For the normal growth of the bird, it is necessary to provide the bird with not only the correct feeding regime and diet, but also good housing conditions. In the first 3 weeks of life, ducklings are especially sensitive to the temperature of the room in which they are kept.
The optimum room temperature in the first weeks of life ducklings:
- In the first week - 27-30 ° C,
- In the second week - 23-26 ° C,
- In the third week - 19-22 ° C.
Floors of the house should always have a deep dry bedding. Despite the fact that the duck belongs to waterfowl, dampness is one of the causes of various diseases of the bird. For bedding use hay, straw and sawdust. Relative humidity in the house should be in the range of 65-70%.
The area of the room for keeping ducks is calculated based on the norm. Q1 m 2 birds. When keeping a large number of birds, the room is divided into sections, each of which can contain from 25 to 75 ducks. At 4-5 ducks in the room is installed 1 nest. They are open cells having a size of 50 * 30 cm. The optimum height of such nests is 20 cm.
The length of daylight hours for normal development and growth of ducklings in the first weeks of life should be at least 20 hours. In order to achieve this indicator, indoor lighting systems are arranged. The best option for lighting and space heating can be 50W LED bulbs. For 10 bird heads 5 such lamps are installed. They are fixed on the house wall at a height of 2 m. When a duck reaches one month of age, the length of daylight required for its normal growth is reduced to 12 hours.
It is not necessary to arrange special ventilation for air circulation in the house. It is enough to equip the room with small windows that can be used for ventilation. For walking ducks made special pens. They are located on the south side of the house. At the age of 3 weeks, goslings can begin to be released along with adult ducks on the pond.
Necessary equipment and inventory
To keep the ducks requires a certain set of equipment that you can buy or manufacture yourself. It includes:
- Troughs. Must be stable and have a top bar, limiting the ability of birds to trample and scatter feed.
- Drinkers. They are selected with a calculation of not less than 0.6 l per 1 bird. Their device must ensure the stability and preservation of the purity of the water poured into them.
- Nest. For their devices, you can use wooden boxes filled with hay.
For cleaning the house will need rakes, shovels and buckets.
The presence of grazing for ducks can significantly reduce the amount of feed needed for their rearing and avoid many poultry diseases. On pastures ducks enrich their bodies with protein and vitamins. When grazing ducks on pastures, they can only be fed with grain waste. Pasture area depends on the composition of the grass.
Pastures should not be located on marshy soils. Perennial grasses are sown on pastures intended for walking. Legume-cereal mixtures are best suited for this purpose.
If there is no pond or river near the place of breeding ducks, then special baths or swimming pools are set up for the birds to swim. Water temperature in them should not be below + 14 ° C. The area of the reservoir is calculated on the basis of the norm of 1 ha per 200 ducks.
Ducks are very unpretentious birds. In one year, 1 duck can bring more than 100 eggs to a person and produce fifty ducklings. Each type of bird requires its own feeding ration, but there are also general conditions for keeping all types of ducks.
The first portion of the feed is given to them in the early morning, the last before dusk. At this age, they can be given low-fat cottage cheese and boiled eggs. In the drinkers should always be clean water, which is added a little manganese.
After 5 days of life, ducklings begin to give mash. Prepare them from cottage cheese and eggs, to which is added ground corn and wheat flour. At the age of one week, greens are added to the mixture. At the age of 2 weeks, an egg and cottage cheese are removed from the duck feeding ration and the duckling is included in it. From the same age of the bird, it is possible to switch to “dry” feeding. On sale you can always find food intended for different ages of the bird.
From one month to the moment of slaughter, the duck is fed with grain, millet. In the mash they add bone meal, shells, chalk, as well as sunflower cake and fodder yeast. The feed should contain 40% derti and 30% greens. In the absence of grass in the feed add special vitamins.
Ducks can be subject to various diseases. Depending on the type of the disease, medication is prescribed, which can be purchased at a veterinary pharmacy. The most common drugs used in the treatment of poultry are such as:
- trimerazine and others.
They are given to the bird along with the food or drink.
