Ducks are for many of us the most familiar birds, whether we are talking about breeders or bird lovers. We see them in TV commercials, on the banks of rivers in cities visited by tourists, in households, or on the logos of companies and sports teams.
All ducks are part of the Anatidae bird family, which includes swans and geese. These birds are present all over the world, except the continent of Antarctica. Some species of ducks, such as wild ducks, can be found almost anywhere in the world, while other species can only be seen in a few corners of the world.
In total there are over 40 species of domestic ducks. The Pekin and Mallard species are most commonly found on farms and breeders’ farms, kept especially for eggs and meat.
Before purchasing ducks, you should know that the seller doesn’t sell them as one female or one male and you have to buy them in pairs. So, you should evaluate de price by calculating them as a pair.
How Much Does A Duck Cost?
For the most popular breed of duck, Pekin, you will have to pay anywhere between $7.5 and $11. The other popular breed, Mallard costs around $11, and for the Welsh harlequin duckling, white-crested duckling, and silver Appleyard you will have to pay more than $16. The price of the Indian Runner duck is anywhere between $5.5 and $8.5, and for the Cayuga duck, you will have to pay anywhere between $8.5 and $21. The most expensive is the Call duck, with a price of $21 to $52.
Ducks began to be bred as domestic birds more than 4000 years ago, and all domestic ducks come from wild ducks or the Muscovy species. Wild ducks, in particular, are easy to integrate with other duck species and often mate with males of other species on local farms or households.
The characteristics of the ducks greatly changed through domestication. In general, wild ducks are monogamous, while pet ducks are polygamous. Also, pet ducks can mate wild ducks and produce hybrid baby ducks.
As long as the most important characteristics of the different breeds of ducks and their nutritional needs are met, raising them can be very easy and productive. With a special taste and a low caloric coefficient, duck meat is increasingly demanded by customers who are increasingly aware of the aspects of a healthy lifestyle. Also, duck eggs have a long freshness and an abundant egg white content, being a consistent source of fatty acids.
Depending on what you want to get from them, you have different options: meat ducks or egg ducks.
If you want meat ducks, then look to buy ducklings from heavy breeds such as Pekin, Rouen, or Muscovy. Females can weigh up to 3.5 kg and males up to 4 kg or even 5-6 kg in the case of the Muscovy breed. Egg production is quite good, with an average of 80-100 eggs per year.
If you want to produce only eggs, then you have to choose one of the following breeds:
- Indian Runner is one of the most widespread breeds of laying ducks in the world. Ducks of this breed start laying eggs at 4 months old and can produce up to 300 eggs a year.
- Cherry Valley 2000 hybrid breed does around 275 eggs per year.
- The Khaki Campbell duck is the result of crosses between the Rouen duck with the Runner duck and the wild ducks. It lays eggs almost as much as the Indian Runner ducks.
How much would it cost to buy one duck?
It is pretty affordable to buy and rise a duck, but it is hard to give an exact price because there are so many species to choose from.
In general, you should expect to spend anywhere between $5.5 and $35 for any type of duck breed you want to purchase.
So, ducks are not that expensive and their price greatly depends on the place you buy them from. You may be able to save $5 to $10 if you purchase them from the nearest local store. As we already mentioned above, you will have to purchase a pair of ducks, so you should budget double the amount of the price estimate presented.
How much would you spend to raise a duck?
Compared with other pet birds or animals, the monthly and annual costs to maintain a duck are very low. In general, the annual costs would be anywhere between $310 and $360.
Ducks are accustomed to eating at fixed hours, which is why you need to make a schedule for them. In the first 10-15 days the babies eat five to eight times a day. Up to three months they need six meals a day, and then only three. Duck babies eat special feed for babies, without coccidiostat, but it is recommended to include a mixture of vitamins and amino acids.
Calcium-containing feeds are essential for ducks, as they produce eggs with a thicker shell than chickens. Also, the ducks must be accustomed to the environment, to have access to greenery, ponds, and water sources. If you do not have the opportunity to leave them in the yard, cut the grass and weeds to ensure a varied and balanced diet.
You should plan on spending anywhere between $32 and $45 per month for duck food.
You may think that you will not have to spend anything on the water because it is free, but to have access to the water you need electricity. So, the water costs are reflected in the electricity costs and these are around $5 per month.
You will not have to worry about the veterinarian expenses of your duck because these are really low compared to other costs.
Ducks rarely need a vet check-up and almost never get sick if you take care of them properly.
However, if you want your duck’s health to be evaluated by a vet, then you should plan on spending anywhere between $22 and $33 per visit.
Yes, ducks will wear diapers even if it may sound uncommon or weird. You will need such a diaper if you keep your duck indoors. Depending on the duck’s needs, you will have to spend anywhere between $32 and more than $40 per month for the duck’s diapers. You can avoid these costs if you raise them outside, in a yard.
Duck babysitting costs
It is pretty impossible to stay with your ducks all the time and if you don’t have a friend or a family member to take care of them while you are missing then you will have to hire someone as a babysitter.
Expect to spend anywhere between $12 and $25 per month for a part-time duck babysitter.
When talking about the one-time costs regarding a duck we refer to the purchasing costs, nesting box, housing, waterer, brooder, bedding, and feeder.
The cost of duck housing
The ducks adapt very well to the conditions as long as they have a suitable cage at their disposal. But do not use paper or newspapers for bedding, regardless of space, as they will affect the moisture in the bedding. Safety is the most important thing when it comes to space for ducks. They must be protected from predators, and the shelter must have a high fence and be well secured.
Plan on spending around $110 on duck housing.
Water and feeding pot cost
You should budget $32 to $55 for the waterer pot and $32 to $45 for the basic feeder pot.
The ducks will need a brooder when their feathers are not fully grown in order to keep a warm temperature. This device will cost you another $125 to $310, or even more.
The cost of the nesting box
The role of the nesting box is to offer comfort to the duck to lay and guard their eggs. You will have to install this nest a few days before the breeding season arrives. You can purchase a nesting box online at the price of $30 to $37.
What should you know about ducks before buying them?
Many people think that you need a pond in the yard to grow ducks, but this is not true. Instead, they need plenty of clean drinking water.
We all know that ducks like to swim. So, if you can create a small space for bathing, they will be grateful. It is enough to bury a baby tub in the ground and fill it with water.
Ducks eat a lot and at the same time make a mess, wasting a lot of food. That is why it is advisable to keep food and water at a short distance from each other. They like corn, greens, and any insects or rhymes if they find them.
Due to wild animals or birds of prey, it is recommended that their shelter be well secured. A high and secure fence can save your ducks. Check well around the fence and if you notice any holes fix them ASAP. A good idea would be to bury the fence net in the ground. This way the chances of something getting into them are much lower.
During the mating process, the male has a behavior that can be considered aggressive, and later he turns his attention to many of the females in the household. Afterward, the duck hatches the eggs for 21-28 days.
You shouldn’t think too much about whether to buy or not to buy a duck as you will not have to spend very much on raising them.
However, before purchasing them you should know a thing or two about the feeding, housing, or healthcare needs.
Be prepared to spend $155 to $210 in the first month for a pair of ducks, and after that $55 to $75 per month.
With benefits for breeders and widespread demand in the agri-food market, meat and duck eggs are a sure way to long-term profit. With the right growth methods and a lifestyle that suits the needs of the ducks, this activity can be practiced with minimal effort.