place to forage. Why are my ducks NOT laying eggs? I’m not sure what you mean by “poor quality.” My ducks love dirty puddles. Raising ducks can be an enjoyable and profitable experience. For this article, I used the duck comparison chart data from Metzer Farms, my personal experience raising ducks, and research data. Of course, I free-range all my ducks. Hi! 5. We haven’t really had housing set up for our ducks. To do so, we dip a bucket into the pool and carry it over. They are richer and more creamy than chicken eggs, and a lot bigger. Just like chicken eggs, the cracked eggshells can be used in the garden. The ducks will settle into the straw, and build nests to lay their eggs in. I’m sorry to say that you might have to toss it. Either way is wonderful but there is a special wonderful when hatching your own critters. I plan on using cedar logs for the raft and put the house on it with enough room for a duck deck for sunning themselves and a floating ramp as they can not jump. We’re thinking about switching our “breeding” poultry over to ducks for that reason. Raising Ducks From Egg to Adult Hatching Duck Eggs. Please note: ducks can be aggressive breeders! We let our ducks loose in the garden to eat slugs and rarely see damage to the plants or beds. For instance, ducks tend to live longer than chickens. After 2 months, move the hens to a coop outside and feed them a varied diet of food scraps, cracked corn, and insects. Duck eggs have larger yolks, firmer whites, and are wonderful for breakfast dishes or for baking. I dont think the coyotes and the racoons will want to swim out to . 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