Duck Farming in Kenya
Duck farming in Kenya is very popular and lucrative business. Incidentally, all hen of the world comes from the red wild hen, which scientific name is garaus banbinda. Everyone knows that duck is an aquatic organism. Duck without water and pond without fish are considered as same.
Thousands of ducks can be raised without water by keeping them in a house like chickens and other poultry birds. But, keep in mind that in this system the ducks will lay an unfertilized egg.
It is not possible to hatch and produce baby ducks from this egg. If you want to fertilize an egg, male ducks and water are essential. As ducks can be raised easily without water, they need water only for reproduction or mating purposes.
Duck Farming in Kenya – Peculiarity of Ducks
The body of the ducks is covered with an oily feather so that water can’t touch its body easily. It has a layer of fat under its skin which helps it not to get wet. For this reason, if the ducks spend a couple of hours in water its body does not get wet. Another peculiarity of duck is its leg. Three fingers of its leg are covered with thin skin, which is called the ‘web’. It works as the paddle of the boat. Finger ends in the nail. Some species of ducks use this nail for defense purpose. Generally, the lip of the ducks is red or orange-colored and very strong.
With this lip, they can eat moss, insects, fish egg, hard snail. They send all to the stomach which they found between their lip. It also used to defend enemies. The hen lays egg all over the day. But ducks start laying from night to morning. For this reason, farmers don’t release their ducks before 9 am. If you observe ducks very closely, you will find that they are very clever and intelligent. You can spend your leisure time easily by watching their activities.
Ducks generally eat almost all types of food they find. They also can be feed like chicken. But some extra elements should be added in the duck feed. As some ducks lay more eggs than hen, so ducks are now being keeping in a scientific way.
And nutritious feed should be given according to the duck breeds and their growth rate. For domestic farming, ducks can be feed rich dust, household garbage and plenty of snails. Keep in mind that, ducks eat a lot of food daily. So, they should feed well if you want proper egg and meat production.
Duck Farming in Kenya – Eggs and Meat Market
There is no anxiety about the market of ducks egg and meat. People all over the world like ducks egg and meat from ancient times. People like ducks eggs and meat most than hen. Ducks eggs are likely big than a hen. But ducks meat is less popular than its egg. However, there is no tension about the marketing of ducks eggs and meat.
Duck Farming in Kenya – Duck
There are many types of duck breeds.
- Meat productive duck breeds
- Egg productive duck breeds
- Duck breeds famous for both meat and egg production.
Meat productive duck breeds
There are many breeds of ducks famous for meat production. Peking, Ayleshbari, Maskovi, Ruel Kagua, and the Sweden ducks are most popular for meat production. The male ducks are famous for meat production weights about 5 kg and the female weighs about 4 kg.
Egg productive duck breeds
Indian Runner is a breed famous for laying eggs. There are three types of Indian runners. White, greyish and like pencil over the back. Khaki Campbell is also a very highly egg productive duck breed.
Both Meat and Egg productive duck breeds
Khaki Campbell ducks are of this species. They come from Indian Runner and Ruel Kagua. The first one is famous for laying an egg and the second one is for meat. Its color is khaki or brown ash.
Duck Farming in Kenya – Brooding Baby Ducks
When raising baby ducks, make sure you provide the ducklings with fresh, clean drinking water. You can use a shallow dish that you have added some clean pebbles to. The pebbles will prevent the ducklings from submerging their head and drowning.
They need to submerge their head in order to clear their sinuses but any deeper than the nostrils can drown them. Ducklings can die if they are without water for even short periods. Ducklings make quite a mess when eating, and their droppings are prolific and wet.
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Feeders must be constructed and maintained so ducks have easy access to feed at all times. Feeders must be kept clean and free from litter/manure. Moldy feeds must not be fed. Stale or contaminated feed must not be allowed to accumulate and must be replaced immediately with fresh feed.
Duck Farming in Kenya – Housing
The main advantages of duck farming are its accommodation. The housing of duck is not difficult like dairy or cattle housing. It can be kept in low, high, wet, dry and any other place. Ducks like a watery and wet place to live.
It can be raised by using a big basket of fruit, wood-speech or oil drum putting in a suitable place. Wherever you keep the ducks the door of the house must have to be higher. Because they enter house raising their head high. Another thing should keep in mind to maintain the sufficient follows of air in the house.
It should well be ventilated. 2-3 square feet of space is required per duck. You have to be sure about the safety of the ducks. They should keep free from all enemies/predators, especially from fox and dog. If you want to keep them like chickens in a concrete-floored house, then you have to make a deep liter inside the house. It would be better if the liter depth between 5-6 inches. In this system, the egg of ducks will not affect.
Duck Farming in Kenya – Feeding
Ducks generally eat almost anything that they find palatable. Ducks can be fed like chickens. However, some extra additives should be added into duck feed as some ducks lay more eggs than hens, so ducks should be fed well. Necessary nutrient elements are also usually added in their diet.
It is advisable to always provide ducks with nutritious feed according to the various types of duck breeds and their growth rate. For small scale or domestic duck farming, ducks can be fed on rich bran, kitchen waste and plenty of snails. In conclusion, ducks should be feed on a well-balanced food for proper egg and meat production.
