Duck farming in Kenya: There are numerous meat and egg productive duck breeds available throughout the world. All the present domestic ducks around the globe come from the wild birds. Those wild birds wonder around the world, and some of them have been domesticated as a good source of food. Almost all those wild birds are from mallard species. Incidentally, all hen of the world comes from red wild hen. You might know that, ducks are aquatic organism. Some people think that, duck without water and pond without water are the same.
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Even, some people think, ducks can’t live without water. But it’s totally wrong. You can not imagine pond without water, but duck can be raised without water. Thousands of ducks can be raised without water by keeping them inside house, in the same way you raise chickens or other types of poultry birds. But, keep in mind that, in case of raising ducks without water ‘your ducks will lay unfertilized egg’. That means you can’t hatch the eggs for producing ducklings. If you want fertile eggs, male ducks and water are essential. You can easily raise ducks without water, they just need water for reproduction or mating purposes.
Advantages of Duck Farming
There are numerous advantages of starting duck farming business. In many countries, ducks rank next to chicken for meat and egg production. You can raise ducks in both commercial and small scale meat or egg production purpose. Even, you can raise some ducks on your own backyard with other birds or animals. Some notable advantages of duck farming business are shortly described here.
- Ducks need less expensive, simple and non-elaborate housing facilities. As a result housing costs are very less for setting up commercial duck farming business.
- Ducks are very hardy bird and they need less care or management. They can adopt themselves with almost all types of environmental conditions.
- They lay eggs either at night or in the morning. So you can collect their fresh eggs every morning :). And you can do your other work during rest of the day and you don’t have to spend time for caring your ducks.
- You need comparatively less space for raising ducks. Ducks have comparatively shorter brooding period and ducklings grow faster. Ducklings grow so fast that, you can dispense artificial heat within their 5 to 7 days. Although they will require a little longer heating period during cold months.
- Ducks are highly resistant to the common avian diseases.
- You can feed your ducks with a wide variety of foods. A duck’s regular food includes cassava, copra, corn, rice, fruits and any other low cost and easily available foods. They also have the natural tendency of foraging on aquatic weeds, algae, green legumes, fungi, earthworms, maggots, snails, various types of insects etc. which directly reduce feeding cost.
- You can also use your ducks for controlling apple snails or some other harmful insects from your garden.
- Ducks have less mortality rate and usually they live longer than chickens. In case of egg production, ducks lay eggs for a long time period.
Ducks generally eat almost all types of food they find edible. You can feed your ducks like chickens. But you have to add some extra additives into duck feed. As some ducks lay more eggs than hens, so you have to be very careful about feeding your ducks. Add necessary nutrient elements in their diet. Always provide your ducks nutritious feed according to the various types of duck breeds and their growth rate. For small scale or domestic duck farming, you can feed your ducks rich bran, kitchen waste and a plenty of snails. Always keep in mind that, ducks eat a lot of food daily. So you have to feed them well-balanced food if you want proper egg and meat production.
Duck’s Eggs and Meat Market
Marketing duck products (egg and meat) is very easy. People all over the world like duck egg and meat from the ancient time. In some areas, people like duck eggs and meat more than chicken meat or eggs. Duck eggs are usually larger in size than chicken eggs. In some areas duck meat is less popular than their eggs. However, there is no tension about the marketing of ducks eggs and meat. You can try to determine the demand of duck products in your local market.
There are numerous duck breeds available throughout the world. Although all of those breeds are not suitable for commercial duck farming business. Some of those breeds are suitable for egg production and some are ideal for commercial meat production. Usually ducks are of three types according to their production type.
Meat Duck Breeds
There are numerous duck breeds available which are famous for meat production. Peking, Ayleshbari, Maskovi, Ruel Kagua and the Swiden ducks are most popular for meat production. Usually meat productive male ducks weight about 5 kg and female weight about 4 kg.
Layer Duck Breeds
Indian Runner is a popular layer duck breed and very famous for their egg production capability. There are three types of Indian runner ducks available. White and grayish Indian runners are good layers. Khaki Campbell ducks are also very popular duck breed for high egg production.
Meat & Layer Duck Breeds
Khaki Campbell ducks are suitable for both meat and egg production. They came from Indian Runner and Ruel Kagua. Indian runners are famous for egg production and second one is popular for meat production.