Ducks are strong and hardy animals that grow under low maintenance. Hence, it’s practical to raise them since it’s not costly.
How much does a duck cost? The cost of a duck varies depending on the breed. The most popular breed, Call duck, costs $20 to $50 each. Pekin is offered individually for $7 to $10, while Cayuga ranges from $8 to $20 each. The most affordable breed is Indian Runner sold at $5 to $8.
Aside from buying a duck, you need to spare some money for other essentials such as the brooding pen, food, and vet care.
As mentioned, ducks are low maintenance, so it only costs $50 a year to raise one duck. Therefore, it’s manageable to have a flock under your care.
If you think you can’t handle a flock, you can start with a pair of male and female. Give it some time, and a pair of ducks will grow into a flock.
However, this is just the first step, and there’s more to do so you can achieve your goal. Don’t worry, as this article will guide you all the way.
Duck Farming | Expensive?
Duck farming is not expensive. Buying some ducks is the first step in establishing a duck farm. The price ranges from $5 to $30 per duck since it’s based on the breed.
The initial expenses include the brooder that costs around $25. One-time spending is for feeding and water pots, ventilator, bedding, and additional flooring, but they’re for long-term use.
If you manage a normal-sized flock, the upkeep for a year is not over $300. This amount is consumed for feeding, diapers, nesting boxes, and electricity and water bills. Generally, $50 is spent on one dock every year.
Are Ducks Worth Raising?
Ducks are worth raising. They grow in a short time but are low maintenance. In six or eight weeks, they can be sold. When comparing them to hogs that you need to feed for six to eight months before selling them, the profit ratio of ducks to hogs is 9:1.
Within eight months, you can sell 9 ducks while only one hog is ready to be sold in the said period. There’s even a study about the potential of duck protection in reducing poverty among Asian households.
How Much Can I Sell Duck Eggs For?
There’s a wide price range for duck eggs. A dozen can be sold for $2 to $12.
How Many Ducks Do You Need For a Farm?
The number of ducks that you need for a farm depends on your purpose and the age of ducks that you start farming with. Here’s a chart to guide you:
|Purpose||Number of Ducks||Male||Female|
|Backyard pets (all can be of the same gender)||3||1||2|
|Small-sized hobby flock||4 to 5 adults||1||3 to 4|
|Mid-sized hobby flock||15 to 20 adults||4 to 5||15 to 16|
|Hobby pair||2 adults||1||1|
|Hobby pair (unisex)||2 adults||2 or||2|
|Rare breed flock (minimum but can be more)||4 or more adults||2 or more||2 or more|
|Ducklings – straight run||10||5||5|
|Duckling – sexed||5 to 6||2||3 to 4|
When you only wish to gather eggs for consumption from your backyard pet ducks, it’s fine to get all-female adults.
What Should You Know About Ducks to Raise Them?
When raising ducks, you have to know their needs to grow healthily. Take note of the following:
1. Feeding ducks
It’s not recommended to give them medicated feed since they grow fast. Ducks eat fruits, vegetables, grains, rice, weeds, cheese, and even cat or dog food.
Hatchings to adults require 20% protein in their diet. A lower-energy feed should be given to the ducks that lay eggs. Excessive energy makes them overweight, and it slows down egg production.
Ducks are considered waterfowl, so the supply of water is a must. They need to submerge their heads in the water for the health of their eyes and noses. A chick waterer is essential if you start with ducklings. You may also turn a clean milk gallon or vinegar jug into a waterer.
It’s important to give your ducks clean water, so be attentive to replace it from time to time. Domesticated ducks don’t need a pond despite the necessity of water.
3. Brooder and outdoor housing
The required temperature is around 85-90℉. Know in advance that ducks can be messy. Aside from their droppings, they scatter their food when eating. Thus, beddings should be changed often. Wood shavings are the ideal beddings to keep up with their behavior.
Brooding Supplies Costs
A DIY brooder can only cost $25 with the heat lamp. You can also find rubber bowls and a poultry bucket feeder. There’s a kiddie pool for ducklings that cost around $10 to $20. Since ducks love water, you may also invest in a poultry tub with a submersible de-icer.
However, you can save your time and effort by buying a low-maintenance brooder kit that costs over a hundred dollars. Every essential thing is included in this kit, like the bedding, waterer, feeder, and thermostatically brooding container.
Low-Cost DIY Brooder Setup
Things you need:
- Duck feed (specifically starter feed)
- Bedding (wood shaving is ideal)
- Empty milk bottle or jug
- Cooling rack (get two of this if the holes are big)
- Feeder or bowl
- Thermometer (to check the temperature)
- Heat bulb
Steps to Do:
Step 1: Choose an ideal place that won’t expose the box to bumping. If you live in the northern part, you shouldn’t worry about the low temperature as heat lamps will keep your duckling warm.
Step 2: The cardboard box must accommodate all your ducklings. Allot 1 or 1.5 square feet for each. Fill the bottom with wood shavings to easily maintain the cleanliness of the brooder.
Step 3: Use a pan with a cooling rack before putting the food and water. So, there’s something to catch the spill and mess that ducks create.
Step 4: Next, make a fool-proof water system through a milk bottle or jug. Cut holes that are not too low or too high for the ducks to access water. See to it that spilling and splashing of water are minimized.
Step 5: When adding the lamp, think about safety measures. The heat lamp shouldn’t be in contact with the ducks or shavings to prevent fire.
How Do You Maintain a Duck?
You maintain a duck’s good health with proper feed and a clean supply of water. The cleanliness of the brooder or their outdoor abode should be maintained as well. Although ducks seldom get sick, there may be special cases that require a veterinarian check-up.
Another crucial thing is the safety of your ducks. You have to secure openings of your duck’s house and close them at night. Predators must not be allowed to enter and attack the ducks.
What Duck Breeds Are Good to Raise?
When raising ducks for meat, Moulard, Muscovy, and Rouen are the best breeds. On the other hand, the breeds that are excellent in laying eggs are Indian Runner, Khaki Campbell, and Welsh Harlequin.
What Do Baby Ducks Need?
A brooder box is essential for baby ducks. They need warmth, so 60 to 75 watts bulbs should be added to the box. Ducklings love water just like adult ducks. But, you shouldn’t allow them to play in the water as they might get drowned. They don’t have developed oil glands that can resist water.
Moreover, you can give them a starter feed. Never feed them medicated chicken mash since they’re hardy animals.
Do Ducks Make Good Pets?
Ducks can be good pets as they’re affable and entertaining. Some parents give them to their children around Easter time. The duck breeds that make the best pets are Pekin, Rouen, Cayuga, and Buff ducks.
Fortunately, the duck doesn’t cost much since ducks are low-maintenance and hardy animals. Generally, the annual cost is summed up around $300 as long as you know the right things to do. For instance, you can have a DIY brooder project at just a low price.
List of Sources
Are Farm Ducks Profitable—or “Gold Bricks”?
Raising Commercial Ducks as a 4-H or FFA Project
Duck Production: Has a Potential to Reduce Poverty Among Rural Households in Asian Communities – A Review