Duck has long been on the list of agricultural birds, often bred in the conditions of domestic farms. Russian poultry farmers prefer this bird due to its possession of a multitude of all sorts of merits. First of all, these advantages include an unusual pleasant taste of meat of birds. Interestingly, farmers have recently been interested in directly breeding wild ducks at home, rather than buying already cultivated species that were domesticated decades ago. Let's see what caused this trend, and what conditions must be met for the successful breeding of wild birds.
Breeding wild ducks at home
Content step by step instructions:
Comparison of the quality characteristics of domesticated and wild duck breeds
To understand why modern farmers suddenly began, contrary to any logic, to give preference to breeding wild ducks, let's pay attention to the following comparative type table.
Table 1. Comparison of the main qualitative characteristics of wild and domesticated duck breeds
Wild ducks definitely need to equip the pond on the site, so that they can grow and develop as it should
Mallard is a wild duck, living on the territory of our country almost everywhere. It is considered one of the largest wild breeds that can potentially be tamed by humans. The maximum weight of the carcasses of these birds reaches two kilograms.
Mallard Duck and Drake
The wingspan of a mallard can sometimes be a meter. The hue of plumage in females of these birds is always brown, although its tones may vary. Nature thus created an ideal camouflage suit for them, thanks to which the survival rate of females increases, because they need to grow their babies.
The male has different colored plumage:
- emerald pearl neck,
- body gray with black inserts
- red beak and paws.
Nestlings born to the light in mallards also have a brown hue of plumage, which changes over time as the birds mature.
Mallard duck breed in its natural environment
The content of these ducks implies the obligatory arrangement of the reservoir, however, preferably shallow, so that the ducks can dive, and without any problems extract any nutrient substances from the bottom.
Details about the content of Mallard in the home read in a special article.
Red-headed Pochard duck
The duck of the species studied is somewhat smaller than the mallard. So, her body weight is about 1 kilogram 200 grams at the maximum value.
This breed got its name for the interesting coloring of plumage. Thus, the bird's head is covered with red feathers, unusually lush and soft.
Male and female ducks
These birds are gregarious. In the cold season they wander southward, and return to our lands only when they have already left the streets and the river:
The size of the body of male individuals exceeds the same parameter in females only slightly, by about 150-300 grams.
Representatives of this breed also need to equip the pond, and in addition, plant it artificially with reeds or other coastal grasses, since the thickets are the natural habitat of these wild birds.
Duck of breed Gray
The Gray Duck breed has an appearance similar to the mallard; however, its weight parameters are much more modest. Thus, the maximum value of this indicator will be no more than one and a half kilograms.
The feathers of the females of the gray duck are colored brown and gray, and the wings of these birds are speckled with white specks.
The drakes can boast of a truly gray plumage, which, however, completely falls out during the breeding, replacing feathers of the same color as the females.
However, in summer, molting in these ducks occurs so actively that representatives of both sexes cannot even fly. At this time in their natural environment, they sit in the thickets, and lead a quiet lifestyle.
What breed is recommended for cultivation at home
Unfortunately, for breeding in Russia, with its unstable climate, not every breed of wild ducks is suitable. All three that we have listed, will be able to adapt to the person.
However, as you could understand, the effectiveness of each breed is really different. So, the best option for domestication and cultivation at home - wild Mallard.
Mallard duck with chicks in the pond
These ducks are the most productive in relation to the final meat product and unpretentious in everyday use the bird, which is beneficial to keep at home. Despite its body weight, which in any case will be less than that of domesticated breeds of birds that have undergone selection metamorphoses, it is sometimes even more profitable to keep the Mallards, as these birds are from nature:
- give a lot of eggs, about 4 times more than other wild ducks,
- get fat faster
- have more healthy and strong offspring.
Caught mallards live in a prepared area, not too far from the place of residence of the farmer. However, if you want to form hunting grounds with the help of these ducks, it is best to choose a zone more distant from the settlement.
