Poultry:: Duck:: Care of Laying Ducks

Care of laying ducks

Ducks lay their eggs in the early morning. An average duck egg weighs about 65-70 g. Ducks normally lay when they are about 5-6 months of age. Peak production is obtained 5-6 weeks after commencement of lay. A photoperiod of 14 hours is considered optimum for inducing high egg production. Ducks are fed only twice in a day - one in the morning and the other in the evening. The quantity to be fed is that which can be cleared in about 10-15 minutes time. Layer ducks can be fed with mash or pellets. It is preferable to feed wet mash. The feed should have 18% protein and 2650 K cal/kg of ME. The feeder space suggested is 10 cm/duck. Under intensive system a floor space of 3710 to 4650 cm2 per duck is essential, but in cages it can be reduced to 1350 cm2. In semi-intensive system, a floor space of 2790 cm2 in the night shelter and 929 to 1395 cm2 as outside run per bird would be adequate. Layer ducks must be provided with nest boxes. A nest box measuring 30 cm wide, 45 cm deep and 30 cm high would be sufficient. One nest box for every three layers has to be provided.

Egg laying Duck

Egg laying duck

Feed ration for layer ducks

S.No. Ingredients Percent
1 Yellow maize 42.00
2 Rice Polish 20.00
3 Gingelly Oil cake 7.00
4 Soyabean meal 14.00
5 Dried fish 10.00
6 Oyster shell 5.00
7 Mineral Mixture 1.75
8 Salt 0.25
                         Total 100.00

For every 100 kg, add vitamin mixture (VitaminA 600mg VitaminB2 600mg) and nicotinic acid 5 g.

Management of ducklings

Ducklings may be reared in intensive, semi-intensive or range system. Under intensive system, allow a floor space of 91.5 feet in deep litter and 29.5 feet in cages, up to 16 weeks of age. Under semi-intensive system, a floor space 45.7 feet per bird is allowed in night shelter and 30 to 45.7 feet as outside run area per bird up to the age of 16 weeks. The temperature under the hover should be 30oC for the first few days. The temperature can be reduced by about 3oC for every 2-3 days. During summer, provision of heat for brooding can be stopped when the ducklings are 8-10 days of age whereas during rainy and cold season it may have to be continued for a longer period (2-3 weeks).

Ducling Care


Ducklings can be brooded using battery brooders as well. Though multi-tier battery brooders can be used single tier battery brooders are easier to manage. Ducklings can be fed with a mash containing 20% protein and 2750 kcal/kg ME up to 3 weeks of age and a mash containing 18% protein and 2750 kcal/kg of ME from 4 th to 8 th week of age. The feed or feed ingredients should be free of mould/fungal growth and aflatoxin.

Semi-Intensive -2

Growing Ducks

 (Source: www.vuatkerala.org)


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