The main preventive drugs used in growing ducks - probiotics. These drugs suppress the pathogenic microflora of the intestine of the bird and help strengthen its immunity. Ducklings can be given the drug at any age.
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What if the chicken has a puffy eye? Find out the answer by reading our article.
Conclusion and features
Ducks are very voracious. Most of their diseases are caused by improperly formulated diets and violations of the conditions of the poultry. The presence of water for ducks is a prerequisite for their cultivation.
When breeding birds in order to get eggs from them, you need to know that the duck can stop nosing if it is transferred to another poultry house. The best meaty breeds are musk ducks and mulard.
Features growing young
After incubation in the incubator or purchase of daily ducklings, they are planted in a room with additional heating. Creating heat is an important condition for keeping, and at first ducklings need temperature at a heat source of 28-30 ° C.
For heating, you can use a heating pad, a light bulb, while the temperature at the heater is maintained at 28-30 ° C, and in the room it can be about 22-23 ° C. After two weeks, additional heating can be removed, and by three weeks of age, the temperature can be 16-18 ° C. With the late withdrawal of ducklings, the need for heating is completely eliminated.
Whether the temperature meets the needs of the young, can be determined by their behavior. If they behave calmly, do not cling to each other trying to keep warm, then everything is fine.
The room should be dry, clean and bright - these are the main conditions for successful cultivation. Young stock is placed at the rate of 10-13 heads per 1 square meter, for musky breed they represent more area, planting 7-8 heads per 1 square meter.
In crowded ducks develop poorly, suffer from infectious diseases. In addition, the shy bird shies away in the direction of the whole herd, and when the landing is too compacted, a crush inevitably arises, often with fatal outcome. Not the best way out is to keep ducklings and chickens together, this creates additional dampness and the conditions under which chickens can easily get ill with coccidiosis.
As the ducks grow older, the area increases, and by the month of age, the standards for adult birds are applied - no more than three heads per 1 square meter.
The floor is needed dry and warm, there should be no drafts in the room. Sawdust and straw are used as bedding. Large chips do not absorb moisture well and can only be used in nests for adult birds. The litter is changed every 2 days or as it gets dirty, which largely depends on the density of planting.
Light day for ducklings in the first week is 24 hours, in the second week the period is reduced to 17 hours, from the third week the coverage for fattening youngsters can be reduced to 10-12 hours per day.
The light level is 20 lx in the first week and is subsequently maintained within 5-7 lx.
Conditions for keeping young ducks
Conditions of keeping adults
The content of adult livestock ducks traditional meat breeds and hybrids (except musk) is advisable only to obtain an incubation egg.
During the year, a herd of 9 ducks and one drake of the Peking breed is able to eat more than 700 kg of feed, giving about 1000 eggs suitable for incubation, which, with an average hatchability of 70%, will be about 700 ducks.
For fattening such ducks are slaughtered for meat at the age of 60-65 days, otherwise the carcass takes in non-commodity form, loses weight and then becomes very fat.
An adult bird is provided with a spacious poultry house, at the rate of no more than 3 individuals per 1 square meter. m, and for productive breeding birds no more than one individual per 1 sq. m. The area of walking is calculated based on the need of 5-6 sq. M. on one head.
Any room can serve as a bird house for keeping ducks, while the presence of ventilation, dryness and cleanliness are the main conditions for the successful rearing of this bird.
The floor is covered with a litter that will absorb moisture, for which they use soft straw and sawdust. The litter is regularly loosened with forks and cleaned down areas near the trough, as they do not rake the litter like hens, but rather compact it, making it hard as asphalt.
In the barn there should be no drafts and dampness, especially during the cold period, otherwise the bird will lose weight, productive qualities and hurt. A special hole is made on the south side, cutting a square hole with an area of 30 x 30 cm in the wall or in the door, so that the bird can go out and enter its dwelling as needed.
In fast-growing species, active metabolic processes take place in the body, therefore, fresh air is mandatory for them, which the bird consumes several times more than other species. Concentrating ammonia and hydrogen sulphide indoors can quickly cause serious poisoning.
