Duck Farming Basics
Duck Raising is a lucrative livestock industry in the Philippines because of its egg. Its most important product, the balut (boiled incubated duck’s egg), is sold daily throughout the archipelago for its delicious flavor and nutritive value.
Duck raising is especially recommended in baytowns like those bordering the shores of Laguna de Bay, where there are abundant supplies of fresh water snails which make good duck food.
Ducks are generally raised for eggs but when snail food gets scarce, they are sold for meat.
Kind of Ducks
A. Egg – Type Ducks
A1. Native or Pateros Duck
- The native or Pateros duck, commonly called itik, is the most popularly raised locally. Although smaller than imported breeds, they are good layers and non-sitters. Their eggs are large.
- Its predominant colors are black and gray. Some are bared (bulek), others are brown or have white feathers mixed with black/green. Males have coarser heads and heavier bodies than females. Males emit shrill high-pitched sounds. They have curly feathers on top of their tails.
- Females emit low-pitched quaking sounds. Their tail feathers lie flat or close to the bodies.
- In all commercial duck hatcheries, determining the sex of duckling is done at the age of 2 to 3 days.
A2. Khaki Campbell Duck
- Khaki Campbell ducks have characteristic brown color, have extremely active habits, do well in good range and show little desire for swimming.
- These ducks are good layers; they lay as many as 300 or more eggs a ear which are fairly large, thick-shelled and weigh 70 to 75 grams each.
A3. Commercial hybrid duck
- The world’s first hybrid egg -type duck known as CV2000 was developed at Chery Valley Farms, England. It has white plumage and lays its egg at about t0 weeks of age. The body weight at point of lay is about 1.50 kg. On the average, this duck could lay 285 eggs up to 72 weeks of age, with a mean egg weight of75 kg. This duck can be distinguished by their pure white feathers. Their eggs are either white or greenish.
A4. Indian Runner
- This breed originated from the East Indies, but its egg production capability was developed in Western Europe.
- This Duck assumes a very erect normal posture with are almost straight neck. The back is long, straight and narrow. An adult weighs about 2.10 kg. while an adult duck weighs about 1.80 kg. The egg production characteristics of this breed resemble that of the Khaki Campbell.
- This breed was developed in Taiwan. The original color ranges from black neck to pure white. Due to farmers preference, the brown breed was selected and raised as a major variety, while the white variety was developed for the production of mule ducks (Hybrid of Mallard & Muscovy) Tsaiya ducks has small body size. An adult female weighs about 1.30 kg. while the male weighs about 1.40kg, The average age at just egg is 126 days with eggs weighing about 68 g at 40 weeks of age. They could lay about 207 days in 360 days.
B. Meat- Type Ducks
B1. Muscovy Duck- Meet Type
- Muscovy duck (palo) is easily identified by its carunculated face or red, knobby i nodules along the eyes and above the base of the bill.
- Muscovy is a heavy breed. It has plump body and yellow skin. It has three varieties: the white, the colored and the blue.
- Unlike other breeds, Muscovy ducks prefer to stay on land. They are good forgers, so they require less care and can subsist on what they can pick up in the field supplemented only with palay and corn.
- Muscovy has low egg production but is more self-sustaining than Pateros duck. It hatches her eggs in 33 to 35 days.
- The objection to this breed is its tendency to fly far away from home and get lost. It is therefore necessary to clip their flight feathers regularly. Clip only those of one wings to remove the bird’s balance in flying.
B2. Pekin Duck
- Pekin duck is a native of China belonging to the meat type of ducks. Sometimes it is mistaken for a goose because it caries its body rather upright. It is docile and well-adapted to Philippine climate.
- Pekin ducks are good layers, and duckling are ready for market at 2 or 3
Build your duck house in a quiet, cool place and near as possible to a stream or pond. Local materials like bamboo, nipa and cogon are cool.
Provide each duck with at least 3 to 4 square feet of floor space. Cover the flavor with rice hulls, corn cobs, peanut hulls or similar materials to keep it dry and clean and help prevent spread of pests and diseases. A house of 100 ducks measures 4 x 4 meters and 3 meters high or high enough to let a man stand inside.
