Pasture Raised Ducks for Eggs and Meat

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Pasture-raised ducks are happier and healthier than ducks raised in confined conditions. Give them fresh air and grass to forage...

Why Raise Ducks on Pasture?

Pasture-raised ducks are happier and healthier than ducks raised in confined conditions. Raising poultry on pasture allows them fresh air, green space to forage for food, and room to exercise and stay fit. Ducks raised on pasture may forage for up to 30% of their food, saving money and providing tastier, more nutrient dense eggs and meat. Pasture-raised livestock animals have fewer problems with physical disease and emotional distress than those raised in confinement.

Raising Ducks for Eggs and Meat

Raising ducks for eggs and meat is a great way to help supply your family with quality, nutrient dense meals. Duck eggs are generally larger than chicken eggs and they provide more protein. They’re also great for making egg noodles and baked goods. Cakes, quick breads, and muffins made with duck eggs are fluffier and more moist and rich in flavor!

Duck meat is dark and flavorful. Many people prefer it to chicken. Raising ducks for meat allows you to hatch your own ducklings in an incubator each year and dress them at just 8 weeks. This timeline rivals the Cornish x Rock broiler chicks that must be purchased from a hatchery. For those who wish to increase their sustainability and self-reliance, this is an important point.

How to Raise Ducklings

Ducklings need the same basic care as chicks for the first few weeks. They must be kept in a warm brooder and protected from predators and inclement weather until they are old enough to go out on pasture.

Basic Care for Ducklings:

  • Keep at 95 degrees Fahrenheit for the first week and decrease by 5 degrees each week until feathered out
  • When fully feathered out, ducklings may be allowed out on pasture during the day
  • Provide ducklings with 18 – 20% protein chick feed or game bird feed for the first 2 weeks

Read the rest of this article on The New Homesteader’s Almanac

Produce more of your food…check out The Ultimate Guide to Raising Meat Rabbits

 

Pasture-raised ducks are happier and healthier than ducks raised in confined conditions. Give them fresh air and grass to forage...

About Lisa Lombardo

Lisa grew up on a farm and has continued learning about horticulture, animal husbandry, and home food preservation ever since. Her websites share information about living a more self-reliant and sustainable lifestyle no matter where you are! She has earned an Associate of Applied Science in Horticulture and a Bachelor of Fine Arts. She is a self-proclaimed gardening freak and crazy chicken lady. The author lives outside of Chicago with her husband, son, 2 dogs, 1 cat, and a variety of poultry.

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