I want to start raising ducks.....

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by cmferrante, Aug 8, 2013.

  1. cmferrante

    cmferrante Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 7, 2013
    I want to start out with saying, I am a new manager on an organic farm in Western Mass. We specialty grow for some of the local upscale restaurants and are looking to expand to Duck Egg, and possibly meat production.

    OK, I'm a new member here, did some searching around and talked to another farmer friend that raises ducks. I'm trying to verify some of the info so I can get things in motion.

    My plan is to use some pasture land on the farm to pasture raise some chickens and ducks. I was told, Indian Runners would suit me better for eggs as they require less water. But maybe not for meat. I have a hose I can run out there and a plastic kiddy pool we used for our last try at runners....as it turns out, preditors love duck as much as humans...we were down to 3 ducks before random duck eggs would show up....then one night...there were none. So, My plan of course would be to setup an area in the pasture with electric fencing, I have an extra 25 mile solar charger that will be used for this project. I like the style of coop I've seen on the forum for chickens, maybe ducks too...with the framed out chicken wire run hooked to the coop. I would use the charged fence around the whole thing. the rolling coop i have is built onto a landscaping trailer. It looks like a little barn. I am able to move them around every day or 2..or more...so I'm looking for suggestions. Size of run? How big would the coop area have to be for 2 dozen ducks? I'm looking to get 10ish dozen a week for now. I would also like them to breed and multiply....it is a farm and if it goes well I can expand this a LOT.

    Meat ducks....does anyone here raise them for this purpose and would be willing to give me any pointers? suggestions? breeding tips?
     
  2. Ozzy Lorp

    Ozzy Lorp New Egg

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    Jan 28, 2013
    Well, I see it has been a few days since your post- I hope you will check back.

    As far as egg production, I cannot say enough good things about Khaki Campbells and Anconas. We have 7 hens and are getting 5 or 6 eggs a day. They started out pretty small, but (after a month) are now averaging 45-50 grams.

    Ducks are messy. I have a tough time picturing the coop you described working well for ducks.
    Keeping the fresh water is a problem for us. We have 11 ducks and are using two 48" kiddy pools that are about 8" deep. They start out fresh at 530AM and are absolutely filthy and almost empty by 400 PM. We completely empty and refill them each day.
    We have an 8x8 coop that they use only for egg laying, a fenced area that is about 15' x 15' they spend the night in, and they spend the rest of the time out foraging. We live in Texas, and so far they have done well in the heat, but we do have some trees, and they spend a lot of time in the shade.
    We feed them a mix of wild game feed and a little hen scratch. They are hardy eaters- They really like bugs and grass and leaves, and feathers and sand, and little bits of string, and any type of paper, and so-on, and we give them table scraps and veggies from time to time.

    I can't say they need a lot of room, but I can say if they don't have a fair amount of room, they will require a lot of attention to keep the area clean.
    Having said all that, I would rather have ducks and geese than chickens most days. They are not as susceptible to illness and are less expensive to produce.
    I hope this helps.
     
  3. cmferrante

    cmferrante Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 7, 2013
    Ok, I went and picked up some ducks from a very nice lady about an hour away.Here they are! 2 drakes and 5 ducks, and a duckling free. The duckling belongs to one of the ducks i bought. There was supposed to be 2 others, however, they were hiding very well among the high grass so they were left there. I have pekings coming in a few days.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Congrats!!! I almost missed the duckling and they are adorable all of them.
     
  5. cmferrante

    cmferrante Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 7, 2013
    my aunt posted this to my facebook....i laughed pretty good...



    "chickens are the gateway livestock"
     
  6. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    That is hilarious and so true [​IMG]
     
  7. cmferrante

    cmferrante Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 7, 2013
    the ducks came with some free eggs that we found while looking for the chicks. I candled the eggs I put in 2 days ago and some are starting to show some shadowing. I am going to assemble a box with a light..I found a small light fixture and a LED bulb that is just intensely bright. I ran it for 10 minutes holding the bulb and it was barely warm...11W 830 lumens and by far WAY brighter then the 15W compact florescent i'm using in the ceiling fan.
    http://www.homedepot.com/p/Philips-...ED-Light-Bulb-E-424382/203553310#.Ug5v0ZK1HeZ
     

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