How many ducks per acre?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by RavenStorm, Apr 24, 2009.

  1. RavenStorm

    RavenStorm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 1, 2008
    Southern CA
    I'm working on a feasibility study in my Farm Management class at college right now, and we had to pick a business to base our study on. I decided to pick something near and dear to my heart, and opted to do a free range duck farm (selling meat, eating eggs, hatching eggs, ducklings, adults, and balut since I live near a large Asian community) for my project. I'm basing my study on having a property of roughly 5.5 acres, with .5 of the lot being used up by roads and out buildings so that leave 5 acres for the ducks. I have found info for the number of chickens per acre, but not ducks. Can anyone here help me?
     
  2. JStark

    JStark Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 10, 2009
    You might be able to improve downstream costs and revenues by growing much of your feed, moving them daily or every few days with mobile fences, and with a flock small enough to deep bed in the winter, selling fertilizer from them the next year. Just a thought, although all that work would be more labor intensive and would require a smaller flock than the 'industry' standards. With green ducks, I bet it could still be profitable.

    If you are going to free range them and sell them with that label, there are both requirements to consider as well as the specific land you will choose. Free ranging feed requirements will vary with the productiveness of the land you start on, and with good management, will improve your bottom line over time, but you need to factor in feed costs based on the land's capabilities to produce forage.
     
  3. RavenStorm

    RavenStorm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 1, 2008
    Southern CA
    Thanks for the link Swamp, that article has really given me a good jumping off point.

    JStark: If I were to actually put this project in practice you advice would be really helpful. For this feasibility study though, the teacher has already told us that we can assume that the property we pick out is ideal to our needs and he doesn't need to know the specifics in that department. This is really more of a financial awareness and accounting project than anything else, so those are the areas he wants to see details. Otherwise, we can make up our numbers and conditions as long as they are reasonable. We don't even have to prove that the business will be successful, we just have to do a 5-year projection and then write about why or why wasn't it successful.
     
  4. JStark

    JStark Out Of The Brooder

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    Very cool.

    I would include, projected two years, the improved soil conditions and their subsequent cost savings on feed. Even the ideal land will be improved for duck production, if handled properly, because they eat lots of greens, as well as other greens-eating competition (slugs and their ilk), while providing nitrogen content back to the soil. It's important for economists and businessfolks to understand the economic benefits to sustainable agriculture and proper management of dynamic systems, and not see them merely as a nice side benefit or surprise.

    That sounds like a well-wrought project, and a fun one!
     
  5. Swamp

    Swamp Time Out

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    Apr 20, 2009
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    RavenStorm,

    This is a 63 page document with the accounting aspects discussed in the appendices.

    http://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/summaries/poultrytoolbox.html

    Balut, huh? I've seen chicken egg balut going for $1 each in a small filipino store in New Jersey. I wonder what a larger duck egg balut would bring?
     
  6. greathorse

    greathorse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am not sure how much work Joel Salatin has done with water fowl, but he sure knows pasutured chickens, pigs and cattle. I think he would be worth a look.

    I beleive he is quite approachable as well.

    I did not look up the spelling of the name but I am reasonably sure that is the correct spelling. I beleive he is in Virginia.
     
  7. goosedragon

    goosedragon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2009
    Central NC
    Quote:Sorry but ducks are not Nitrogen producers every bit of Nitrogen in their poop either came from the land or from the purchased feed! If you plant your acres in clover,legunes or other plants that fix Nitrogen from the air then the ducks will love that green feed and pass it in their poop but you could get the same effect by plowing the green manure crops under.
     

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