It is the most profitable mall to keep at home, as they provide the most meat and by-products
As we have already said, these ducks cannot live without a reservoir, therefore, you will have to equip it for them, or organize a farm near the lake or pond. However, this requires all the breeds we are considering, and not just the mallard.
Removal of mallards in Mallards will be carried out without the use of an incubator, since these ducks have a highly developed maternal instinct. One more thing: at a young age, youngsters can already be run into a common room for adult ducks, and not kept separately, as this breed treats the younger generation very carefully, taking care of it with the whole flock.
What kind of living conditions do wild ducks need?
In order for the wild duck to get to your farm, to quickly get used to it, and to continue to produce offspring that will be viable, it is necessary to arrange several important conditions for its living.
The pond needs to be equipped on a site necessarily. It can be artificial, or natural, if you are lucky to live by the reservoir, however, its presence is simply necessary.
Note: A simple baby bath or a small pool for children will not be enough, since in summer, ducks prefer to be in the water, for them the warm season is the bathing season. Consequently, your existing reservoir should contain at the same time most of your livestock.
For ducks, you can use both artificial and real water.
We would also like to point you to one peculiarity of keeping wild ducks: in the conditions of the natural environment, small fish are caught from the pond. Provided that you can populate your existing reservoir, it will be great, and the efficiency of keeping birds will increase. However, otherwise such a fish will have to be added to their diet separately.
Description of a wild duck
Mallard is the largest wild individual that lives in natural conditions. The weight of the bird can reach 1.5-2 kg. The bird of this breed has a very unusual plumage, the color of the duck and drake is radically different. The female has not such bright plumage, therefore it is easier for her to disguise from predators, the color of feathers is brown-red. The beak is usually painted gray or olive, the paws can be red or orange.
Males have a completely different color range. The neck and head are usually painted amber green. There must also be a white stripe on the neck of the drake, followed by dark brown feathers. The craw of the bird should be gray. The beak, like that of a female, is usually olive-colored, with an orange foot. The drakes and ducks have purple feathers on their wings, they can only be seen at the moment when the bird takes off. All progeny of Mallard are colored yellow-brown.
In the natural habitat of the Mallard lives near lakes or other bodies of water, therefore, at home keeping it cannot do without water. Birds are very fond of when there are reeds or other vegetation in the lake in which they can disguise themselves. If you provide birds with such a small trifle, they will be more trotting and gaining weight faster.
Breeding wild duck
Mature age comes when the bird is one year old. Breeding wild ducks it is best to start in the fall, at this time of year the birds in their natural habitat creates pairs. Since the birds are forced to look for a safe place for breeding and fly to warmer lands, the breeding season may be delayed until August. When growing Mallards in the home, this time is reduced.
No special conditions for breeding wild birds need to be created. Ducks during this period require a warm room with equipped nests, preferably in a dark corner. It is desirable that the house was located near the water. Sometimes ducks may want to additionally build their nest, then they will bring dry grass into it. Clean it is not worth it, so the birds will feel more comfortable. Wild ducks have a very strong parental instinct, so the drake protects the female during the laying of eggs. During the incubation period, the drake begins to molt.
In one laying can be from 5 to 15 eggs, they have a small weight, about 50 grams. The eggshell can be cast in green. It is best for the ducklings to incubate the hen, since this is how they are more likely to survive. Chicks hatch on day 27. 14 hours after hatching, the duck will first lead its offspring to a pond.
With regard to the care and breeding of ducks for poultry farmers, it is much better for newbies to wind up wild birds, since they are more independent birds and, at the same time, are also early ripening.
Features of the wild bird
The content of these birds in captivity involves the creation of conditions for them, ideally close to their natural habitat. It is important not to forget that these birds will constantly strive at will, therefore special care is needed for them. Be sure to cut off water wings at an early age.
The undoubted advantage of wild ducks over domestic breeds is their strong immunity, which is produced in birds living in freedom. Among the shortcomings is to provide a more rigid meat and their relatively small size.
