Other poultry farming opportunities

There are a number of niche markets within Queensland's poultry industry for the production of other types of poultry including:

  • ducks
  • emus
  • turkeys
  • game birds.

Ducks

Commercial duck farms are often intensive production systems, where ducks are raised in sheds. There are 2 main duck meat companies that operate in Australia with growers in New South Wales and Victoria.

A small number of commercial duck farms operate in Queensland. Most of this production occurs on a small scale, often on free-range farms for the production of both meat and eggs.

Meat production

The most popular meat-producing ducks are the:

  • pekin - this is the most popular meat producing duck for commercial purposes due to its high growth rates. This breed is also a good layer, capable of laying up to 200 eggs per duck in a season.
  • muscovy - better suited to sideline production because they are quiet, good foragers and naturally broody, however they are not as well suited to commercial meat production as other breeds.
  • aylesbury - adult drakes weigh about 4.5kg and ducks 4kg. Suited to meat production, with egg production considered poor at around 100 eggs per duck in a season.

Egg production

Small flocks are also kept for egg production. The most common egg-laying breeds are:

  • khaki campbell - can lay an average of 300 eggs per year.
  • indian runner - excellent layers with individuals laying in excess of 200 eggs per year.

The New South Wales Department of Primary Industries has more information about duck production.

Emus

Very few emu farms now exist across Australia with only 1 commercial farm operating in Queensland.

To farm emus in Queensland you must:

  • hold a wildlife farming licence
  • contact your local council about town planning requirements and restrictions on land use.

Emu products include:

  • oil
  • meat
  • eggs for carving.

Find out more about the emu farming industry.

Turkeys

Commercial turkey meat production is similar to chicken meat production. Most turkey meat production occurs in New South Wales and Victoria. Turkeys are grown in naturally ventilated or climate controlled tunnel ventilated sheds, free-range and organic production systems.

Some small free-range turkey farms operate in Queensland that supply niche markets.

Read more about turkey meat production and the turkey industry.

Game birds

Game birds are birds traditionally hunted for either food or sport. The main game birds that are farmed in Queensland are pigeons (squab) for meat, and quail for meat and eggs. Other game birds that are farmed include pheasants and guinea fowl.

These are often small-scale farms where the owners farm, process and market their product.

The game bird market is a small specialty market, with products often sold directly from farmers to restaurants or through farmers markets.

Find out more about game bird production.