Many people think about adding different animals to their barnyards. Having different species can help keep your barn well-rounded. Raising ducks is not as easy as raising chickens, but you can actually be successful in raising them together. Ducklings are known to grow incredibly fast and are known mess-makers around even a bit of water. It is important to keep some tips in mind when you raise ducks. They do lay eggs all year round but they do this more during the mating season. Here are some tips for you to keep your ducklings happy and healthy.
There are many predators that can prove dangerous for your ducks, which is why you need secure housing for them. You can give them a structure that has a lot of ventilation from the top since they can bear the cold quite well. This maximum amount of air circulation can prevent the bad smell that you can usually find in coops. You can always cover it with plastic to keep it warmer in the winters. Ducks do not need a perch like chickens. They just need a straw for nesting and their floor should be kept dry.
Ducks need water most of the time. This is extremely vital for your ducks. They need to have the option of being able to dip their bill into water. They also love to preen their deathers and swim in the water. If you do not have a wading pool, you need to occasionally provide them with space for enough water for a bath. Ducks will splash around and stand if the water is too cold. Try to get them near a pond or a swimming pool as often as you can, since they mostly thrive with water around them.
Usually, ducks can find good food for themselves on their own, but this is not always the case for domestic ducks. You can let them forage, but do supply additional food for them that will fulfill all of their nutritional needs. There are also certain conditions in which ducks can not forage such as harsh winters or heavy rain. You can use a duck starter feed in order to give them a good diet. Try not to feed them a lot of bread and let them eat more of their starter and grass. You can even put in some grass clippings and chickweed into the growing season.
Did you know that duck eggs are as tasty as chicken eggs? Yes, these are edible and you can use them daily for breakfast and as an alternative to chicken eggs. Depending on what breed of ducks you have kept, your ducks will lay anywhere between 100 to 300 eggs per year. These have a slightly stronger flavor than your usual eggs and most people prefer this taste. This is an excellent source of richness and good fat and is especially good for baking.
Raising ducks is not an easy task. There are some things that you need to keep in mind in order to keep your ducks happy and healthy.