Raising a duck (itik o pato) is also a good occupation, the very purpose of raising a duck is its egg. Compared to chicken eggs, duck eggs are bigger, tastier and more sought after by consumers.
Duck breeds and characteristics
There are different breeds of ducks here in the Philippines, there are ducks that are raised for meat, and there are also types of ducks that lay eggs.
The laying duck is better known here in the Philippines, they are smaller than other species, but they lay bigger eggs. These eggs are popular due to balut which is laid by Mallard Duck or Pateros Duck.
Their main colors are black, gray, and speckled stains. The duck egg is the main wrapped egg that is made a favorite of Filipinos. One of the characteristics of the duck is its ability to lay eggs every day when it is full. But ducks do not know how to incubate their eggs, and they are not in the habit of caring for and guarding their eggs.
That is why ducks need proper management.
How to care for ducks
Caring for ducks is not difficult because they do not just get sick.
The only important thing is that they should always be full because it is important in their spawning.
So here are the steps of proper duck care:
- Only buy an initial breeder from a reliable duck breeder. In breeding use 1 male for every 5 hens. Let’s choose a breeder that is energetic, healthy, and without disorders.
- Care for and feed duck breeders well until they lay eggs.
- We could also make a pond or duck bath that is 10 feet wide and 20 feet long for 50 ducks but that is optional, and that will not affect the spawning of the ducks.
- The duck will start laying eggs at the age of 4-6 months. In other breeds, it takes 6-7 months.
- Caring for eggs. Take care and preserve its eggs until they hatch. NOTE: Use an incubator for handling eggs until they hatch.
- The chicks first need to be warmed until they are just a month old. The temperature or heat the chicks need is 95 degrees Fahrenheit for the first week, 90 degrees Fahrenheit in the second week, 85 degrees Fahrenheit for the third week, and 80 degrees Fahrenheit in the last week.
- After that, the ducks can be released into their vast pastures such as fields or paddy fields, where they will look for food themselves.
- But before that can happen, the ducks will need a shepherd to train and supervise them.
Duck cage and coop
Ducks need proper housing to better care for them.
- The duck house needs to be built in areas that are not close to footpaths or vehicles, have good ventilation, and good water supply.
- Local materials such as bamboo, nipa, coco-lumber, roofing, and cogon can be used.
- These materials are cheaper and better to use for the house of ducks than other types of materials.
- The wall must be open for air to enter. Bamboo slats, wire creatures, and nylon nets are commonly used as walls.
- The housing measuring 16 square meters and 3 meters high can accommodate 100 ducks. So if there are 500 ducks, its housing should have an area of 80 square meters. The crowded area causes the ducks to sting and injure each other. Each duck should be given a place in the cage with a width of 0.16 square meters.
- The soil can be covered with clean mulch, corn husks, peanut husks, and other similar materials. This is done to keep the floor dry and prevent pain.
- Install a net or bamboo fence just high enough. Group one-year-old ducks in a cage. Ducks of different ages quarrel when they are together in the same place. The little ducks are pushed and poked by the older ducks and robbed of the dining area.
- At dawn, the duck lays its eggs. They lay their eggs in the place where they sleep. Placing chaff or sawdust in this area will help greatly in maintaining the cleanliness of the eggs and even the duck coop.
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