We were asked a question once if it is feasible to venture in producing salted eggs for marketing in our town. We said that if the people here had acquired a taste for it as Manila people do and he could sell it at fifteen pesos a piece, it may turn out right. Ducks are one of the hardiest fowls. They could slurp muddy water without getting sick. They could eat what chickens do not. They thrive even when cold and could be self supporting.
When asked how many heads would be his initial flock, he said ten. The conversation almost ended then and there. We were not sure if the chap is serious or not. Ten ducks, when pronounced as one word, means a kick in the ass. However, we sensed that he was serious so we started computing.
A kilo of feed fit for ducks costs eighteen pesos a kilo. A kilo may feed a duck for five days. Since prolific ducks lay one egg a day, ten times fifteen will gross one hundred fifty pesos. Fewer eighteen pesos feed, that will be a net of one hundred thirty two pesos in five days. Right? Take away the thirty two pesos for care and miscellaneous that means salt coloring, fuel and labor act, he will have one hundred pesos after total expenses. Anyway the thirty two pesos will still go to him. Increase the number of ducks and profit will increase directly proportional to the number of the increase.
When asked what type of duck he is going to raise, he answered’ the “moscovies” pointing at a passing muscovy duck. Moscovies are easy to raise, he said. They practically need no care. They need no great deal of water and they can be self supporting, biting off tender banana shoots. We pointed out that moscovies, like any other ducks, get grimy and scruffy without available water. If the wings are not clipped, they fly off and get lost. When asked what breed would be ideal, we answered, the Pateros duck.
The Pateros duck, especially the khaki Campbell subspecies, are flightless, fast growing, early maturing and prolific egg layers. They are raised for balut and salted egg production. They look like wild ducks but cannot fly. They molt late, have short molting seasons and thrive on a diet of snails or kohol. They can subsist on chicken or hog feed here. They always come home to roost at night and lay eggs on the ground where they sleep. They only care they need is to give them enough feed, plenty of water to drink and bathe and to keep them from straying.
Since they need some attention the would-be duck raiser said he will think about it. Nothing in life is for free. One has to work for it. If duck raising is as easy, then everybody would raise ducks and nobody will buy.