I don't mean just having a couple of ducks that you breed....but does anyone have an actual breeding program? If so, please share:
Type and color variety.
- How many ducks do you have?
- How many do you hatch, and how/when do you select your keepers?
- What do you do with your extras? Especially drakes...
- How do you advertise yourself as a reputable breeder of quality ducks, rather than the gal down the street that has a couple of ducks and a styrofoam incubator?
I have Indian runners. My colors are grey, blue fawn, pastel, trout, blue trout, saxony, and harlequin. These are my "good ducks". I also have some pekins, but they are just ordinary hatchery ducks. I hatch about 100 ducklings a year, and raise them all up till they are in at least their full adult plumage, but usually till the next spring so I can evaluate how well they are laying (it is something, IMHO, that runner duck people haven't been paying close enough attention to: they are, after all, supposed to be a laying breed...) Then I select my breeders. The extras get sold. I usually have no problem finding homes for the hens, but the drakes are a different story. Some of them find homes, and others get sent to the auction, where I get maybe a couple of dollars for such a high quality bird that I've got almost a year's worth of work into.
As far as advertising, that's a hard one. How do I differentiate myself from Maria down the street with feed-store fawn and white runners? Haven't figured that one out yet. The APA doesn't recognize most of the colors that I breed, so poultry shows are practically useless (though I suppose I could display some breeding trios). The people that have come looking for quality ducks usually want them for their 4H kids, so they need standard colors.....
And now that I finally have harlequin runners (yet another unrecognized color), I will be running into the same issues.
Oh well, we do it for the love of the ducks, right?
Edited by Senna95 - 2/28/16 at 10:49am