Duck rearing became a major industry in Aylesbury in the 19th century. The ducks were bred on farms in the surrounding countryside. Fertilized eggs were brought into the town’s “Duck End”, where local residents would rear the ducklings in their homes. The opening of a railway to Aylesbury in 1839 enabled cheap and quick transport to the markets of London, and duck rearing became highly profitable. By the 1860s the duck rearing industry began to move out of Aylesbury into the surrounding towns and villages, and the industry in Aylesbury itself began to decline.

In 1873 the Pekin duck was introduced to the United Kingdom. Although its meat was thought to have a poorer flavour than that of the Aylesbury duck, the Pekin was hardier and cheaper to rise. Many breeders switched to the Pekin duck or to Aylesbury-Pekin crosses. By the beginning of the 20th century competition from the Pekin duck, inbreeding, and disease in the pure-bred Aylesbury strain and the rising cost of duck feed meant the Aylesbury duck industry was in decline.

The First World War badly damaged the remaining duck industry in Buckinghamshire, wiping out the small scale producers and leaving only a few large farms. Disruption caused by the Second World War further damaged the industry. By the 1950s only one significant flock of Aylesbury ducks remained in Buckinghamshire and by 1966 there were no duck-breeding or -rearing businesses of any size remaining in Aylesbury itself. Although there is only one surviving flock of pure Aylesbury ducks in the United Kingdom and the breed is critically endangered in the United States, the Aylesbury duck remains a symbol of the town of Aylesbury, and appears on the coat of arms of Aylesbury and on the club badge of Aylesbury United.


Ducks are one of the best birds to keep domestically and also for commercial purposes. Although here in Uganda many have not taken up the idea, farmers world over are heavily venturing in the bird because of its profitability compared to the chicken. Apart from duck being highly resistant to diseases they also layer a great deal of eggs than a layer chicken.

The negative perception towards ducks has greatly hinded their marketability and productivity but that doesn’t mean that these birds can’t be reared for commercially, I will elaborate this in detail.


There are several duck breeds world over, however for commercial farmers I will categorize this into two types namely; the layers and meat ducks.


These are for specifically laying eggs. The ducks egg is bigger than a chicken egg by 20 gms, this ducks begin laying at 4 mouths and go to their 2 year, this means they have a long productivity rate than a layer chicken.

1        khaki Campbell

 This originated in England, it has the highest egg rearing record at 365 eggs in a year on average.it is a small duck and both the male and the duck weigh 5 pounds when mature. The drakes have a brownish bronze neck, tails converts, heads and lower backs. The rest of the body is khaki colored. They also have orange feet and dark green bills.

The duck is seal brown heads and legs, khaki plumage, greenish bills and brownish legs and feet,

England also has the white a dark Campbell. This breed is not in Uganda; its egg can be purchased from waterfowl at 3.05 pounds each.

2        Indian runner

This originated from Eastern India its egg production rates are second to the khaki Campbell. It is a small duck and a mature one weighs 4 and a half pounds. These are tall and straight birds, they don’t fly but just runner about, these are great birds in regard to entertainment if you have running kids these can fit properly home. They are breeds in various colours of black, blue, white and brown they are also great forgers. Not found in Uganda.

Generally all layer ducks are not good mothers;they may not incubate their eggs or properly look after their ducklings.



1        Aylesbury

This is the best breed for meat purposes because of their creamy meat and light bone.it weighs 10 pounds when mature. The breed is not in Uganda although conditions can sustain it.

The precise origin of the Aylesbury duck is unclear,before the 18th century, duck breeds were rarely recorded in England, and the common duck, bred for farming, was a domesticated form of the wild mallard. The common duck varied in color, and as in the wild, white ducks would occasionally occur. White ducks were particularly prized, as their feathers were popular as filler for quilts

In the 18th century selective breeding of white common ducks led to a white domestic duck, generally known as the English White.Since at least the 1690s ducks had been farmed in Aylesbury and raising English Whites became popular in Aylesbury and the surrounding villages.By 1813 it was remarked that “ducks form a material article at market from Aylesbury and places adjacent: they are white, and as it seem of an early breed: they are bred and brought up by poor people, and sent to London by the weekly carriers”. The duck-farmers of Aylesbury went to great lengths to ensure the ducks retained their white coloring, keeping them clear of dirty water, soil with a high iron content and bright sunlight, all of which could discolor the ducks’ feathers.Over time, selective breeding of the English White for size and color gradually led to the development of the Aylesbury duck.

