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Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks, 2nd Edition Paperback

Storey's Guide To Raising Ducks

Ducks are the easiest domestics birds to raise for food and are fun to raise as their antics are entertaining.  Ducks are also exceptionally hardy and healthy, they produce eggs and meat very efficiently, and most breeds are very weatherproof.  They are easier to raise than Chickens and produce larger eggs and more of them in comparisons.   Ducks consume large quantities of pests such as flies, mosquito larvae, slugs, snails, grubs, weed seeds, and other insects, so they turn these pests into food for you and your family.  

Why you might need it

Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks provides vital information for anyone wanting to raise ducklings and keep ducks. It covers everything - choosing the right breed, including rare breeds and hybrid ducks, breeding and rearing practices, feeding, butchering, and a comprehensive resource section for both the novice and the veteran farmer.  If you are a prepper or survivalist, having this book and getting started raising ducks for food will be valuable for your long term survival planning.

One of the unusual things about ducks & ducklings are that they are well adapted to either a small place or to large-scale commercial production.  Although helpful, you do not have to have a pond or stream to raise ducks. You can create your own duck pen and raise ducks in your backyard. The more popular meat duck breeds include the Pekin, Rouen and Muscovy. The White Pekin produces delicious, healthy white meat and is one of the best ducks for meat production. The Rouen is very flavorful and the males are easy to distinguish from the females. The Muscovy has meat similar to ham or sirloin steak, yet is much leaner (98% fat free).  The Muscovy is also a very quiet and hardy duck, so it is great for raising in an urban environment.

Mature ducks are practically immune to cold and wet weather.  Even then you should provide free access to dry shelter for your ducks & ducklings during cold wet weather, especially for those breeds such as the Muscovy which tend to have less water repellency than most breeds.

Ducks are one of the most efficient producers of animal protein.  The best Duck Strains for high egg production include the Campbells, Welsh Harlequins and special hybrids.  These ducks lay eggs as well or better than the best egg laying Chicken breeds and can produce 275 to 325 eggs per hen per year.  Duck eggs are also 25% to 35% larger than Chicken eggs produced by hens of the same size.

The following chart is from Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks.  Click on the chart to learn more about this book.

General Comparison Of Poultry

Great Source Of Duck Feed & Supplies

If you decide to raise Ducks, Blain's Farm & Fleet is a great "one stop" place to get all of your bulk food & supplies for your Ducks & Ducklings.  Much of the equipment is exactly the same.  The Feeds are different.

Direct links to Blain Farm & Fleet categories:  

The following are some of the best duck breeds for meat.

If your main purpose for raising ducks is for butchering, you will want one of the heavier meat breeds. The most common are Pekins (also called Giant White Pekins), Rouen, and Muscovy. There are other breeds, such as the Aylesbury and Swedish, that will provide a decent amount of meat. 
  • Eggs Only:  If efficient egg production is your main goal, Anconas, Campbells, Harlequins, Magpies and Runners should be given top priority.
  • Eggs & Meat:  If you want ducks that combine good egg production and large meat birds of gourmet quality, try the Appleyards and Saxonies.  For high egg yields and excellent meat birds of medium size, Anconas, Harlequins and Magpies are hard to beat.  Campbells, Hook Bills and Runners are lean, high-quality, medium-small meat birds when butchered in prime condition.

  • Giant White Pekin Ducks
    • Weight Class = Heavy
    • Male - 10 lbs
    • Female - 9 lbs.
    • Yearly Egg Production = 125 - 225
Giant White Pekins

  • Muscovy Ducks
    • Weight Class = Heavy
    • Male - 12 lbs
    • Female - 7 lbs.
    • Yearly Egg Production = 50 - 125

  • Rouen Ducks
    • Weight Class = Heavy
    • Male - 10 lbs
    • Female - 9 lbs.
    • Yearly Egg Production = 35 - 125
Rouen Ducks

    • Aylesbury Ducks
      • Weight Class = Heavy
      • Male - 10 lbs
      • Female - 9 lbs.
      • Yearly Egg Production = 35 - 125
    Aylesbury Ducks

      • Swedish Ducks
        • Weight Class = Medium
        • Male - 8 lbs
        • Female - 7 lbs.
        • Yearly Egg Production = 100 - 150
      Swedish Ducks

      • Ancona Ducks
        • Weight Class = Medium
        • Male - 6.5 lbs
        • Female - 6 lbs.
        • Yearly Egg Production = 210 - 280
      Ancona Ducks

      • Campbell Ducks
        • Weight Class = Light
        • Male - 4.5 lbs
        • Female - 4 lbs.
        • Yearly Egg Production = 250 - 340
      Campbell Ducks