Duck Farming in Kenya – Breeding Process
For reproduction of ducks, water is a must. Without water, they do not inspire in mating. One male duck is sufficient for mating 10 female ducks. High-quality duck breeds start laying eggs at the age of five months. Each egg weighs about 50 to 60 grams. You can use hen to hatch the egg instead of duck. Do not keep the newly born baby ducks in the water in the first week of their birth. Because by keeping the baby in water they can caught by cold. It takes 28 days to hatch and produce baby ducks from the egg.
During the hatching period of eggs, the eggs should besprinkle with water occasionally, two or three times per week. Electronic or diesel incubator can be used to hatch the egg. But many farmer prefers hen than incubator to hatch the eggs.
Duck Farming in Kenya – Eggs Storage
Eggs can be kept in various ways from being rotten. It can be kept in the refrigerator, mixing with lime water or pyrazine. Actinium glass water can be used to store eggs.
Duck Farming in Kenya – Sex Determination
It is not so difficult to determine the sex of newly born baby ducks. Raise up the tail of the baby ducks and press on its ass, if there is a penis like a thorn it will be male and if not it will definitely a female duck. The easiest way to determine male is the feather of the tail of male ducks are curled up.
Duck Farming in Kenya – Marketing of Eggs
Before sending the eggs to the market you have to wash out the dirt of eggs shell well. Don’t wash the eggs with water. Eggs should clean with a knife, soiled paper or towel. Eggs basket or carton is very popular for caring. Each cartoon contains at least 30 eggs. You can also use a bamboo basket, wooden box and another thing to transport eggs to the market. A deep layer of hay or rice dust should make before using those methods.
However, to be successful in duck farming you have to be more careful about taking care of ducks, feed management, accommodation, brooding, and marketing. If all are well managed then you can make a handsome income from duck farming. You also have to be conscious of the disease of ducks and its preventing methods.
Duck Farming in Kenya – Duck Health
The normal behavior of a duck is to be alert with a level carriage. They often waddle around and peck as they investigate the surroundings. Ducks will emit characteristic quacking or honking noises when their territories are entered. Ducks are resistant to common avian diseases and internal parasites. The infestation of internal parasites is prevalent only among those ducks which have access to stagnant water and over-crowded pond. The parasites include flukes, tapeworms, and roundworms. The external parasites are an infliction rather than an ailment. These include lice mites, fleas, and ticks.
These cause irritation and annoyance leading to a loss in egg production. Ducks should appear healthy and show normal behaviors. Signs of good duck health depend on age, sex, and breed. Important indications of good health are as follows:
- Good posture
- Vigorous movements if disturbed
- Clean and healthy skin
- Good plumage
- Well-formed shanks and feet
- Effective walking
- Active feeding and drinking
- Clear, bright eyes
The early symptoms of stress or ill health can be the following:
- Head pulled into the body
- Huddling, appearing chilled
- Changes in feed and water intake
- Lack of preening, general inactivity
- Problems with coordination (walking/sitting)
- Drooping of the eyelids, reduced or squinted eyes
- Puffy head and lower live weight
Duck Farming in Kenya – Economics of Rearing Ducks
- Rearing ducks is a well-paying venture, given the high demand for their eggs and meat.
- Ducks are rarely attacked by infections like other poultry breeds
- Ducks are vital players in the farm ecology by eating snails, slugs, and other bugs.
Duck Farming in Kenya – Advantages of Duck Farming
- Ducks require less expensive, simple and non-elaborate housing facilities. Therefore housing costs are less and thus more profitable.
- Ducks require minimal management.
- Ducks can adapt themselves to almost all types of environmental conditions.
- They require less space.
- Ducks are highly resistant to common birdly diseases.
- Ducks feed on a wide variety of foods thus reduces feeding cost.
- Ducks can be used as biological control of apple snails or some other harmful insects.
Frequently Asked Questions About Duck Farming in Kenya
How much land do you need for ducks?
In the pen or run, a farmer needs a minimum of 15 square feet per duck. That’s a bit more than is recommended for chickens. That is mostly because ducks have a larger wingspan and they need more room to flap and waddle.
Is duck farming profitable in Kenya?
Ducks farming in Kenya is profitable in the sense that Ducks can adapt to almost all types of environmental conditions. Ducks are highly resistant to common birdly diseases. Ducks feed on a wide variety of foods thus reduces feeding cost.
How long does it take for ducks to mature?
Ducks usually fledge or take flight by the time they reach 50 days in age. Mallards usually get to their full mature weight between 12 and 14 weeks old.
What is the best bedding for ducks?
Straw bedding is best for your duck coop. It insulates well; it composts easily; it produces little dust, and it makes a great duck nest. Large flake wood shavings or pine needles also make good duck coop bedding.
How much does a duck eat in a day?
Ducks’ consumption levels vary depending on their size. On average, they eat about 6 to 7 oz. of food every day; which translates to about 170 to 200 grams. The amount to feed a duck depends on the species and the purpose you have for raising them — meat production or as egg-laying
What is the best feed for ducks?
Ducks should be fed a commercially prepared age-appropriate food as their main diet. Ducks should be provided with suitable vegetables and fruits to supplement the commercial diet. Zucchini, peas, leafy greens, corn, vegetable peels, non-citrus fruit, and worms are suitable.