A rather large duck breed, the Aylesbury duck has pure white plumage and bright orange legs and fee tits legs are placed midway along the body and it stands with its underside parallel to the ground, giving it a body described as “boat-shaped”. It has a relatively long and thin swan-like neck, and a long pink bill which comes straight out from the head.

2        white pekin

As the name it is entirely white bird with yellowish legs and feet, yellow skin. There are originally breed in China. At seven weeks a mature duck weighs 9 pounds and is ready for market. In one laying season it can go up to 160 eggs generally these birds are nervous and can’t hatch on their eggs or even look after their ducklings. The pekin is not found in Uganda although conditions are favorable.

3        Muscovy

This is the so called local breed because it is available in every country; it was formerly a tree dweller and is the only breed which is not from the wild mallard.

It’s generally black, white and sometimes a mixture of both colors. The face is featureless and bright red. The drake has a knob on the head; by 16 weeks the drake weighs 5pounds and the duck about 2.2pounds. This breed hatches it eggs successfully and the ducklings are very hard and infant mortality is low or null. They do a lot of foraging so there don’t need food supplements perhaps the cheapest to keep. Each bird can lay a total of 90 eggs in a year.



The Muscovy duck can’t be cross breed with the khaki Campbell, the ducklings will be sterile



Cayuga crested,buff,blue Swedish, mallard, Rouen,call duck, east India and mandarin.


Ducks don’t require elaborate houses like the chicken do, however the house should be well ventilated this means a lot of wire mesh is needed.Usually a chicken mesh is enough. But any other style of ventilation is highly recommended too. Local forest products can be used le timber, tree trunks and branches.

In using all these, hard wood tress should be used in order to avoid raids from predators like squalor s, dogs and other cats. The base of the house should be painted with oil to void insects from destroying it as it may weaken.

The house floor should be kept dry and if possible husks, sand or any other covering should be provided as ducks sleep on the ground. The roof should also be well built to avoid linkages which can cause rot and disease outbreak.

The house should be assessable to human beings, because you will need to get inside to either collect eggs or even supply feed.

Inside the house should be a provision of feeding, when building also put in bound laying nests, if you are keeping layer ducks. There should be a provision of water drinking troughs, which ought to be slightly deep to allow duck to immerse their bills and clean themselves.

The ducks must be given a wide space of about 5 to 6 square feet per bird and a nest to each 3 laying ducks.


Ducks especially those kept for meat do well on a pound, this makes duck rearing very easy to integrate with fish farming. Their exists two styles of building such houses namely;

1        On bank style

Here the duck house is constructed adjust ant to the pound just on the land (bank). All steps and material used for the land houses can be used but this in particular, the drainage system is very essential.

The house should be drained towards the pound so that droppings of the ducks are washed into the pound.

It should be drained that the water doesn’t break into it to wet it. A strong meshed net should be put around to avoid intrusions of egg eater snakes.

2        Island style

The house is left on a raised land in the middle of the pound or is left floating on the pound.

The house should be built with light materials like bamboo and local mulii.and if it is to float given floaters at the base.   However young ones can be killed by water, ducklings should be brooder from a different place and then introduced on the pound when one month.

Layer ducks should not be kept on a pound because they may even lay the eggs in the water.

Advantages of integrated duck fish farming.

1         Ducks fertilize the pound by their droppings and fish does feed on the droppings.

2         Ducks are great forager this means that their keep the grass in check, the farmer doesn’t need to cut the grass.

3         Ducks loosen the pond bottom with their dabbling and help in releasing nutrients from the soil, which increase pond productivity.

4         Ducks aerate the water while swimming; thus, they have been called *biological aerators*.

5         Ducks get most of their total requirements from the form of aquatic weeds, like insects, larvae, earthworms, etc. They need very little feed, and farmers normally give kitchenwastes, molasses and rice bran, for the purpose.



All ducks do a lot of foraging and this is no worry to Uganda breeders because we have a variety of green to feed the ducks.

Ducks can be supplied with similar feeds of chicken le layer mash boiler’s mash or even chicks mash to the ducklings.