But, if the diet of these birds does not differ from the diet of domestic birds, then their meat will soon acquire different taste qualities, will become similar to the usual duck. These aquatic animals get along well with the domestic herd, successfully breed in captivity and breed healthy offspring. A distinctive feature of these birds - eggs with green shells.
What breed to choose
For breeding this category of birds is best to choose one breed. As representatives of different species of wild ducks require individual care.
The most popular breeds are:
- mallard ordinary. One of the favorite breeds for keeping in poultry houses. Because of its large size (the weight of an adult can reach 2 kilograms) and the unpretentiousness of the mallard has become the favorite of farmers. To make the mallard feel comfortable, it needs to provide constant access to the reservoir. Even in winter, these birds are happy to arrange water procedures for themselves,
- red headed pochard. This breed is small in size, the weight of the drakes and females is slightly different and is about 1.2 kg.
How to catch a wild duck live for breeding at home
There are three basic ways to catch a wild duck alive. Some can only be done by experienced hunters, and some even by a beginner.
So, the wild inhabitant of rivers and lakes can be caught alive with the help of:
- by hands.
Video: how to catch a wild duck using a trap Only experienced hunters can cope with a loop with the help of a loop: a bird is attracted by a bait (food that it loves) and the hunter, sitting in ambush, draws a loop on its legs or torso. The complexity of the method lies in the high risk of injury to birds
Trapping is much easier. To catch a bird alive and unharmed, you only need a box or cage, equipped with a special return mechanism, which is triggered by the weight of a duck. When the bird sits on the roof of the trap, it will fall inside. To facilitate the process of fishing, you can use baits, which are placed on the covers of boxes.
Catching wild birds with their hands is only possible for those who know the basic rules of duck behavior. When danger is approaching, the uterus distracts the predator's attention to itself, and the young bird tries to hide. At this time, he is most vulnerable, because the birds do not move and sit quietly.
Nutrition and feeding
Whatever the diet of wild ducks, they will never gain the mass of their domestic counterparts. The only thing that can be achieved in such a diet is the similarities in the taste qualities of the meat of wild and domestic birds. In the wild, these waterfowl eat fish, river vegetation, algae and small insects.
In captivity, you can feed ducks with hard varieties of barley and buckwheat, fresh fish, small crustaceans, bloodworms. Food should be chopped, but not very finely. Be sure to eat birds should eat medium-sized pebbles and clean river sand. It is also important that ducks have round-the-clock access to clean drinking water. Ducklings eat the same thing as chickens - grass, boiled egg, vitamin supplements.
The owner should take care of regular cleaning in the duckling. This will help avoid the spread of various diseases.
Since wild ducks have a strong immunity, their vaccination is carried out only in dysfunctional in terms of incidence of farms.
Video: breeding wild ducks at home It is important that the bird has the opportunity to freely walk around the territory of the house - for wild ducks, walking and the availability of natural or artificial water bodies is obligatory. The paddock should be equipped with a canopy that will help protect the birds from rain and sun.
Conditions of detention
These birds tolerate cold well, so the duckling does not need special heating. But it is better if the owner still takes care of protecting the herd from severe frosts and provides for the possibility of warming the room. It should also be aired daily to avoid the spread of various infections.
The room should be clean and dry. The Utyatnik itself must be spacious enough - the ideal density of heads is no more than three per square meter. In the warm season, waterfowl feel comfortable in the fresh air, where they can be around the clock. With the onset of cold weather, they need to organize lighting (daylight to preserve egg production should last at least 14 hours) and warm the floor with a thick layer of straw bedding. In nature, wild ducks equip their nests in small pits.
At home, for waterfowl you can build special nests, but not the fact that the bird wants to sit on it. These birds are good mothers who boast strong and fast-growing offspring. Therefore, human intervention in the care of newborn chicks is minimized.
Breeding wild inhabitants of reservoirs at home does not require special knowledge and a lot of work. With the right approach, it can be not only interesting, but also quite profitable occupation. After all, tasty and protein-rich wild duck meat is highly valued in the market, and the birds themselves are always in demand in forestry.