The need for water in a waterfowl is high, and for a clean duck, a great lover of splashing, it is desirable to have a small body of water on the range. Under this condition, the plumage will always be clean and tidy, and the ducks will gain weight well, without spending extra calories on heating the body.
Lowering the temperature for adult ducks does not matter much; they tolerate heat worse than cold. In dry conditions, with good feeding, clean dry plumage and in the absence of drafts, temperatures ranging from -4 to +6 ° C and even a brief cooling to -15 ° C are acceptable.
A light day for keeping the egg ducks in winter should be at least 14 hours, which is achieved by additional lighting, including lighting in the morning.
Nests are installed in the quietest areas of the house, away from the water, at floor level, equipping a small threshold. Calculate the number of nests from the need for one nest for 3-4 ducks. A typical nest for the Beijing breed has a height of 0.4 m, a width of 0.3 m, and a depth of 0.25–0.3 m. A sufficient manhole for entering the nest is 0.25 x 0.25 m.
Some more bird care tips for beginners
Duck feeders are made of planks in the form of a long and narrow box, bars are installed on top, which do not allow the bird to climb inside and soil the feed. The length of the feeder relies at the rate of 8-10 cm per individual. Automatic feeders are convenient and practical, allowing feed to wake up in an open tray as the previous batch is consumed. Separately put boxes for gravel, shells and chalk.
In the summer it is preferable to keep the bird on the run, setting the feeders and drinkers there. In heavy rain and at night the ducks are driven into the room. Inexperienced poultry farmers need to know that little ducklings are not inclined to hide from the rain, as chickens do, and may die during heavy rain.
As sources of water for adult ducks at home, adjust the trough or bucket. For more economical use of water and ensure dryness, automatic drinkers are installed in the room.
The easiest water reservoir for ducks is built by digging into the ground a trough, or by digging a wide and not too deep hole. Sand is poured at the bottom of the pit and leveled it. Then the bottom is covered with a thick film, pressing the edges with heavy stones and covering it with earth. If desired, the surface is concreted.
Now you can fill the pool with water. When setting up such a mini-reservoir, it should be borne in mind that ducks pollute the water very quickly and need to be changed periodically, which can be difficult to do without draining.
In poultry farmers, lightweight plastic pools of various sizes are becoming increasingly popular. Such a reservoir can be easily transferred, drained and washed.
Having properly organized duck care and ensuring minimum conditions for growing and keeping, you can not only get tasty fresh meat, but also make money on it. Duck business is always profitable.
Maintenance of ducks in the household
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Positive aspects and features of breeding ducks
Duck meat has the following advantages:
- superior in quality to chicken
- contains a huge amount of useful and easily digestible trace elements,
- There are breeds with low-calorie dietary meat.
Another advantage of breeding ducks is omnivores, they can eat both plants and insects. They quickly gain weight and are a clean bird. It is not necessary to build a house for livestock, as it can be kept in cages. As a result, they are easier to care for and clean. Another advantage of breeding domestic ducks is that birds perfectly purify water from excess grass in ponds. Due to this, not only improves the condition of the fauna of the reservoir, but also the animal becomes more healthy and resistant to diseases, and also gains weight faster.
If ducks are kept only in a cage, then their productivity can be significantly reduced due to a sedentary lifestyle and obesity. Accordingly, the quality of meat deteriorates.
Before you grow a duck, you need to build a poultry house for them. A height of one and a half meters will be enough. For construction, you can use almost any material. The main thing is that they are environmentally friendly and safe, such as wood. One of the main conditions for breeding ducks - the room must be clean, dry and without drafts. Although they are waterfowl, they cannot live in dampness and dirt, especially since under such conditions there is a danger of an outbreak of infectious or viral diseases. The floor is made of wood or clay.
Humidity in the duck should not be more than 65-70%, otherwise the ducks begin to fall feathers, and reduced immunity.
The area of the house is calculated in such a way that no more than three adult individuals per 1 m 2. Ducks do not need perches and other high devices. Everything should be on the floor or near it.
