There has been a recent increase in people choosing backyard ducks over chickens. The main reason for this is that ducks are easier to raise than chickens and since they live longer they can make you profits or keep you in eggs for longer starting in their second year of egg laying.
When it comes to housing its much cheaper to house ducks than to house chickens. And on the other hand ducks tend to be less prone to common diseases than chickens. But the sad note is that ducklings can be quit difficult to handle for a beginner farmer thus making them stressful to raise.
Ducks can not be fed just about anything unlike chickens and are quite delicate. But the good thing about them is that as they grow older they become less dependent on you and become more independent. Below are some beginner tips you can use to start raising healthy ducks.
1. The first thing you need to do when preparing to raise ducks is to build a duck house in a cool peaceful location. And there is no better location than near a stream or pond. The duck house can be built using bamboo or general garden materials. The recommended space for each duck can be 3sq.ft to 4sp.ft. And to keep the floor clean and dry you can cover it with hulls.
2. Although this step is not compulsory you can build your ducks an artificial pond or use your home swimming pool to keep your ducks cool. Not forgetting that they enjoying being in water.
3. In order for your ducks to start breeding it is important to acquire one drake. One drake is good enough for almost 5 ducks. A good time to determine a breeder around 2 months old. And eggs that are intended for hatching must be from ducks that are over 6 months old. Young ducks are known to be less fertile.
4. Please also note that when you are preparing for breeding the drakes should be the same age or just a month older. The drakes should not be raised in the same place with the others, they should only be brought to the others when its time for mating.
5. There are also guidelines when feeding your ducks. Only starter mashes should to fed to newly born ducklings. When they turn 6 months old they then can be fed grower mash. This mash should be given to them until they are 4 months old. Ducks that are older than 4 months can be given laying ration.
There's a lot more involved in raising healthy ducks. A good start is to get your own ducks, but before you do that get our complete guide on how to raise ducks to avoid costly mistakes.