Water supply should be a must ‘’DUCKS SHOULD NEVER HAVE ACCESS TO FEED WITHOUT WATER’’ This is because they can even go blind if not supplied with water or suffer tough throat problems

Feeding ducks also greatly depends on the system of rearing used, many have said that ducks most feet a semi free range and cage system of breeding. In a free range system ducks should be supplied with feedsand water all night and let to wander about during day time.


Laying ducks should be left indoor until midday because ducks lay their eggs ether during the morning or night.


In a cage or indoor system ducks need to be supplied with feeds and water all the day and night, this system of rearing ducks is more expensive.

Ducks all most feed on everything from food leftovers, warms etc. so feed shouldn’t be your worry.


The brooding period of Khaki Campbell ducklings is 3 to 4 weeks. For meat type ducklings such as Pekin, brooding for 2 to 3 weeks is sufficient. Provide hover space of 90 to 100 sq.cms. Per ducklings under the brooder. A temperature of 29 to 32o C (85 to 90oC) is maintained during the first week. It is reduced by about 3oC per week till it reaches 24oC (75oF) during the fourth week.

Ducklings may be brooded in wire floor, litter or batteries. A wire floor space of 0.046m2 (1/2 sq, ft.) per bird or solid floor space of 0.093 m2 (1 sq.ft.) per bird would be sufficient up to 3 weeks of age. Water in the drinkers should be 5 to 7.5 cm (2 to 3”) deep just sufficient to drink and not dip themselves.


Ducklings may be reared in intensive, semi-intensive or range system. Under intensive system, allow a floor space of 0.279m2 (3 sq.ft.) up to 16 weeks of age. Under semi-intensive system, a floor space of 0.186 to 0.279m2 (21/2 to 3 sq.ft) per bird is allowed in night shelter and 0.929 to 1.394 m2 (10 to 15 sq.ft.) as outside run per bird up to the age of 16 weeks. Usually ducklings are allowed to move to runs at the end of 3 to 4 weeks of age depending upon weather. Water in the drinkers should be 12.5 to 15 cm (5” to 6”) deep to allow minimum immersion of their heads. Partitions up to the height of 60-90cm (2 -3”) inside the pens and the outside runs are adequate for control.

Under range system a flock of 1000 can be reared per 0.405 hectare (one acre).

ADULT STOCK (above 17 weeks of age)

Under intensive system, a floor space of 0.371 to 0.465* (4 to 5 sq.) per duck is essential, whereas in semi-intensive system, a floor space of 0.279m2 (3 sq.ft.) in the night shelter and 0.929 to 1.394m2 (10 to 15 sq.) as outside run bird would be adequate. For wet mash feeding in a ‘V’ shaped feeder, allow 10 to 12.5 cm. (4 to 5”) feeding space per duck but for dry mash or pellet feeding adlib in hoppers, a feeding space of 5 to 7.5 cm.(2 to 3”) per duck would be sufficient.

High egg laying strains of ducks come into production at 16 to 18 weeks of age. About 95 to 98% of eggs are laid by 9.00AM. One nest box of size 30x 30 x 45 cms.(12 x12 x18”) to every three ducks be provided. In case of laying breeds a mating ratio of 1 drake to 6-7 ducks and in table breeds 1 drake to 4-5 ducks is allowed. Photo period of 14 to 16 hours per day is essential for optimum production.

In free range, 1000 ducks are kept per 0.405 hectare (1 acre) depending upon greens.



While handling ducks, they should be caught by neck and not on the side of the body as this might lead to sudden death.

How disease is spread among ducks.


1. Wet litter.

2. Feed and water.

3. Close contact.

4. Contaminated equipment.

5. Attendants and visitors.

6. Air.

7. External parasites.

8. Free moving birds.

9. Rodents and flies.

How to prevent duck diseases

1. Procure day old ducklings from disease free flock.

2. Maintain proper hygienic conditions.

3. Provide adequate feed, water and floor space etc.

4. Rodents and wild birds etc. should be prevented to enter the houses.

5. Follow regular vaccination schedule.

6. Proper disposal of dead birds.

7. Foot baths should be provided at the entrance of each shed.

8. Reduce stress effect.

9. Ensure clean and adequate water supply.

10. Use of suitable litter material and periodical turning is essential to keep it dry.


What to be done at the time of an out break

1. Restrict the movement of ducks (selling and buying)

2. Follow strict hygienic measures.

3. Take help of Veterinarians.


Ducks are resistant to common avian diseases. Duck diseases are similar to those of chicken and some are common for both, but the course of disease may vary. Since certain infections of chicken may be transmitted to ducks, it is essential that there is strict segregation of different species.



