Our duck population is now down to only 4 ducks — one drake (Daddy Duck) and three duck hens, two of which are white and one is brown with a beak deformity, we call her Twisty.
Twisty was given to us in exchange for one of our ducks some 2 years ago. Because she was only a little duckling then, we didn’t notice her deformity until later. The owner told us that Twisty’s siblings have all died because they were unable to feed themselves. We managed to keep Twisty alive by feeding her separately from the other ducks. She is able to eat better if given food in a deep container. Otherwise, it is impossible for her to pick up food from the ground with her beak.
A few months ago we took the risk of letting Twisty sit on her eggs. We assumed she would have deformed ducklings but we already knew a way of keeping them alive by separating them and using deep feeding trays. We wouldn’t let them breed anyhow but would just cull them when they get big. But that never happened. Twisty’s eggs never hatched. It is possible that Twisty is infertile, the work of natural selection. So from now on we will keep Twisty just for the eggs, she’s a very good layer.
The other two ducks successfully hatched their eggs this week – one duck has 3 ducklings and the other has 7. Hopefully, this will be the start of a new younger generation of ducks for us to revitalise the dwindling population. I’ve learned that it is best to keep a young population of duck hens, no more than 3 years old.
Here is a video from four months back. We had two ducks hatch eggs, a total of 12 ducklings. From this we ended up with only 6 ducklings. Mortality rate remains high. The fatalities were due to trampling by other ducks during fights and feeding, and savaging by pigs.
Good rearing behaviour in ducks seems to be inherited. Some ducks are better than others. One duck managed to keep 6 out of 8 ducks alive. While the other duck had all her ducklings killed within a few days because she insisted on bringing them to the boar. Not very smart.
Ducks have not been laying much as well. This may be due to two factors: first is insufficient nutrition and second is the disturbance caused by roof renovation from March until May. I have taken measures to provide better higher protein feeds although things have not completely settled down yet. One duck has started laying eggs.
I am not devoting a lot of time to the ducks. I spend more time looking after a boar and two sows. I am still hopeful that the ducks will manage – will learn – to look after themselves insofar as breeding is concerned.
We have about 5 pairs of ducks ready for dispatch. The male ducks (drakes) are 6 months old and above, mature and already capable of mating. These drakes were also part of our duck fattening program so they are large and meaty birds that will make a fantastic duck stew. But because these drakes grew very quickly, they have “angel wing syndrome”, presented as a deformity of the wing. This does not affect the breeding or genetics of the ducks.
The drakes come with female ducks that are 6 months old and above, some have already laid their first clutch of eggs. So when you buy a breeding pair, you don’t need to wait 6 months to start having eggs and ducklings.
If you would like to start your own family of ducks, call or text 0929-8057723 to make an appointment to visit Duckduckbro!
What?! Prefer turkey?
Sure! We don’t have them! 😂 But our neighbour does! 😄 She sells turkey chicks at 250 pesos each. When you come and visit, we can check them out.