|By goGreen | June 25, 2012|
- Buy your breeding stock from reliabíe duck raisers. The Pateros duck (native duck) is good for egg production and the Peking duck is good both for meat and egg purposes. You can also raise Muscovy duck or Pato. Muscovy has low egg production but is more self sustaining than the Pateros and Peking ducks.
- Build your duck house in a quite, cool place and near as possible to a stream or pond. Local materials like bamboo, nipa and cogon are cool and cheap.
- Provide each duck with at least 34 square feet of floor space. The floor should be covered with either rice hulls, corn cobs, peanut hulls or similar materials to make it dry and clean; and to help prevent the spread of pests and diseases.
- You can provide a swimming pond for the ducks if you wish. One of 10 feet wide and 20 feet long is adequate for 50 birds. However, a pond is not really necessary in duck raising. The ducks can lay just as many eggs without it.
- Pateros ducks start laying when they are about 4-6 months old. Peking and Muscovy ducks start laying at about 6-7 months old. In breeding, you need male for every five female ducks. Select breeders that are healthy, vigorous and without defects.
- Ducklings need to be brooded or warmed until they are a month old.
- The temperature required for brooding is 95°F for the first week, 90°F for the second week, 85°F for the third week and 80°F for the last week.
- The behavior of the ducklings is a good indicator whether brooding temperature is correct. The ducklings huddle close topether toward the source of heat when temperature is low; scattered or spread evenly when the temperature is correct; but planting and moving away from the source of heat when the temperature is too hot.
- A good brooding area is at least 1/2 square foot per duckling during the first week. The area should be increased by about 1/2 square foot every week until the fourth week.
- When your ducklings show signs of sickness, add three tablespoons of Nexal for every gallon of water for 2-3 days. Skip or withdraw after 3 days. Then continue for another 3 days. Terramycin poultry formula can also be used Follow the instructions on the package carefully.
- In order to prevent Avian Pest Disease, immunize your ducks with Avian Pest Vaccine which can be obtained free from the Bureau of animal Industry (BAI).
- Sex your ducklings. If you desire to fatten the extra males, then grow them separately from the females.
- When ducklings are six weeks old, they can be transferred from the brooder to the growing house.
- Transfer the layers to the laying house when they are four months old.
7. Feed your ducks the right kind of feed.
- 1-day to 6-week-old ducklings should be fed with starter mash with 10-21 percent crude protein.
- 6-week-old to 4 month old ducklings should be fed with growing mash with at least 16 percent crude protein.
- 4-month-old ducks and above should be fed with laying ration with at least 16 percent crude protein.
- Commercial feeds are good for your ducks. However, if you want to mix your own feed, here is a formula for a practical general purpose ration:
This general purpose ration may be fed to your ducks of any age.
- Also, feed plenty of chopped green leaves of either kangkong, comfrey, camote, ipil-ipil and legumes as additional feed. Give at least 10 grams of chopped green leaves per duck per day.
- You can grow and feed fresh water snails to your ducks. Giving one gallon of fresh snails a day to 24 duck layers will help increase egg production.
- Provide your ducks plenty of clean fresh water all the time.
8. If you provide a swimming pond for your ducks, limit their playing in the water to 1-2 hours a day. Too much playing in the water wilí tire your ducks and make them eat more feeds.
9. Do not allow your ducks to get wet under the rain because they may get sick.
10. Pateros ducks should weigh about 21/2 kilograms at 6 months. They should lay about 250-280 eggs in one year. On the other hand, Peking should weigh about 3 1/24 kilograms at 6 months old and lay about 180-200 eggs in,a year.
11. You may start growing your replacement ducks when your layers are in their second year of laying. Dispose of your pool layers and retain the good ones.
12. Duck eggs and meat are as nutritious as chickens’. Eat plenty of duck eggs and meat, they are good for you and your family.
SOURCE: Harold Watson and Warlito Laquihon. Mindanao Baptist Mission.