DUCK PLAGUE: Adult birds are mostly affected by virus disease. It is characterized by vascular damage with tissue haemorrhages and free blood in body cavities. The lumina of intestine and gizzard are filled with blood. There is no treatment for the disease. The birds can be protected by Duck Plague Vaccine, available in the country, which is given at the age of 8-12 weeks.


Prevention: By Vaccination.

Treatment:No treatment for viral diseases, prevent secondary infection.


It mainly affects ducklings of 2 to 3 weeks of age. It is characterized by an acute course and primarily hepatitis. There is no treatment for the disease. The breeding stock can be immunized by attenuated strain of virus before the commencement of egg production. The day old ducklings can be protected with attenuated virus vaccine. The disease is not stated to be prevalent in Uganda.



It is an infectious disease, caused by bacterial organism Pasteurella Multocoda in ducks over four weeks of age. There is loss of appetite, high body temperature, thirst, diarrhea and sudden death. Most common lesions are pericarditis, arthritis, petechial and echymotic haemorrhages under the skin (Pink skin), in visceral organs, over the serous surface and intestine (Haemorrhagic enteritis). Liver and spleen are enlarged. The diseases can be controlled by sulpha drugs.

Vaccinate the birds with duck cholera vaccine, first at the age of 4 weeks and again at 18 weeks.

Prevention:By Vaccination.

Treatment:1) Encoring OR

2) 30 ml Sulpha Mezathine(33.1%) in 5 Ltrs of drinking water or 30-60 ml of Sulpha Quinoxaline in 5 Ltrs of drinking water for 7 days OR

3) Erythromycin OR

4) Rabatran Granules OR

5) Neodox-forte OR

6) Mortin Vet OR

7) Workrin OR

8) Kayasol.

These drugs can be administered under the Veterinarian’s guidelines.



Food poison is a serious problem in both young and adult ducks. It is caused by ingestion of bacterium that grows on decaying plants.

Prevention: Avoid ducks scavenging on decaying plant material.

Treatment:Epsom salt in drinking water which acts as purgative.


Ducks are resistant to internal parasites. The infestation is prevalent only among those ducks which have access to stagnant water, over-crowded ponds and small streams. The parasites include flukes, tape worms and round worms. These causes decrease of nutrient assimilation by the bird and anaemia due to toxic material excreted by them, destroying the red cells.

The external parasites are an infliction rather than an ailment. These include lice mites, fleas and ticks. These cause irritation and annoyance leading to loss in egg production. They also transmit many disease producing organisms. However, these are not commonly found on water-fowls as in chicken.



It is a condition caused by aflatoxin produced by the mould Aspergillus flavus in the feedstuffs such as groundnut, maize, rice polish and other tropical feeds on storage. Improper drying of grains, rain and humid weather favor the mold growth. Ducks are very susceptible to aflatoxin content in the feed.

Out of the four types of aflatoxins commonly found are viz, B1, B2, G1 and G2. B1 is the most potent toxin. The minimum toxic dose for ducks is 0.03 ppm or 0.03 mg per pounds in feed.

Aflatoxin produces liver lesions and results in death when present in high concentration. Lower doses produce chronic effects such as lethargy, unthriftiness, hepatitis and delayed death.

There is no specific treatment for aflatoxicosis. When the source of aflatoxin is removed from the feed, birds make rapid recovery.



Despite the demand of ducks in Uganda, their exist no organised market for selling ducks. Most of them are sold in the villages and on the streets. Due to the increased sensitization Nakawa market has opened several cages selling ducks these also exist other districts of eastern Uganda, like Jinja.

There are sold in small boxes. In Jinja and surroundings each drake costs 50000, while a duck is between 35000.

Hotels always buy these ducks in larger numbers; these are predominantly Asian restaurants and a few others.

Duck farmers in Uganda keep these birds for subsistence purposes and are not willing to sell them.

Ducks have a potential of generating house hold incomes for the poor because their especially the Muscovy doesn’t need inputs to derive profits. Families can be able to to buy scholastic materials for the children and even provide lunch..

i sell ducks 35000 and drakes at 50000

luwaggaduck@gmail.com contact








E.I.IKANI. Duck production in Nigeria. –PUB. NATOINAL AGRICULTURAL AND