TYPES OF DUCK BREEDS
Like most other domestic poultry species, the ducks have many breeds. And most of the duck breeds are derived from the wild Mallard ducks. And a few number of birds are descendants of the Muscovy Duck.
Birds are a very beautiful creation of nature. And ducks are also a very beautiful bird. There are many domestic duck breeds available around the world. Among those duck breeds, some are popular for meat production, some are famous for eggs production, some are good for exhibition purposes, some are raised as ornamental birds and some ducks are raised as pets.
Ducks are classified into four groups; Bantam, Light, Medium and Heavy Weight. Domestic ducks are kept for specific purposes. Some ducks are good for meat, some are good for eggs. Even there are some duck breeds available which are good both purposes. Those ducks are called dual-purpose ducks. Some ducks are suitable for eggs, meat, show, and pets. However, here we have listed some common domestic duck breeds which are popular for specific purposes.
East Indies Duck
Duck farming is not an easy task. The main considerable subject for successful duck farming is duck feed. If you want to keep ducks for commercial purpose, then you must have to know what feed is essential and what should not feed to the ducks. To get desired profit from duck farming business, you have to ensure a balanced diet.
This makes sure that the ducks will grow up in a healthy way. Most of the ducks are reared in farms. However, a number of ducks are also reared in open space or ponds. Many people think that bread or bread crumbs are suitable duck feed but it not absolutely true. Just like all the creatures ducks need a balanced diet for proper growth.
Ducks are considered as a good pet and egg or meat source. So, if a farmer wants to raise ducks, they must have to feed them properly. In this case, feeding ducklings are very important because baby ducks become very weak and sensitive. After the birth of ducklings, the farmer should provide wet started mash for eight weeks. It is better to provide feed at night during the first few days and drinking water can be given from the 2nd day through fountains and troughs. After the fourth day, the farmer must add finely chopped small shrimps boiled rice.
Besides, amount of feed must be increased with the increase of ducklings’ age. When ducklings reach the age of one month, the farmer should provide tiny freshwater snails and boiled unhulled rice. Mask feed that is given to ducklings is composed of fish meal, rice bran with oyster shell, corn, soybean meal, dried whey and bone meal with mineral vitamin supplements. Starter mash with 10-20% crude protein gives one day to six weeks aged ducklings; mash with 16% crude protein gives for 6 weeks old to 4-month-old ducklings; layer mash with 16% crude with gives 4-month-old ducks and above age.
Provide enough mash to consume quickly at one time for 10 to 15 minutes, if mash feed is preferred. Wet mash trends to spoil when left long in hoppers. It is better to give feed at regular intervals. For this reason, ducklings learn to eat more feed and appetites are developed to stuff themselves in between drinks, digest feed quickly.
The farmer should provide feed four to five times a day that is sufficient for over 2 weeks old ducklings and provide plenty of clean, fresh water. When ducks eat their feed they waste too much, for this reason, give sufficient feed to prevent much waste.
Growing Duck Feed
Ducks, generally raised as farm or pet animals, are useful animals to keep domestically and a reliable source of meat and egg. However, ducks need special nutrition to survive. If ducks do not get enough nutrition, they will not grow properly. Besides, they also suffer from malnutrition that may cause of illness and even death of duck flock. If a farmer provides wrong feed, then the ducks will waste it. Here are some instructions on how to feed fully grown ducks.
- At first, prepare the bin feeder. Properly clean and dry the surface of the feeder and then any sharp egged should be covered by duct tape and hang it in a safe place within the ducks’ enclosed space.
- For providing the correct amount of nutrition, provide a commercial duck feed. Egg productive duck breeds need 16-18 percent protein in their feed. 14-16 percent protein needs non-laying adults in their feed.
- Too much protein can cause of angel wing that causes the wing, feathers to stick up. Besides lack of enough protein, may causes serious nutrition problem that hampers egg laying.
- Give your ducks fresh greens, such as vegetable trimmings, although your ducks may eat weeds and grass in your yard whenever you keep your ducks in outside.
- Make your duck’s feed with the help of chopped up hard boiled eggs, cracked corn, and worms. You have to keep away from using whole corn because it is not easily digestible. In winter season. A large amount of cracked corn should feed. A study ensures that cracked corn contains half of the protein that the ducks need.
- Whenever you feed your duck, you must provide fresh water to ingest the feed that you provide and clean their beaks. Your ducks could choke because of not providing enough water.
