Ducks have been farmed for thousands of years. Approximately 3 billion ducks are slaughtered each year for meat worldwide. In the Western world, they are not as popular as the chicken, because chickens have much more white lean meat and are easier to keep confined, making the total price much lower for chicken meat, whereas duck is comparatively expensive. While popular in haute cuisine, duck appears less frequently in the mass-market food industry and restaurants in the lower price range. However, ducks are more popular in China and there they are raised extensively.
We farm Ducks for their meat, eggs, and down. A minority of ducks are also kept for foie gras production. The blood of ducks slaughtered for meat is also collected in some regions and is used as an ingredient in many cultures’ dishes. Their eggs are blue-green to white, depending on the breed.
Ducks can be kept free-range, in cages, or in barns. Ducks enjoy access to swimming water but do not require it to survive. They should be fed a grain and insect diet.