You may provide a swimming pond 10 feet wide and 20 feet long for 50 birds. However, the pond is not necessary in duck raising as they lay just as many eggs without it.
House ducks is groups according to size or age to facilitate management and to avoid quarrels common among ducks of different ages. Older ducks tend to push out younger ones from feeding troughs.
Separate duck houses from one another by bamboo fences low enough to go over them from one pen to another. Fence should extend down to the shallow edge of the water to prevent ducks from straying away too far.
Selection and Mating
Select vigorous breeding stock. Select breeders when birds are about 8 weeks old, and again at 4 to 5 months old before they are placed in breeding pens.
Eggs for hatching purposes should come from ducks not less than 7 months old to insure better fertility , hatchability and livability of offspring.
Drakes (male duck) should have the same age as ducks or even a month older. They should be raised separately from ducks. They are put together only when ready for mating.
One drake may be mated to 6 to 10 ducks. Heavier breedings, however, should have a closer ratio of males to females than light breeds.
Pateros ducks start laying when they are 4 to 6 months old. Muscovy and Pekin ducks start laying at 6 to 7 months sold.
The period of incubation for duck eggs is 28 days, except Muscovy which is 33 to 35 days. Breeds of ducks that have high degree of laying are non-sitters and their eggs are hatched through artificial incubation.
The Muscovy is a natural mother. She hatches and breeds her own duckling with none or little assistance from man. Native or Pateros duck is a non-sitter, so her eggs are incubated under the native method of incubation called balutan.
The balutan or hatchery is a simple one-room house made of bamboo, wood or I hallows blocks and roofed with nipa or galvanized iron. Or some convert the first 9 floor of their house into balutan, commonly called kamalig or barn. It is provided with only one door to avoid drafts; some have windows that are opened only during hot months. Its floor is of hard earth or concrete and covered with 3-inch layer of rice hull.
Egg containers are wooden boxes (kahon) measuring 3 x 4 x 4 feet.
Care of Ducklings
Duckling need to be brooded or warmed either by natural or artificial method until they are one month old. Most ducks are non-sitters and are not expected to brood. Hens may be made to sit on duck eggs and brood ducklings.
After removing duckling from incubator, transfer them to hardening boxes. Place these boxes m the brooding room that IS draft-free and rat-proof. If boxes are not I available, raise duckling on straw-covered floor. Woven bamboo mats or sawali may be used as floor mat.
Heat is necessary when brooding duckling at least during the first week. When nights become cooler, especially during the months of January and February, artificial heat may be necessary for at least 10 days. Kerosene lamps or electric bulbs may be used for brooding.
The brooder should have a temperature of 95Â°F for the last week; 85-90Â°F for the second week; 70-85Â°F for the third week; and 70Â°F for the last week.
The behavior of ducklings is a good indicator whether brooding temperature is correct. Duckling huddle close together toward the source of heat when temperature is low; scattered or spread evenly when temperature is correct; but panting and panting and moving away from the source of heat when temperature is too hot.
A good brooding area is at least I per square foot per duckling during the first week. Increase the area by about Y2 square foot every week until the fourth week.
When ducklings show signs of sickness, add 3 tablespoons of Nexal for every gallon of water for 2-3 days. Skip or withdraw after 3 days. Then continue for another 3 days. Teramycin poultry formula can also be used. Follow instructions on the package carefully.
To prevent Avian Pest Disease, immunize your ducks with Avian Pest Vaccine.
Duckling are sexed before placing in the brooder. This is done by pressing the region of the crop inward, and with two fingers, press the vent slightly outward. By this process, the male organ protrudes and is exposed to view, while in the female, this remains flat.
If you desire to fatten extra males or meat purpose, raise them separately from females. When ducklings are 6 weeks old, they can be transferred from brooder to growing house. Transfer the layers to laying house when they are 4 months old.
Read next Duck Farming, Feeding
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