How to Create Ducks (with Pictures)

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How to Create Ducks (with Pictures)
How to Create Ducks (with Pictures)

Domestic ducks produce large, rich eggs, have tasty meat, and still leave your garden free of snails and slugs, and are relatively easy to care for. Whether you're raising ducks for a hobby or for a small business, the smartest way to get started is by getting information about duck farming. Although they are easy to raise compared to other birds, you need to follow some basic requirements to ensure a healthy herd.


Part 1 of 4: Preparing to raise ducks

Breed Ducks Step 1

Step 1. Decide why you want to raise ducks

You can keep them as pets, for meat, for egg production or as an organic form of pest control in the garden. There are four main types of duck: domestic, surface, diver and marine. Domestic ducks are the most chosen by people. All domestic duck breeds are descended from the common mallard, except for the wild duck.

Non-domestic ducks, or "wild ducks", spend a long time in the water and need to have their wings immobilized when they are young so they don't fly away. They require a large pond or lake, and you are unlikely to be able to tame them

Breed Ducks Step 2

Step 2. Consider mute ducks and teals if you want a quiet and beautiful pet duck

  • Mini-drakes are named for the noise they make, so be careful when choosing this type of duck so as not to disturb your neighbors. They are small and gray or white in color, and many people choose them because of their small size. Keep in mind that they are good flyers and will need to have their wings trimmed frequently.
  • Cayuga ducks have beautiful iridescent green plumage and are very tranquil, but can be difficult to find.
  • Peking ducks are large and white, and one of the most popular breeds of ducks. They are calm and have a relaxed disposition.
  • Rouen ducks are the same color as mallard ducks (green neck and head and iridescent areas on the body) and are very calm and sociable.
  • The wild ducks are very calm and come in many different colors. They are descended from tree birds and may therefore need to have their wings clipped periodically so they don't fly away.
Breed Ducks Step 3

Step 3. Consider Peking duck, wild duck or Rouen for meat production

Choose a breed that ripens quickly, produces tasty meat and is heavier. Many people prefer ducks with a white plumage because it is easier to get a clean looking carcass.

  • Peking ducks are one of the most popular ducks for meat production, as they are ready for the butcher in seven weeks, have a high meat yield and have a white plumage. They also produce a fair number of eggs a year, so they are a good animal for general use. They can be bred to Aylesburys, if available, for excellent meat producing surface ducks.
  • Wild ducks produce a tasty dark meat that is leaner due to their underdeveloped oil glands. They are poor egg producers, whose eggs take 35 days to hatch as opposed to the normal 28 days, but they hatch well, so you don't need to use an incubator. They can be bred duck-to-Beijing to produce great meat, but their progeny will be sterile. They must be killed by the 16th week of age or the meat will be too tough.
  • Rouen ducks are good meat producers, but they take 12 to 15 weeks to get ready for slaughter. They are also decent egg producers (around 100 eggs per season), but they have colorful feathers and the carcass is difficult to clean.
  • Aylesbury ducks are valued for meat production because of their large size and white plumage, but true Aylesburys are very rare (most are a mixture of Aylesbury and Peking ducks, which are also good meat-producing birds). White crested ducks are believed to be a mix of Aylesbury and Peking. They are not big egg producers.
Breed Ducks Step 4

Step 4. Consider Khaki Campbell or Indian Runner ducks for egg production

These breeds can sometimes outperform chicken eggs, with duck eggs being bigger and having more nutrients.

  • Khaki Campbell duck is very resistant, excellent forager, can produce more than 300 eggs per year and does not need special care or lighting to produce many eggs. It produces a pearly white egg and is the main breed used for commercial egg production. Its meat has a typical hunting flavor and is not normally consumed.
  • Indian Runner ducks are vertical birds that have a peculiar gait. Some strains can produce more than 300 blue eggs in a year. They are great foragers, small in size and hardy.
  • Harlequin duck is a rare bird, but a good producer of eggs and meat, in addition to having a peaceful nature.
Breed Ducks Step 5

Step 5. Consider Indian Runner, Khaki Campbell or mini-drakes for biological pest control

All ducks will eat slugs, snails and insects in gardens, but some breeds are more foragers and cover a wider area. The ducks will also clean algae and duckweed sludge from ponds.

