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The Country Enterprise Handbook
Analysing your assets|Land use|Vegetables|Soft fruit|Flower & herb growing|Orchard & vineyard|Woodlands Sheep|Beef|Pigs|Rabbits|Hens|Ducks|Geese|Dairying|Kitchen|Bees|Wool|Water|Home|Contact us

Keeping ducks
..For Eggs
...For Meat
...Housing them

  1. Run ducks and drakes together: four to five ducks to one drake. If you have a heavier breed, let them run on water.
  2. Collect the fertile eggs.
  3. Hatch them in an incubator or under a broody hen. Of course, you can let nature do her best and allow the duck to sit on them. The number of ducklings reared will almost certainly be far less.
  4. When hatched keep them warm, if not with a duck or hen then with an infra-red lamp and a cardboard surround. Leave them in this for at least two weeks depending on the outside temperature. The infra-red lamp should be gradually raised as the ducklings grow. It is simple to see if the lamp is at the right height: too low and the ducklings rush away as far as they can from the heat, too high and they crowd together underneath the lamp.
  5. Rear growing ducklings on a grower's mash: five times a day at first, three times a day at eight weeks, thereafter twice daily. Feed as much as they will clear up within half an hour.
  6. At around eight weeks, take all the meat birds and dispose of them. Laying birds are grown on until they come into lay at around four months. These you either use for breeding or egg-laying or sell as point of lay.