The floor of the house should be at least 20 cm above the ground. This is necessary so that the rodents could not climb inside, as they not only eat food, but also are carriers of dangerous diseases.
On the floor in the house for keeping ducks, be sure to lay a bed of straw, sawdust or hay. In winter, the layer is made thick, up to 40 cm thick, so that the bird can burrow into it and keep warm. Change it as needed or once a week. In the summer, the litter is either completely removed or made thin. In winter, the temperature in the house should be above 0 ° C. It is very important that in the construction for ducks there is ventilation, for example, a window, since hazardous gases are released from the litter.
In winter, when the bird is in the house most of the time, it should be light at least 12-14 hours a day. Otherwise, they cease to sweep, and their activity decreases markedly.
In addition to ducks, you can keep other birds (chickens, geese, turkeys) in the house, the main thing is to divide them with a partition at least 70 cm high, otherwise the males will fight each other.
Nest and feeders
The nest for ducks in the home make a height of 30 to 50 cm, width and depth of 50 cm. Install it in a darkened place. Since the ducks have short legs, they make the threshold no more than 8 cm high. One nest is enough for two or three individuals.
For dry food, wood feeders are constructed, and for wet mash, made of metal or plastic, to make them easier to clean. Since ducks are sloppy birds and always scatter feed, in the middle of the tank should be rake or any other plank that does not allow them to climb on top of the feed.
Для поедания сухого корма достаточно выделить 6 см на 1 особь, для влажных мешанок 15 см. Главное, чтобы каждая птица могла свободно подойти и поесть. Если места мало, то слабые особи всегда будут оставаться в стороне и меньше съедать корма, что ещё сильнее замедлит их развитие и рост.
Для минеральных добавок делают разные отделения. Поилка должна иметь такую глубину, чтобы птица могла полностью окунать клюв, например, 20 см. Утки пьют много воды, поэтому нужно постоянно следить за её наличием и свежестью.
Где и как делать зону для выгула и купания
Growing a domestic duck will be less expensive and easier if the bird can walk outside the cage. In addition, it eliminates the likelihood of their obesity. Be sure to take a place for swimming. It can be done with your own hands, but in such a way that it is possible to change the water and clean the dirt. Even better, if the ducks have access to a natural reservoir, then they will be able to eat insects and grass. Bathing contributes to the rapid growth and development of birds.
With natural walking, ducks will be able to find and choose the right food for them, which has a positive effect on digestion and health.
To prevent the bird from floating away, a fence is made in the open water. In the water it should be about 70 cm, and rise 50 cm above the water. If you do not make it, the bird will dive out and swim out of the aviary. In addition, such a paddock will protect the flock from predators. It is better to place the open-air cage immediately at the entrance to the house on the south or southeast side of it. Enclose it with a grid or a picket fence with a height of at least 1 m.
The area for growing ducks is calculated so that the whole bird can move freely, or with the expectation that 1-1.5 m 2 is needed per individual. The manhole for exiting the plate is made square with sides of 40 cm. A valve for it is installed outside.
You can not keep too many heads of birds in the house or cage, as this negatively affects their condition and health.
The video shows an example of how you can breed ducks at home in winter.
In order for ducks to get good nutrition and grow quickly, their diet should contain not only mixed feed, but also fresh grass, mineral supplements and wet mash. Combined feeds can be purchased ready-made or do it yourself. This will require grain crops: barley, wheat, corn, as well as sunflower meal, fat, meat and bone meal or fish meal, salt, milk powder, premix and shells. Do not overfeed the bird, otherwise the meat will be too fat.
Feed should be poured as much as ducks can eat at a time.
In winter and spring, when it is too cold outside and there is no grass with insects, ducks at home are fed at least three times a day. In the morning and in the afternoon wet mash are issued, and in the evening a combined feed. If the ducks can already be fed on the run, it is enough to give out food 2 times a day, morning and evening.
If a sluggish bird has appeared among the whole flock, it should be immediately separated into another cage and the cause of the weakness should be identified. After that, it is necessary to thoroughly clean and sanitize the piglet to avoid the spread of the disease.