However, it must be remembered that the water balance in the body of wild ducks is restored by water not only from the outside, but also from the inside;
Bad, stagnant water to ducks is contraindicated, since you will not find one in the river, and wild males do not survive in wetland conditions.
Duck drinkers are best suited to ducks.
Another prerequisite is the creation of a poultry house, which will be:
- warmed, but not necessarily heated,
- protected from drafts,
- equipped with high-quality ventilation system.
Inside the house, ducks will hide in the cold, escaping from low temperatures.
That is why it is necessary to equip it in such a way that it would be convenient for birds to make a room:
- equipped with bird nests
- insulated peat bedding.
Inside the house it is necessary to define several zones, and to separate them from each other not only visually, but also real:
- mother liquor,
- department for keeping adults,
- zone for young animals.
In the mother liquor usually contain one duck herd, containing only:
Впрочем, если вас интересует более высокая производственная интенсивность, вы можете добавить в стадо еще одну несушку.
Птичник для уток нужно в обязательном порядке зонировать
Внутри птичника также должны стоять поилки объемной величины, однако, в этом случае они уже должны быть закрытыми, чтобы:
- утки не загрязняли воду слишком быстро,
- вода не промерзала в условиях неотапливаемого птичника,
- Ducks do not swim inside the drinkers, if they are of sufficient size.
It is very convenient to use drip drinkers for ducks. However, if in the winter you will not have the opportunity to equip the automatic replenishment of the drinking system, you can give the bird purified snow.
In the zone where the broodstock will live, it is necessary to arrange separate nests for the ducks, preferably fenced off by walls from each other. Let's look at the instructions for making such duck houses in which ducklings will be bred in the future.
How to make nest for wild ducks
Step number 1 - collect the necessary materials
To make nests suitable for living wild ducks, you can use the available materials. So, we need to collect:
- wooden slats
- self-tapping screws
- pencil or pen.
Now, when we got hold of all the necessary devices, we proceed to further work.
Step number 2 - we cut out the parts and collect nests
From plywood, we will need to cut two squares with sides equal to 40 centimeters.
In one of the squares, approximately at the level of the middle, a hole is made, also square, with sides equal to 17 centimeters. It is very important for Laz to sand with sandpaper, so that the ducks, inside, do not accidentally injure themselves on chipped or sharp edges.
Now we cut out two rectangular parts, the value of which will be the following:
- 50 centimeters in length,
- 40 centimeters in height.
After that, it will also be necessary to cut the ceiling part of the same size, and then install the segments into place, and fix them relative to each other using self-tapping screws.
We collect nests for ducks
Then, from the prepared rails, the floor is knocked down, which is then covered with a bed of hay or shavings. Ready nests can be installed directly on the floor.
Hooray, our duck nest is ready! Similarly, you can make as many of these nests as you need to breed a new generation of ducklings.
Walking for ducks
Next to the house, it is necessary to equip a walking area for ducks, such that they can move into the fresh air, leaving directly from the hen house, thus depriving you of the need to keep an eye on them. The top of the range is best done closed, for example, to cover it with a grid of steel cells. The same material is also preferably used for walls.
The duckling should be equipped with a captive range for ducks, otherwise the birds will be sick
Provided that you will contain a large number of individuals, you will not need to equip the paddock with a reservoir during cold periods of the year, however, for several ducks you can put a small pool.
Feeding wild ducks at home
Feeding wild ducks is key to their rapid weight gain and overall health. That is why, it is necessary to introduce balanced feed substances into the food of wild birds, so that they do not feel worse than in conditions of wild nature.
Feeding ducks produced:
- three times a day during the cold season
- twice a day in the warm season.
At the same time, we remember that part of the bird's food should be received in the pond that you organize for them, be it at least coastal vegetation, even fish of extremely small species.
Many farmers prefer to feed ducks with combined feed.
You can use two types of food for feeding ducks:
- ready combined feed,
- wet mixes made up of plant foods on their own.
On the one hand, feed is not cheap, on the other hand, how much easier it will be to feed the ducks, saving time on the preparation of vegetable mash from:
- grated root vegetables,
- carrot tops,
- grain crops
- hay flour, etc.
