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Another popular choice for farming and livestock animals are ducks. In fact, it is a growing trend nowadays where people are raising domestic ducks just right around the corner of their house, either their garden or backyard. A fun fact about raising ducks is that most people who raise them always starts with chicken as ducks seems to be a little more exotic compared to chickens. Some even find the animal a little bit complicated. That is why we decided to provide you with a short guide about raising baby ducks for beginners to help you understand and would make things easier for you as your raise them.
One of the common misconceptions that makes people think that ducks are more complicated than chickens and requires more effort is that we often think that we need an area with a small lake, river or a pond to keep the place habitable for the animal. It may be true for some species or types of ducks but one can easily raise and grow a domestic duck with the absence of such requirement. Domestic ducks are the most common and easy to breed which makes it the best and ideal breed or type of ducks for beginners.
Raising Baby Ducks for Beginners
This short guide and tip can bring you knowledge and idea to make raising baby ducks for beginners easy, comfortable and non-stressful. The guide covers from choosing the right duck breed, providing water, feeding, housing or shelter and some information about the advantages of ducks over chicken.
Breed of Ducks
The commonly known type of ducks or breed of ducks is the domestic. But there are actually 4 types or breeds namely dabbling, domestic, sea and diving ducks. Domestic ducks would be the focus of our tips and guidelines as it is the easiest of the breeds to access and/or obtain. It is also dubbed as a pet duck by most people as it is very common at home. The dabbling, sea and diving ducks are the type of ducks that spends most of their time in water. It makes it hard for home and farm breeders to raise and grow these types of ducks as they would require you a lot of space for ponds. It would be very fortunate of you if you have a nearby river or lake as you can really make use of the breed.
Other than domestic ducks, the rest of the breeds or types are often referred to as wildfowl. Raising wildfowl requires you some effort other than the water space you can provide. Their wings need to be pinioned at a young age to prohibit them from flying so you can keep them within your vicinity. They are also very hard to tame for starters. That is why domestic ducks are usually the good choice for beginners. You can later on try out other breeds as your level of expertise grows.
Domestic ducks have been long bred and raised. Today, there are so many pure breed domestic ducks in the livestock or framing industries. To some extent, domestic ducks are classified based on their characteristics and sizes. The large or heavy breed of domestic ducks is your Pekin. Next we have the light size and runner. These include your Campbell, Abacot Ranger and Runner ducks. One of the small categories includes your bantam and the colorful feathered ducks, call.
Assuming all of you are beginners, our choice would be domestic ducks among the 4 types. Other than drinking, domestic requires a little area of water where they can swim and enjoy. Domestic ducks spend at least 1/10 of their time each day on water. This means that you do not need a lake, river or a large pond to keep their natural habit entertained. A small water tub can do the trick and can relieve the ducks off their habit. In addition, a plastic water tub is far better compared to building a large pond. Ducks run around the land area and a pond will be later filled with mud, feathers and dirt. It would make things hard for you to maintain.
Below is a short video of baby ducks enjoying a swim in a plastic water tub:
Another thing you should consider in raising baby ducks for beginners is that plastic tubs comes in different sizes, all of which are highly available in builders market, department store, garden centers, etc. You just need to make sure that the tub is deep enough for your ducks to swim. It is important to provide this water system for the animal because of their physiological needs. They do not have tear ducts or glands. Diving and dipping in water helps them clean their eyes from dirt and other foreign objects.
Adding more to the concern, baby ducks should at least have supervision to swim on tubs. They are not yet skilled in swimming or diving, making them prone to drowning.
Natural feeds used for feeding ducks would be wheat. But domestic ducks at home or in most farm and livestock areas, combine the diet between wheat and pellets. It can even be mixed if you prefer. Pellets can be fed directly to ducks without the need of soaking it wet with water. The feeds are made to be easily digested by the animal. Wheat however, requires you to at least place it into bucket water, half the amount of the wheat. The water helps soften the wheat so that your ducks can easily digest the food.
It is important that you put some more effort and focus in feeding farm animals. They are no longer wild, therefore, the responsibility of their day to day food source falls under your care.
One of the important things in raising baby ducks for beginners is to keep the housing closed and locked during the night. Ducks are very conscious animals. Giving them a vision and a lot of room for noise during the night will keep them awake all night, watching out for predators. Keeping their bed space closed, limiting their vision and sound will give them the regular sleep they need. Domestic ducks can be easily tamed. You can even train them with commands for herding and putting them to rest during the night.
When it comes to the structure of the house or shelter, the important thing is that it is thick enough for them to keep their warm regulated. The insulation is important if your ducks are sheltered outdoors. Another thing you should consider in building their home is the doorway. Ducks often do their activities all together. A wide doorway is advised so little or baby ducks won’t get trampled by larger ducks as they go in and out.
For outdoor shelters, it is also greatly advised to fence the area. Ducks, the same with chickens, are very prone to predators being locked into a shelter cage. The fence will keep predators out and within a distance before reaching your duck’s house.
You can later on, improve your skills in raising domestic ducks. Eventually, you’d try other breeds of ducks or other wildfowl as they are very interesting to breed. For now, you should focus more with guides about raising baby ducks for beginners as you can clearly use the things you’ve learn in breeding other types of ducks and other farm or livestock animals.