Introduction to duck raising

Duck raising in New South Wales, like raising chickens for meat, is a full-time specialised business requiring efficiency. The growing commercial market for duck eggs is linked with the increasing Asian population. Duck eggs generally command a good price, well above the prices received for hen eggs.

There are problems associated with keeping ducks for egg production on a large scale because of low egg numbers, high feed consumption and the need to house ducks in small numbers. The main egg-laying breeds of ducks can lay more and larger eggs than can laying-strain hens, but ducks eat about 75% more feed.

For these reasons, these pages concentrate on meat production. Ducks are now produced by integrated organisations on their own company farms. There are also a few smaller companies that have ducks grown for them on contract farms, as well as operators who are involved in all aspects of production, including marketing.

Although the demand for duck has increased in recent years there is virtually no promotion of duck meat in Australia. The main outlets for ducks are through Chinese restaurants, with limited sales through clubs and retail shops.