In the diet of ducks, it is important to include protein supplements, such as bone meal.
In addition, it is necessary to additionally introduce into the diet of ducks with natural feeding also:
- fish and meat waste, either in the form of flour, or in the form of minced meat,
- cottage cheese.
Even under the condition that you have chosen feed, periodically it will be necessary in any case to feed the ducks:
- in chalk
- baker's yeast.
These supplements are necessary for duck organisms.
Stern shell can be purchased in finished form
What way of feeding to choose, it's up to you. We can only say that, in reality, the choice of a specific nutritional system does not have any influence on the duck mass selection and the quality of duck meat. The main thing to remember is that any feed in birds should be abundant, since wild ducks have a much more developed metabolism.
Let's sum up
Wild ducks today are increasingly found in domestic farms. The fact is that, despite the lower compared to the long-domesticated species of this bird, the characteristics of the final product produced by the duck, its unpretentiousness causes much lower costs of rearing, while ensuring decent quantitative and qualitative characteristics:
Keeping wild ducks is a profitable business for modern farmers.
By taming wild ducks, you can also lower the initial cost of buying individuals for breeding. According to the results, you will only need to equip the bird with decent living conditions. If you successfully cope with the breeding of mallards, then you can move on to more demanding and whimsical fruits of breeding work.
Features breeding, content of wild ducks
No need for specific conditions. In food, animals are unpretentious: they do not need special food. You can not equip the cells in addition, heating the house is not required. This is due to the fact that wild animals are less whimsical.
You do not need to purchase an incubator, which will please novices. At any time of year, individuals live quietly in a brick building. To make the birds feel good, you need to make a paddock with a net. The animals calmly tolerate low temperatures, and even in the cold, wild individuals feel fine.
Females rush for 1-2 weeks, lay 7-12 eggs in the nest, then begin to hatch them. Mallards like to put their eggs in the nests of other ducks, because sometimes there may be up to 20 ducks in the brood.
Most females hatch eggs on their own. The males at this time are engaged in the search for food and the protection of the nest, and some are generally little interested in their offspring. Incubation of eggs lasts 29-31 days, the ducklings are born strong, they can immediately swim and get their food. In the wild, ducks can have 1-2 broods per season, 2-3 at home.
How to catch a duck
Hunting for wild ducks is one of the most popular. The season opens in late autumn, when the ducks are well fed and are going to fly away the warmer edges. Also in some regions, hunting is allowed in early spring, before the onset of the breeding season. But at this time the weight of ducks is less, some wild meat may have a specific smell and taste.
Many imagine a duck hunt exclusively with a gun. But these birds can be caught without firearms. There are ways to not injure the duck, then to grow at home. They are very ancient, because the first breeds were bred exactly like this: birds were caught near lakes, brought home, fattened, and only then sent to the face.
So, how many ways are there to hunt ducks without a gun and how to catch a wild duck without injuring her? There are a lot of methods, here are some of them:
- in a basket with a hinged lid,
- on the loop or snare,
- into a trap.
Attract ducks using decoy, the sound of which imitates the voice of a bird. Attack ducks are also popular.
To catch a duck on a hook, you need to have a fishing line, a hook and a bait. The line is fixed on the shore with a brick or stone. As bait you can use small fish, entrails, a piece of fat. You can put a few baits and attract duck decoys. The bird will swallow food with a hook and will not be able to free itself. You can use a button instead of a hook.
Basket with hinged lid
The method is more complex, but allows you to catch a duck without injuring her. You need to make a basket with a lid that folds inward. Fix the basket between several logs. Pour some earth on top and lay the bait. The bird, attracted by the smell and type of food, climbs onto the lid and falls into the basket. You can take it and take it home.
Loop and snare
Self-tightening loop set in the place where the ducks stay for the night. A bait is placed near it, it is best to take corn with minced fish, fry or a piece of bacon. The hunter hides next to the loop, watches the ducks and holds the end of the cord to tighten it around the neck of the duck when she finds the bait. The method requires some skill, because it is not available to everyone. The bird is injured, it should immediately be sent for slaughter.
