Duck farming in Nigeria is one of the lucrative poultry farming venture practiced and in several parts of the world. Most times, it is known to be one of the underrated poultry farming in Nigeria because of the limited knowledge of its benefits and techniques. Ducks have a higher level and chances of productivity, which often requires low investment capital compared to most poultry farming, they can be raised commercially or by small-scale meat and egg production. Ducks are highly accessible around the world making it a very lucrative business to start up; the domestic ducks (waterfowls) are mainly reared to produce meat and egg. In Nigeria, local ducks can be raised on a free-range system varying from common species like; Muscovy, White Pekins, Aylesbury, Blue Swedish, Buff and several others.
Ducks are definitely water birds but they can also survive without water when kept in a house or on a free-range system, the same way any type of poultry bird is raised. Nevertheless, water is required for reproduction and mating purposes. Duck farming in Nigeria is practicable when necessary techniques and methods are observed.
Benefits of duck farming
There are many benefits and advantages to starting a duck farm in Nigeria. To a large percentage, countries where both chickens and ducks are raised, duck seems to rank next to chicken for the production of meat and egg.
Some significant benefits of duck farming in Nigeria are outlined as follows:
1. Duck farming is less expensive, simple, and less intricate housing facilities. In such that, housing costs and expenditures can be gotten on a minimal amount as well as setting up a commercial duck farming business.
2. Ducks are highly resistant to most avian diseases; they are very healthy birds and need less management and care. They can adapt to all types of environmental conditions.
3. They can be raised on a less spaced environment since they have relatively shorter brooding periods and their ducklings grow fast (you can use artificial heat for the ducklings within 5-7 days, and during cold seasons longer heat periods is necessary)
4. Duck usually live more than most consumable poultry birds and can sustain egg production for a long period. Their eggs and meat have a huge demand in the local and international markets; many commercial duck farmers are making a high profit due to the sales of these duck products (meat and egg).
Breeds of Duck in Nigeria
The most common breeds of ducks common in Nigeria are:
1. Muscovy duck
The Muscovy duck ranges as the most popular duck in Nigeria, it is believed to have originated from Central America. Because this species of duck is well known in Nigeria, it is therefore regulated by a free-range or backyard level system. Its plumage is white, black, or the combination of both colours. Muscovy is popular for its ability to adapt to high environmental conditions and their ability to hatch and care for an average of about 30 ducklings annually per bird. Their eggs weigh about 55-60g each.
2. Campbell duck
This variety is mostly found in modern and government research farms in Nigeria. They are the most popular egg-producing ducks in the world. The ducks are not valued for their meat as they can produce 300 eggs per year if fed and taken care of properly.
Other less common varieties include Pekins, Aylesbury, Indian Runner, and several others.
Duck farming housing
Ducks adequately sheltered will give a more productive output to the farmer ensuring disease and hazard control with a constant regulation of food intake and reproduction. The basic housing requirements needed to protect ducks from heavy wind and sun is a sheltered shady place with enough ventilation and a dry bed.
Free-range housing system
This system requires no special housing, other than housing for night shelter with minimal disease control. The ducks are not restricted in movement as they freely roam about ranging from five to twenty ducks. The free-range system is a traditional method of raising ducks in Nigeria, it is also a cheap system that requires little investment and management.
Ducks can be fed with a variety of foods; their common food includes fruits, cassava, corn, copra, rice, earthworm, and grass as well as any cheaply available food and most foraging aquatic weeds and insects which are capable of reducing cost, they lay a big and large amount of eggs per day compared to some poultry birds. They feed more than chickens.
Ducks on a free-range system can balance their feeding intake since they are not restricted in movement, but when confined the farmer must provide well-balanced feed for good productivity.
Price of Duck in Nigeria
In Nigeria, ducks are sold in the local markets. On average live ducks are sold between #2500 – #4500 depending on the age and size.
Duck farming guide for beginner’s PDF
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