In ancient times, in order to try duck meat, people had to hunt these birds. Over time, the ducks were domesticated. As a result of cultivation today we have a large number of diverse breeds of agricultural waterfowl with different characteristics.
Breeding ducks is rapidly gaining popularity, because duck meat has excellent taste, while the level of egg production is higher than, for example, geese.
When purchasing duck youngsters, after a few months of fattening, you can serve an appetizing, fragrant, baked duck to the table, however, to achieve high performance, you must follow a number of rules related to feeding and keeping little ducks from the first days of life.
How to start care?
Bred ducks, based on the characteristics of a particular breed. Thus, in some breeds, the incubation instincts laid down by nature disappeared completely under the weight of breeding, as a result, breeding such birds is possible only by placing incubation eggs under another hen, or by laying eggs in an incubator, but certain temperature conditions must be observed .. However, after hatching, questions - how to care for newly hatched ducklings.
You can purchase already hatched chicks, both daily and older.. It is better to buy young stock from a reliable seller, be it a small farm or a large poultry farm.
The first point to emphasize is the placement of the young. Ducks as a whole are well tolerated by cold and frost, but for babies of the first days of life, it is required to adhere to temperatures in the region of 27-31 degrees. Initially, the birdies can be placed in a special brooder, avoiding excessive crowding, in the future the grown young animals are transferred to the poultry house.
Since ducks are waterfowl, it is highly desirable to provide them with access to the reservoir. It is desirable that the birdies have a small walking. Despite the fact that a number of farmers believe that in order for ducks to gain weight as quickly as possible, they should limit space as much as possiblewhile others, on the contrary, believe that walking and access to a reservoir significantly improves overall performance - the bird is healthier and more resistant.Organization of feeding small ducklings
What to feed on the first day of life at home?
The second question that confronts a novice farmer after buying chicks is how to feed the little ducklings in the first days of life. The gastrointestinal tract of ducklings differs from adult individuals, respectively, the food suitable for adult ducks is not suitable for babies.
Ducklings have a higher degree of digestibility of food and a more intense metabolism in comparison, for example, with chickens.
It is necessary to carry out feeding of newborn ducklings 4-5 times a day. Food in the first 2-4 days should be as rich in protein as possible; it helps ducklings grow. For these purposes, mixes are prepared for babies from chopped boiled eggs, cottage cheese with the addition of milk and any dairy products — kefir, yogurt, whey.
Food must be fresh, not eaten leftovers must be disposed of, avoiding damage to food.
Already in the first days after birth, greens are added to food in Ptah. In the summer, it is better to use fresh, finely chopped. If the growing of ducks is to be in the winter, it is necessary to dry a sufficient amount of greens in advance for the summer season to add to the mash. For these purposes, nettle, clover, alfalfa and even dandelion are used.
In addition to the house for ducklings need to prepare a good pasture. For this purpose, the site from the south side of the farm, which receives the most light, is better suited. It must be insulated with a grid and divided into several sections.
It is good if there is a reservoir in this area, in this case, the ducklings will independently find up to 50% of food in it, and this will significantly reduce costs.
To make the ducklings feel comfortable, not hurt and gain weight quickly, it is very important to maintain the optimum temperature:
- in the first week of life - 30 degrees,
- the second week is 20 degrees,
- starting from the third week, the temperature can be reduced to 15 degrees.
It is possible to determine how comfortable the temperature for ducklings is not only with a thermometer. If they gather in groups and squeak strongly, the room is not heated enough. When the temperature rises too much, the chicks breathe with wide-open beaks and drink a lot.
Before the ducklings reach the age of one week, the length of daylight should be about 20 hours, then it is gradually reduced to 15 hours. At night, poor lighting is left - about 2 watts per square meter.
So that the bird does not hurt, you must constantly carry out sanitary treatment of the room where it is contained. Once a week it should be washed with hot water and disinfected. For disinfection suitable solutions of formalin or creolin.
If the ducklings create optimal conditions and provide a complete balanced diet, they will quickly gain weight, and the likelihood of disease in the herd will be reduced to a minimum. Ducks are quite unpretentious and do not require large monetary and time-consuming, and provide them with a good level of comfort, which will promote rapid growth and weight gain, even a novice farmer can.