The principle is the same. Only the loop is tightened not on the neck, but on the foot. You can think of the installation so that the loop is tightened on the foot independently. If you catch a wild duck by force, it will remain alive, but the paw may be broken.
There are standard traps that are a rectangular box. A door with a lanyard is installed in the front of it, which automatically closes if the ducks see the bait and go inside. As bait use food or stuffed bird. Instead of a box, you can make a network on a support that covers the duck. In such traps the bird remains alive, it can be fattened at home. You can see the traps in the photo.
Content at home
Keeping wild ducks at home is quite possible. Contrary to popular belief, birds are easy to tame, because they are attached to the feeding places. If there is a lot of food, why return to a wild state? In extreme cases, the birds pruned wings. Most often, mallards are grown at home; decorative mandarins are duck mandarins and gogols. Caring for ducks is simple, they eat little, so do not require large expenditures.
For the maintenance of wild breeds in the household must be equipped with a paddock. You can release birds for free-range walking: they will return to places where there is a lot of food (in the owner's yard). House for ducks built of brick or wood, you can use the existing shed. Birds are unpretentious to the conditions, the only requirement is adequate heating in winter. Wild ducks must have access to water. It is desirable that this was a natural reservoir. An alternative to a pond can be a small pool or bathroom in the courtyard.
How to feed wild ducks? Almost all birds eat, but feeding should be adequate so that the birds gain weight well. In the diet include:
- small fish
- meat or fish mince,
- aquatic plants (duckweed, algae),
- meadow herbs and rhizomes of meadow plants,
- grain, best barley, millet, corn,
- tops of garden plants and vegetables.
Be sure to mix the ducks in the food fine sand, gravel, shells and chalk. This is necessary to ensure that the food is better outweighed, the necessary materials have been ingested. Do not give black bread, muffins, sugar, spoiled food, so that birds do not hit the disease.
Breeding wild ducks in the household is a feasible task. It should be noted that, unlike the domesticated ones, these birds form pairs. If several ducks are planted on one of the ducks, he will choose one, the others will be ignored. With good care from the pair can be obtained for the season 2-3 broods. Some species mate only in water (for example, mandarin), this should also be considered when planning breeding.
Scramble duck starts in April. In the clutch appears 7-12 eggs. If you collect them, the duck can carry more. Wild living has developed a good maternal instinct in birds, so they perfectly incubate and raise chicks. Incubation of eggs lasts 28-30 days. The ducklings appear completely formed, covered with a fluff; in the very first hours, the duck takes them to the water.
Feeding small ducklings in the first days after breeding is standard. They are given a boiled egg, a curd with chopped greens. A couple of days in the diet, you can add steamed millet or porridge, meat and fish mince. Very soon the duck will teach them to get food on their own. The wild duckling quickly gets to its feet, swims well since birth. The chicks are very friendly, caring and attentive. They can grow even without a female, huddling together in an organized flock. The survival rate of chicks with ducks is high.
How to cut a wild duck
Many housewives ask how to pluck a wild duck and cut it. The process is difficult and requires considerable effort. Plucking is the most laborious step in cutting a carcass. There are several ways:
- scalding with boiling water,
- scalding in the bag
- dry plucking.
In the first case, the duck gently poured a few liters of boiling water. At the same time it is necessary to ensure that the water falls on the base of feathers When the carcass has cooled, you can begin to pluck. You can put a wild duck in a bag and put it in boiling water for 15-20 minutes. Then it is pulled out and ironed with a hot iron. Feathers depart even better than in the first case. Dry-plucked wild duck is the hardest, it can take several hours, but the carcass will be stored longer. It is better to imagine the process of cutting by photo and video lessons.
After the duck is plucked, the remains of feathers and down are burned over the fire. The finished carcass can be cut into pieces or cooked whole. After dry plucking, it is well stored in the refrigerator for several days. If necessary, the carcass is frozen, but then the taste of meat deteriorates.