- You should preserve your duck feed carefully because it may grow bacteria and other microorganisms that are harmful to your duck’s health.
What Not to Feed Ducks
The most common items and waterfowl contain least nutritious and also unhealthy such as bread, chips, crackers, popcorn etc. you should not feed bread to your ducks because it has no health value and also hinders ducklings growth, make dirty waterways and attract rodents. Similarly, ducks must not feed any products which are spoiled. Besides, spoil feed can be harmful to the duck.
Good Duck Feeds
The feeds that contain the nutrients, minerals, and vitamins and necessary ingredients for healthy growth and development of ducks are the best feed for ducks. Most of these feeds have a similarity to the natural grains, seeds, and plants that the birds search for their own. The best feed list for ducks described below.
- Cracked corn
- Chopped lettuce
- Vegetable trimmings
It can be added that pellets or poultry starter pellets are another great feed for a duck that can be purchased from farming or agriculture supply stores.
Tips for Feeding Ducks
- You should not feed the ducks when the ducks are uninterested in eating and if you do so then the duck will leave the feed uneaten.
- You should be careful of the ducks that come closer and remember that they are still aggressive.
- Clean all the garbage properly.
- Be aware of children and others pets so that they cannot disturb the ducks.
- Always follow the local facilities that help to feed ducks.
Duck housing is not so important for duck farming. Because adult ducks don’t require housing. But it would be better if they have given some protection. They will lay eggs better and damage less food. Ducks generally love to stay in crowd place. The mature duck which is confined at night needs 4-5 square feet floor space for each. Every 4-6 female duck needs a nest for laying eggs. Ducks generally love darkness. So, it is not important to lighten the house. But artificial light helps to prevent piling at night.
The floor of the duck house may be built with dirt, concrete, wood or bamboo. Use straw inside the house as the bed. It is very easy to clean and make dry of the floor, made with a straw bed. Make the house well ventilated. Following topics will help you to make a house for ducks.
- Make the house in calm and quiet place if possible.
- The house should be located near the grazing area of duck.
- Make the house high from the ground.
- It would be better if you make the house above water.
- Make a fence around the house to keep them free from all types of predators.
- Be sure the wild animal can’t disturb them.
- Keep sufficient food and water pot inside the house.
- Keep some nest or basket for laying eggs.
- Provide artificial light if necessary.
- Ensure that the duck house is suitable, safe and comfortable for living to the ducks.
Duck diseases less than chickens. Although they are not free from disease. For some duck breeds, diseases are the main obstacle for successful duck farming. Ducks of any age can get infected by disease anytime. Some disease has a high mortality rate. Generally, a germ of duck diseases spreads from one duck to another through the contiguity of infected duck, polluted water or feed and by using the user equipment by infected ducks. So, proper duck diseases prevention methods are must to keep the duck productive and healthy which will ensure the best production. Duck plague, duck virus hepatitis etc. are main harmful duck diseases. The main symptoms, disease prevention method, and treatment of some common duck diseases are described below.
- The ducks may die suddenly without any symptoms.
- Stops consuming food.
- Drinks water frequently.
- The color of the lips may change.
- Feather of the duck gets disarranged.
- Wings may get over-hanged.
- Adult female ducks lay fewer eggs than usual.
- Eyes may get swelled.
- Some disease infected ducks can’t open their eyes in the light. And they become afraid seeing the light.
- Liquid materials may flow from their nose and mouth.
- Water may flow continuously from their eyes.
- The ducks may suffer from diarrhea.
- Sometimes their eyes get closed by a white membrane.
- Closet get mixed with their backside.
- Shaking can be seen in the head, neck, and body of the duck.
- Legs and wings become insensitive.
- They stay sitting by pressuring over their chest.
- They stop moving from one place to another.
- Infected baby duck may die.
- Always follow the duck health manual.
- Stop the entrance of unwanted guests and animal inside the farm.
- Make a suitable house for the duck.
- Always keep the house dry, neat and clean.
- Vaccinate the duck timely for preventing disease.
- Be more careful about seasonal diseases.
- Always provide nutritious food and fresh and clean water.
- Keep the disease infected duck separated from the healthy one.
- Keep the dead body of duck under soil or burn it with fire.
- If disease occurs on the farm then meet the nearest veterinarian as soon as possible and provide proper treatment.
- Always apply disease preventive vaccine to the duck timely.