  • Indian Runner ducks are very active and some of the best foragers, as well as eating flies in the air. They cover large areas of land and can be used to control field pests. They are often used on rice plantations in Asia and even in pest control on organic wine farms in South Africa.
  • Campbell's Khaki ducks are also good foragers. They can control pests on land and water and eat large amounts of slugs, snails, insects, algae and mosquitoes.
  • Mini-drakes are also decent foragers, but they are smaller than other ducks and eat smaller prey.
Breed Ducks Step 6

Step 6. Make sure your ducks have access to water

Domestic ducks don't need large ponds or ponds, but they will need a small pool so they can dip their heads. They do not have tear ducts and rely on this water to wet and clean their eyes. You can use a small wading pool for children or another type of plastic tub to store water.

  • Plastic tubs are best for your ducks, as the water can be easily replaced, keeping it clean of mud and feathers.
  • Move the plastic tub around the place so the grass doesn't turn to mud.
Breed Ducks Step 7

Step 7. Feed the ducks properly

Ducks that do not get adequate nutrition will not grow properly. This is especially true for ducks that will be used for egg or meat production. While some breeds are good at foraging, they will still require additional feeding. Offer commercially prepared food to your ducks.

  • If you feed your ducks with beak crumbs, they should not be medicated as this can seriously harm them.
  • Ducks used for production will need a higher protein content (~16%, which may come from brood oats, but not occupying more than a quarter of the diet) than other ducks.
  • Eggs will also need a high calcium content for effective production, and you can supplement them through your diet.
  • Provide a clean source of water near eating areas. This helps to lift the water from the earth to prevent it from getting muddy.
Breed Ducks Step 8

Step 8. Lock up the ducks at night

This is necessary to protect them from predators. They don't need perches, but the door should be as wide as possible to accommodate the entire herd. It is important that this area is well ventilated.

  • The house should have about 3.7 m² of space per duck and be at least 1 m high.
  • They may be startled by lights at night, so keep the openings away from moonlight or any other light sources.
  • Place the duck housing against a wall or wall to keep the animals indoors at night.
  • Use a layer of clean straw for bedding and change it regularly to keep it clean.
  • If you want to collect eggs then you need to provide nest boxes. This makes looking for them easier.
Breed Ducks Step 9

Step 9. Keep the ducks fenced in the garden

Some predators will try to attack you, so it's important to protect them with a fence. The fence should keep predators out, as well as ducks inside. Heavier meat-producing ducks can't jump very high, but some of the lighter breeds, like mini-drakes, can reach up to 1.8 m tall.

Ducks can be kept in the same enclosure as chickens. Different breeds of duck can also be kept together, but be careful when keeping smaller breeds with a male of a larger breed as the smaller ones can be injured

Part 2 of 4: Selecting Breeders

Breed Ducks Step 10

Step 1. Do a race survey

Different breeds have different sizes, conformations, egg production rates, fertility, hatchability, feed consumption and productive lives. Research the breed to find the expected characteristics of their ducks.

Breed Ducks Step 11

Step 2. Develop an identification system for your ducks

Keep track of your ducks through proper identification. In a small group, you may be able to recognize each duck, but otherwise it may be helpful to use wing or leg bands to mark the birds.

Breed Ducks Step 12

Step 3. Use trap-nests to record when eggs are laid

Trap nests are designed so that ducks can enter but not exit until they are released. That way you can record the duck's identity and whether or not it left an egg.

Breed Ducks Step 13

Step 4. Record information about individual ducks

Keep track of the number of eggs left by a duck, the number of chicks per duck, the number of ducklings that have been marketed for sale or for slaughter, and the age of those ducklings when they have reached their proper weight.