      • Harlequin Ducks
        • Weight Class = Light
        • Male - 4.5 lbs
        • Female - 4 lbs.
        • Yearly Egg Production = 240 - 330
      Harlequin Ducks

      • Magpie Ducks
        • Weight Class = Light
        • Male - 5 lbs
        • Female - 4.5 lbs.
        • Yearly Egg Production = 220 - 290
      Magpie Ducks

      • Runner Ducks
        • Weight Class = Light
        • Male - 4.5 lbs
        • Female - 4 lbs.
        • Yearly Egg Production = 150 - 300
      Runner Ducks

      • Appleyard Ducks
        • Weight Class = Heavy
        • Male - 9 lbs
        • Female - 8 lbs.
        • Yearly Egg Production = 200 - 270
      Appleyard Ducks

      • Saxony Ducks
        • Weight Class = Heavy
        • Male - 9 lbs
        • Female - 8 lbs.
        • Yearly Egg Production = 190 - 240
      Saxony Ducks

      • Hook Bill Ducks
        • Weight Class = Light
        • Male - 4 lbs
        • Female - 3.5 lbs.
        • Yearly Egg Production = 100 - 225
      Hook Bill Ducks

      Selected Amazon Feedback

      "Great book...I own many breeds of waterfowl and this is an excellent guide to everything duck. Highly recommended."

      "This book is an EXCELLENT starter for when you're contemplating a flock of ducks but haven't made the move to buy them yet. Holderread bred most of the important duck breeds himself, so I trust his information completely..."

      "Raising ducks!! A must have . This book will save you many headaches.  I raised twenty four Pekings with the help of this book. All thrived, grew rapidly and brought a good price. The author knows his facts and covered everything I needed raise happy healthy ducks. The illustrations are very easy to understand."

      "Great duck book. We purchased our duckling 2 days after I finished reading this. Easy read and great reference book for anyone wanting to raise ducklings for eggs, meat or entertainment."

      "I love the "Storey's Guide to Raising..." books. They are just packed with great information. I'm getting ready to start my backyard ranch and these books will be indispensable."

      "If you breed ducks, or plan to raise them, buy this book!  I love, Love, LOVE this book. The very best section, to me, is the detailed explanation of duck genetics. With the information in that section, I have been able to work with the Duck Genetics calculator (, and can now predict the outcome of various pairings.  I enjoy the descriptions, and appreciate the histories of each breed. I haven't even finished reading it yet!"

      "Nothing beats a Storey's guide for reliable and accurate information. I don't believe there is anyone west of the Mississippi who knows as much about ducks as Dave Holderread. Put the two together and you have one awesome resource for everything from choosing the right duck for your yard, personality, and purpose to how to handle an emergency....It was lovely to have someone write to me and not at me or down at me. Some books treat readers as if they are children, others are trying to convince readers not to have ducks as pets, some are only about how to make money. Holderread covers all these things, but also gives the pet owner the information needed to have healthy happy ducks. Whether you want three little girls to eat your slugs or 100 gals to produce an income, this is the best book to get--you can trust me, I've read 47 books on raising ducks."

      "If you only buy one book about raising ducks, this is the one you want.  This book helped me choose a breed, design a predator-resistant duck house and duck yard, and create a healthy feeding/watering plan. With its help, I raised mail-order ducklings to a healthy laying flock--losing only 1 out of 9 ducklings.  It is a VERY PRACTICAL guide written by a man who has tons of experience breeding, raising, and showing ducks of many different breeds. It has probably some of the best breed descriptions (although, of course, not lots of beautiful color photos) in any duck book I've read. His duck feeding, watering, and housing guides are in-depth and practical. I refer to them frequently as the needs of my flock change. I find if I'm running into trouble--it's usually because I disregarded one of his suggestions. His health section has tips to prevent illness in the first place, and treatment suggestions keeping in mind the real world value of your average duck. There is a short section on butchering/ recipes too, as well as showing."

      Recommended Duck Supplies

      YouTube Videos

      The following YouTube video shows Raising Muskovy Ducks in an Urban Setting

      Raising Muskovy Ducks in an Urban Setting

      The following YouTube video shows an easy Garden tank duck pond

      Garden tank duck pond

      The following YouTube video shows Ducks vs. Chickens + Duck Breed Comparison

      Ducks vs. Chickens + Duck Breed Comparison

      The following YouTube video demonstrates how to raise, eat, and enjoy ducks!

      Complete Guide to Homestead Ducks

      The following YouTube video demonstrates how to kill, b
      utcher and clean a duck.  Warning:  Graphic video

      Butchering and Cleaning a Duck

      Other Recommended Raising Animals For Food Books

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