- Why Ducks?
- External Features and Behavior
- Choosing the Right Duck
- Bantam Breeds
- Lightweight Breeds
- Mediumweight Breeds
- Heavyweight Breeds
- The Importance of Preserving Rare Breeds
- Hybrid Ducks
- Understanding Duck Colors
- Acquiring Stock
- Rearing Ducklings
- Managing Adult Ducks
- Understanding Feeds
- Health and Physical Problems
- Show Time
Storey’s Guide to Raising Ducks is an excellent book and I highly recommend it. It’s written by an extremely experienced duck raiser with advanced knowledge in breeds, breeding, genetics, and health.
Approximately a third of the book is about duck breeds. There is a separate chapter for bantam, light, medium, and heavy ducks. For each breed of duck, there is a picture and detailed description. Also, the book contains a chapter on hybrids and another on preserving rare breeds. The author has raised all the breeds and has experience with them.
There is a long chapter about the genetics of duck colors. I didn’t find it very useful, but some people might.
The chapter “Managing Adult Ducks” covers housing, ponds, feeding basics, management, and many details, all squeezed in one chapter. It covers the basics of what you need to know, but I think the topics could be expanded.
The chapters on butchering, health problems, rearing ducklings, showing, features and behavior, acquiring stock, and “why ducks?” are interesting, complete, and informational.
Overall, Storey’s Guide to Raising Ducks is well worth buying for all its professional, in-depth information. Although it’s meant more for large-scale owners than beginners, it has the basics of what a beginner needs to know, and goes into lots of detail on breeding, breeds, and colors (which most books don’t cover). It doesn’t have much detail on natural feeding, but covers it briefly.
Note: I have an older edition of this book. The newer edition may be different.