All this information will help you choose the most efficient and productive ducks to breed

Breed Ducks Step 14

Step 5. Select ducks with good conformation according to breed

Breeders should have healthy bones, straight and tight toes, as well as well-fitting foot scales. They should not have crooked chest bones or split wings.

Breed Ducks Step 15

Step 6. Select young and vigorous sires

Younger ducks will have bright colors in their legs and beaks, a flexible cartilaginous sternum, and a smooth, easily dented trachea. Older ducks will have dull beak legs with indurated skin, a stiff sternum and strong windpipe.

The breeders must not have been treated for any serious illnesses. They should be healthy with thick, elegant feathers, bright eyes, dry nostrils, and abundant feathers (according to breed)

Breed Ducks Step 16

Step 7. Choose breeders based primarily on weight

The main factor when choosing a breeder should be weight, as this is highly heritable. Do not allow ducks exhibiting deformities, abnormal size or other defects to mate.

After weight, you should consider other factors, such as the number of eggs laid and hatchlings

Part 3 of 4: Crossing the Ducks

Breed Ducks Step 17

Step 1. Maintain the correct ratio of males to females

This will require a little research into the particular breed of your ducks. Heavy breeds such as the wild duck to other meat producing breeds generally have a ratio of one male to every five females. Lighter breeds such as the Khaki Campbell and Indian Runner can have a maximum ratio of about one male to ten females.

  • Keeping too many males with too few females can harm females, as they can end up mated too often.
  • If you are trying to cross breeds, be careful about the size difference between male and females, as this can also cause injury.
  • If you have a lot of males, you can keep them in a separate pen during the breeding season.
  • You can leave two males together if you like. The problem arises when there are too many males, too much space, and not enough females.
Breed Ducks Step 18

Step 2. Minimize time between generations

You must mate young animals to keep the generation range low and achieve greater genetic progress. One-year-old males and females are best for breeding, but do not mate birds younger than 6 months of age.

Breed Ducks Step 19

Step 3. Know the mating season

Although some domestic ducks mate year-round, the typical mating season runs from late winter through spring to early summer. This is the most likely time your ducks will show mating behavior and lay eggs.

Mating behavior will include head shaking, pecking, neck biting and male mating attempts

Breed Ducks Step 20

Step 4. Pay attention to the mix of races

Ducks typically mate with any other duck, including those of different breeds. If you want to create particular crosses, you need to keep the breeds you don't want to mix separate. If you don't want your ducks to mix and have multiple breeds, then you'll need to separate them during the breeding season.

Wild ducks that mate with other domestic ducks will produce hybrid ducks. Hybrid ducks are sterile, but they can be good meat producers. Mixtures among other domestic ducks will not be sterile

Breed Ducks Step 21

Step 5. Calculate the number of birds to be mated

This will depend on the number of puppies you want to produce. For most breeds, a duck can produce about 100 marketable chicks per season.

You will get better results when you have fewer birds being mated and housed together. However, commercial breeders will have to have mass matings for economic reasons

Part 4 of 4: Incubating and hatching eggs

Breed Ducks Step 22

Step 1. Allow the ducks to mate for two weeks before collecting eggs for hatching

This will allow the ducks to have adequate mating time and result in high egg fertility. It also gives males and females time to establish mating.

Breed Ducks Step 23

Step 2. Collect eggs daily to ensure they are as clean as possible

Collect eggs daily and store them in a cool, not cold place, rotating them once a day to prevent the membrane from sticking to the shell. They can be stored for 7 to 10 days before incubation. It's best to incubate them all at the same time so they stay at the same stage.

Breed Ducks Step 24

Step 3. Set up an incubator for the fertilized eggs

Follow the instructions for your incubator (if you don't have them, you may be able to find them online). Set your incubator at 37.5°C, with 86% humidity to start.

  • Run the incubator for a day or two before putting the eggs inside. This helps to verify that she is maintaining an even temperature.
  • Moisture can usually be maintained by filling the water containers in the incubator and following the instructions. You can also spray the eggs with water each time you spin them.
  • Wild ducks are good breeders and mothers, and do not necessarily need their eggs to be hatched. It also makes them easier to manage and reproduce.
Breed Ducks Step 25

Step 4. Turn eggs at least three times a day

Some incubators can rotate them automatically, otherwise you will need to rotate them yourself a few times a day.

