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A LARGE AMERICAN DUCK FARM

. ~ — : ' "♦ .' " L-;. ; :. ; Tha « Poultry Keeper " famishes the , following In rala-lon to Mr Rankln'a duck farm. Mr Rsnkin says :~ We have got out the present season aome 7000 duoks, chicks, and goslings. Over 2000 daoklin^a have already gone to s market-. We have 1000 of the choicest ree served for breeding purpoieß, 600 of whloh c are already engsged at prfoeß considerably i t above their market valae. The maximum 3 prioos obtained for duokllnga were 30 , cents per pound ; r the minimam, 15 cents; •" the average, about 21 oenta. Careful estimates and rape.ued experiments have oonvincad ua that ducks can be put upon d the market at a cost to the growsr of not ; . over five cents per ppuad. As these „, d^ckllogs when qareluliy fed, are readj s for market when nine or ten weeks old, _ it follows that three months from the time when the mioblnea are filled with s eggs the ducklings are pot upon the market at a profit of over 400 per cent on all iavsstments ' . .:. We wintered the past - season 150 dacka. • with the proper comp'ement of drakes. ] Those ducks commenced leying January a Ist, and up to tbe.prfsmt time' have furuished ua with 18,450 eggs, or a little ' more than 123 egga each. The hlrda are now moulting, and are giving u 3 about a dozen egga pop day. '< In October, when they recover plumage, they will oommenoe laying, and can be relied upon for about 1 30 eggs eacb, which will' 'give at least 150 p eega per. dock for the season. We will s aay here that oar best hens and e?g prodacera have never equalled the record of our duoka either aa winter or summer leyeraw Onr young ducks, hatched M«tah 15th, oommenoed laying Auguat Ist, and have been laying ever since.' We are getting quite a bsaket of egga dally from these yonng duoka. Of tha 18.4E0 egg» above referred to, come 4000 of them we j used for pnrpoaea of Inonbation, and the reat were all sold at remunerative prices for othora to hatch. Mauy of oue orders 1 -we were quite unable to fill. Many bom- » plain of losing their duokllu'gs through ■ weakness la their legs and Inability to t stand, Thip, we think, la owing to too . highly concentrated food. The natural food of the dook In Its wild state la grass r and flish of all kinda. Thia can be Bupplemented by a grain dle^, compoaed of ■ equaV parta of good wheat, " bran, and ; oornmeal, with plenty of vegetables of all i kinds— potatoes, turnips, beets, oabbage, • etc. We fed one buahel of cookad turnipa , per day throughout the entire winter, mixed with meal, shorta and beef scrapa. Dacka will not thrive on an exclaalve grain diet . They are grass feeders, requiring a larger quantity of feed than hetjß, bnt.are not particular ai to qaality. We grow our young dncka In yards of; about 10 by 100/ tin extent, putting 100 to each yard. It is absolutely neceseary to o jnfipo them thus, as they will not only ihi theilr fleah 6fF, bat will greedily eat all manner of Ineeota which they do not atop 'to kill, and too often pay the penalty with their lives. We give water regularly, the B»me aa food, and only anffioient for them to drink. Shade (a essential. It is astonishlDg to see how ducka and apple, pear and plum trees harmoniae. The duoka thrive upon the inseots, ehade, and falling leaves, and bo eurioh the ground that the treoß are loaded with large, fair fruit, Our dnoklingß dreea upon an averago of five pounds at nine weeka old, so that wo usually grow two and sometimes three crops of them on the same land each season. Theae yards are ploughed up and re-aeeded with grass and rye m the fall, the crop, of course, diainfectlng ; the ground, besldea furnishing green food for the young dnoklinga dnrtog the early spring. We . feed largely during the summer on green corn fodder, whloh is out up fine, The young blrda not on'y fatten on It readily, but seem to enjoy it hugely, especially the stock. We are carefnl not to feed more than the blrda will eat dean, and if too m,uq.h ia fed gather up the i residuum, Our losses wlth^ ducklinga have not averaged more than one per oenfc for the hat two years, and that mostly by accident. ' ' :

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18881201.2.15

Bibliographic details

A LARGE AMERICAN DUCK FARM, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2002, 1 December 1888

Word Count
743

A LARGE AMERICAN DUCK FARM Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2002, 1 December 1888

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