North East India is famous for the number of indigenous breeds of duck under different traditional systems. Duck meat and eggs have a great demand throughout. No grand celebration is ever complete without consuming duck meat. The Eastern and North Eastern parts of India account for a major portion of the country’s duck population.
Duck farming is a subsidiary source of income for all farmers irrespective of caste or religion and no farmer is said to be financed by finance agents. It forms an important component of the integrated farming system.
- For the hatching of duck eggs, farmers depend upon broody ducks or hens that are considered as the natural incubator.
- Mating is carried out at 3-4 months of age.
- Artificial heat is not used for brooding ducklings.
- The food fed to the ducks should be also of good quality.
- They are mainly fed grains, crushed snails, are left near ponds or waterlogged areas to look for fishes, etc.
- The most common duck diseases are duck cholera, duck plague, hepatitis and botulism. Farmers offer health protection in the form of occasional vaccination against duck plague.
Duck farming for eggs and duck farming for meat is quite a common practice in North East India. Sale takes place either at the local market or at the farmer’s doorstep to individuals and local traders.
- The rearing cost of a grower from the time of hatching was averaged at Rs. 36. 54.
- The rearing cost of a layer from 21-72 weeks was averaged at Rs. 197.05.
- Indian Runner and Khaki Campbell are the best breeds for duck farming business.
- Ducks continue to lay eggs for a long period of time.
- The mortality rate of ducks is very low, thus making your investment less risky. They also live longer than chickens.
- They need to be given food and water only during the day time.
- Everyday items cooked in the kitchen can be good duck-feed also.
Duck farming is a very constructive tool for the socio-economic development of rural people. Duck rearing is a simple yet profitable business and involves little or no hassle when it comes to management either.