To breed domestic ducks, acquire a male and female duck of proper breeding age, and arrange for them to mate. After mating, the female duck lays fertilized eggs that must be incubated until the ducklings are hatched.Continue Reading
Select a young male duck, known as a drake, and five to 10 young female ducks, known as hens, to comprise your breeding stock. The optimal age is between six months and one year. The number of ducks a drake can service depends on breed, age and space limitations.
To help ensure maximum egg production, the ducks need 14 hours of natural or artificial light per day. They need regular exposure starting three weeks prior to the desired breeding period. Hens should be housed in a dry shed area with 6 square feet of space per hen.
Let the drake mingle with the hens. This typically requires an adjustment period of a few days, which may disrupt the normal laying pattern. Two weeks after introduction, start collecting eggs for incubation. Eggs should be kept at 55 degrees Fahrenheit and turned daily until incubation.
When the desired quantity of eggs have been gathered, they must be incubated by natural or artificial means for 28 to 35 days. If a broody hen is used to hatch the eggs, place her nest in a secluded area with a close supply of food and water. If using an artificial incubator, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on temperature, humidity and rate of turning the eggs.
As the ducklings hatch out, it is best to remove them from the nest or incubator, and place them under a heat source until they are mature enough to survive.