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Author Topic: Raising ducks organically
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Raising ducks organically    (Posted Fri, Jun 22 '12 at 09:23 UTC)

My son and I are in the process of buying a farm in order to commercially raise organic ducks and pheasants to sell to the local restaurants in Colorado. We are looking for any quality information on organic pasturing our flocks. How many square feet per duck for grazing, best grazing material, if we had 800 (4 week - 12 week) ducklings in a pasture how big does the pasture need to be, how long to we need to let the pasture "rest " Any information or resources that would be beneficial.

Ron B
 Laurel Highlands PA
Re: Raising ducks organically    (Posted Tue, Jun 26 '12 at 06:05 UTC)

Hi Ron,

I hope you have some experience raising poultry/fowl.... 800 is no small task.

Stocking rates for ducks and geese vary depending on how you pasture them, moveable pens, free range etc, what quality of grass/legume you have, rainfall etc. Ducks enjoy young tender grass, so you will have to clip it for them to forage well. You will also need to reseed it every year most likely as ducks are hard on pasture (they eat it down fast), so that's a cost you need to factor in as well. In addition you will be feeding them supplemental feed as well, probably 50-70% of their diet will come from purchased feed.

In my experience (and more aptly a friend of mine who raises thousands of ducks) 50 per acre is a good place to start. You'll have to move them multiple times per day to keep them on fresh grass.

Resting period is similar to that of any other rotational grazing system, 6-8 weeks, also depends on regrowth of your pastures etc.

Also, you have to consider processing all those ducks. They are hard to pluck yourself w/out proper equipment, and a processor will charge you extra to do game birds, around here it is $3-5 per duck to process compared to $1.10-$1.50 for chickens.

Re: Raising ducks organically    (Posted Fri, Sep 21 '12 at 10:53 UTC)

Hi All,
What I would like to do is raise my own chicken and ducks organically to be consumed by us. What I would like to know is what is the best meat chook and the best duck to do this with and what is considered organic food for these guys. So I suppose the info I'm after is:
:The best meat chooks and at what age/size would you "take them to market"
:The best ducks to fatten up and again at what age you would consider them to be ready to eat
:what is the best food considered organic to feed them.
:how many chooks and ducks would I need to "supply the chicks", would I need two-three mums to raise the eating chooks? or is it better to incubate the eggs and raise them myself from day old and just have a boy and girl to supply the eggs?
Hope this makes sense guys and thanks for your help :thumbright

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