Gira is most critical during the first week of incubation. Rotate them as much as you can

Breed Ducks Step 26

Step 5. Check fertility after one week

Use the transillumination technique to verify the eggs are fertile and remove any non-fertile eggs. Make the room dark and use a small flashlight. Hold it over the egg and wrap your hand around the spot so that no light shines in your eyes. If you see clear, distinct veins, then the egg is probably alive.

Repeat the flashlight procedure once a week and remove any eggs that are not alive

Breed Ducks Step 27

Step 6. Incubate for about 28 days

Different breeds take different incubation times. Mallard will take about 26, 5 to 27 days, Runners will take 28, 5 days, and wild duck will take longer, around 35 days. All other breeds will take about 28 days.

Breed Ducks Step 28

Step 7. Do not interfere with the incubation process

The incubation process can take 3-5 days or even a little longer, and the chicks can remain in the shell for an extra day or two to absorb the yolk, so be patient and don't worry.

Mini-drakes are notoriously bad at hatching.If you think your duckling needs a little help, then you need to be very careful and use tweezers to try to create a small hole in the shell. If you see any bleeding or anything, stop immediately

Breed Ducks Step 29

Step 8. Keep the chicks in the incubator for 12 hours after hatching

This will give them time to dry completely and allow the other eggs to hatch undisturbed if they haven't hatched. They will be stumbling and swaying around, but this is normal for newborn ducks.

Breed Ducks Step 30

Step 9. Move the chicks to a brooder

You can use a plastic container with a small box. A 250w covered lamp should be used to provide the light and heat needed by young birds during the first few weeks of life. After three weeks, the puppies will no longer need a heat lamp.

  • If they are huddling under the lamp then they are probably feeling very cold and you should move the lamp closer.
  • If they are moving away from the lamp then it is a sign that the lamp is too hot and you should move it away a little.
  • When they stop sleeping under the lamp, it may be time to remove it completely.
Breed Ducks Step 31

Step 10. Leave puppies alone as much as possible for the first three days

Don't let them follow anyone for the first three days. This can cause them to get too used to you and cause problems later on.

Breed Ducks Step 32

Step 11. Provide food and water

Be sure to provide a drinker that is deep enough for the puppy to submerge his nostrils to clear them, but not so deep that he can drown. Food is not required for the first 24 hours, but after that you can offer crumbs from your local food store. After ten days of eating crumbs, switch to the specific feed you use.

  • If one of the ducklings is particularly weak or doesn't want to eat, try feeding it some boiled yolk puree. This can help you start eating the crumbs.
  • After 16 weeks, you can switch the puppies' feed to the normal chow you would feed an adult.
  • If you want to allow your puppies to swim, you must supervise them so they don't drown. Also, they still don't produce the oil in their feathers that protect adult ducks from the cold, so the water should be warm rather than cold. The paws normally apply the oil to the feathers of the chicks in the wild.
Breed Ducks Step 33

Step 12. Raise the ducks for their intended use

Regardless of whether you are raising your puppies as pets, for meat production, for egg production and/or biological pest controllers, you can now continue to raise them. You can take them outside when they are about six to eight weeks old.

  • They must have lost the feathers from below before being transferred out.
  • Predators can easily take the chicks, so be careful when transferring them outside.


  • Puppies need a rough surface to stand on while they are young. Do not use plain paper, but use wood chips or some other form of forage.
  • Thoroughly research the breed of duck you have chosen to learn about breed-specific and breeding care.
  • Until the ducklings have coats full of feathers, they will need shelter from severe rain.


  • Be alert for any signs of illness or disease in your birds, as a flock can be wiped out very quickly if a disease takes hold.
  • Ducks and other birds can sometimes carry the Salmonella bacteria. Wash hands thoroughly after touching birds.

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