Buy breeding stock from reliable duck raisers in your locality.
Start with day-old ducklings. But be sure to buy those birds which have the following characteristics:
– steady legs
– alert eyes
– healthy-looking down feathers
– no physical defects
Do not buy ducklings which seem to be “sleepy.” If you are buying ducklings for egg production, try to purchase from a farmer who has a good egg production from his flock.
- Separate the males from the females right after you get them from the seller. Male ducklings, unlike day-old chickens, possess a well-developed copulatory organ or penis.
- To determine the sex, place the ducklings on the palm of the left hand upside down, with the abdomen facing the sexer. Press the thumb of that hand on the abdominal region near the vent with the forefinger resting at the base of the tail.
- Now, with the right hand middle and forefinger press the tail backward while the thumb of the right hand is used to stretch the vent, thus everting the cloaca. In the male, a tiny projection of the sex organ (which looks the tip of a ballpoint pen) is exposed to view; in the females this is absent. The distinguishing mark will appear only when the technique is right.
The most critical period in the life of ducklings is the first three weeks.The ducklings are very nervous during this period. A slight disturbance
would cause them to stampede and crowd in a corner thus resulting in the death of the weaker ones.
It is, therefore, important to approach them with care during this period. Unnecessary disturbance must be avoided.