Why You Should Raise Ducks For Meat

Why You Should Raise Ducks For Meat

Relatively few people in the Americas realize that, on the whole, ducks are more proficient layers than chickens. While poultry researchers in North America have spent the last 100 years and countless millions of dollars on improving the productivity of chickens, ducks—for all practical purposes—have been ignored.

Despite all the attention chickens received, it’s unusual for a commercial flock of Leghorns to average over 250 to 280 eggs per hen in a year’s time. On the other hand, Campbell ducks of good strains often average 300 or more eggs per bird during the course of 12 months.

Duck eggs also weigh five to eight ounces per dozen more than chicken eggs.

In spite of the fact that some literature on the subject states otherwise, practical experience and tests conducted by institutions such as the University of Nebraska clearly show that duck eggs retain their freshness during storage considerably longer than those of chickens. On various occasions, we have refrigerated well-cleaned duck eggs for four months and longer with no detectible change in flavor.

Why You Should Raise Ducks For Meat

It is true that, when raised in confinement, a 3-1/2 to 4-1/2 pound duck will consume 20 to 30 percent more feed than a similarly sized Leghorn. But, due to the larger size and greater number of eggs produced by ducks, trials have shown that with proper management, ducks are still more efficient when the quantity of feed to produce a pound of eggs is calculated.

Since ducks are considerably better foragers than chickens, the efficiency of ducks is further enhanced when they are allowed to rustle free foods in bodies of water, pastures or grassy yards.

Ducks are also incredibly resistant to disease and cold and wet weather. The average mortality rate in home flocks is significantly lower with ducks than with chickens. Due to their greater hardiness, ducks require less elaborate housing than chickens—yet another advantage.

And, because egg-type ducks are not accomplished high jumpers, they are easily confined with a two- or three-foot high barrier.

Article Related Questions:

  • Why should I raise ducks?
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