This article focuses on duck farming in Kenya. Ducks are one of the domestic birds reared in Kenya for the production of eggs and meat. This can either be for commercial or domestic consumption.
Breeds of Ducks Reared in Kenya
There are various breeds of ducks reared in Kenya, either for production of eggs, meat or both. Here are the most common breeds.
- Ancona duck.
- Indian runner.
- Pekin duck.
- Muscovy duck.
- The Campbell.
Housing of Ducks
Ducks don’t require an elaborate housing structure. You can construct a simple structure to house them. The structure or house should be well ventilated, secure and face away from direct sunlight that may affect the ducks.
Duck Farming Systems
There are 3 main systems that can be used to raise ducks. The systems include;
1. Backyard system
For this system, ducks are allowed to freely range and play within or around a water body. This is after collection of eggs.
2. Extensive system
It is a farming system where duck eggs are collected in the morning and then the ducks are left to feed outdoors, for example in padding fields.
3. Intensive System
It is a system where ducks are fed on a standard ratio of food or feeds (stall feed system) with access to a particular water source.
Feeding of Ducks
Ducks are known to feed on any type of food they find around. You can feed them on pellet feeds, commercial feeds or kitchen waste and rich bran.
Alternatively, you can also allow them to freely move around and scavenge for snails and bugs which are good duck foods.
For the young ducklings, it is good to provide them with food rich in calcium and protein.
Maturity and Hatching
Ducks lay one egg per day. They take 28 days to hatch as long as optimum conditions are provided. Ducklings take about 30 days to fully grow.
Advantages of Rearing Ducks
- Ducks have a more economic egg laying life compared to other domestic birds.
- They are hardy and resistant to avian diseases.
- Ducks are exterminators of snails, fleas and grasshoppers.
- They don’t require an elaborate housing system and require less care.
- Ducks can feed on anything they find edible, therefore little capital is required to buy feeds.
Market for Ducks in Kenya
Duck products such as eggs and meat have a high demand in the local markets. Duck meat actually fetches higher prices compared to chicken and other types of meat.
A farmer can sell the duck products directly in the local markets or supply them to institutions such as restaurants where duck meat is served.
Locally, one duck egg is sold at Kshs 30 while a kilo of duck meat goes for Kshs 450 and above.