Duck Farming

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Duck Farming contributes to improving food security in many developing countries by generating income for poor farmers, particularly women. This activity efficiently uses local resources, requires few inputs and makes important economic, social and cultural contributions to the improvement of the living conditions of peasant households.

Poultry has many advantages, particularly when they are reared in diversified production systems.

They are small animals, reproduce easily, do not require large investments and they themselves can at least partially procure their food. They are able to feed on kitchen waste, discard grains, worms, snails, insects and vegetation. In Asia the ducks find their food in the rice paddies.

The Benefit of Duck Farming:

Duck Farming is considered an activity with prospects. The advantages are obvious when the ability to live in unfavorable environmental conditions, to resist diseases and parasites, and to produce excellent meat is recognized in these birds.

Intensive breeding of certain types of ducks has increased in various regions of the world. For centuries Europeans and Asians have known that duck is one of the most useful and versatile pets.

Takao Method:

It is for this reason that the Takao Method is born of the use of available resources and observation of what takes place in nature. It is named after the Japanese expert, a pioneer of the cultivation of high-quality organic rice, obtained with the help of an Army of ducks. Ducks are raised in symbiosis with rice, eating insects and harmful herbs for production and fertilizing the soil organically, allowing a richer and healthier crop.duck farming

Improvements:

Instead of using harmful and increasingly expensive chemicals, the Japanese expert method introduces the duck into the field as an organic fertilizer and competitor for insects, predators and rice parasites. This productive diversification allows farmers to increase incomes, supplement the diet with protein from the meat of ducks, have an additional product to sell in case of emergencies or inclement weather affecting annual production. And all this reducing the workload in the fields, which provides more free time for the farmer and his family, reducing environmental damage and increasing food security at local and regional level.

Experiments:

Japanese farmer Takao Furuno, a doctor at Kyushu University in Fukuoka Prefecture, has successfully experimented with an integrated and sustainable system of organic rice cultivation by introducing ducks into rice fields to fertilize and strengthen rice plants and protect them from Pests and weeds, demonstrating that it is possible for small farms to get a better crop of rice in terms of nutrients and yield.

The method consists in releasing the ducks in the rice field one or two weeks after sowing. It takes 15 to 20 ducks per 1,000 square meters of farmland. It is also appropriate to create a shelter to protect rain ducks and a fence to protect them from animals, built with materials available locally. Furuno’s research to deepen the knowledge and divulge the method has shown that the most suitable species of ducks is Aigamo, a cross between Kamo (wild duck) and ahiru (domestic duck).

Aigamo ducks do not migrate, are easily found in all Asian countries and are strong eaters of the golden snakes that live in the waters of rice paddies feeding on the outbreaks. Eating these snakes, in addition, the Aigamo ducks are characterized by having a very tasty meat. Duck droppings represent an important source of natural fertilizer. In addition, with their movements in the water, the ducks trigger a process that increases the oxygen content of the soil, making it more nutritious for plants. After years of testing and studies on the natural symbiotic relationship created in an integrated system, Furuno discovered that by introducing in the field some fish (lochas) and a herb capable of fixing nitrogen (Azolla), growth can still be promoted More significant of rice and ducks.

Research:

Researcher Hiroyuki Mori of the University of Occupational and Environmental Health (Japan), in addition, conducting his studies on the methane released into the air by crops, discovered that ducks can control the methane released by rice fields, which generates The greenhouse effect, the cause of global warming. The wisdom of traditional agriculture has always sought economic incomes and food security in the Diversification of production rather than monoculture. In this case, the introduction of ducks makes production more profitable since farmers do not need to buy expensive chemical fertilizers or pesticides.

It is also estimated that ducks allow increasing the productivity of small plots by 50%. Organic rice can be sold at a higher price, which is a great advantage for small producers who can hardly reduce production costs. Finally, the higher nutritional quality achieved in households with quality rice and duck meat contributes to the alleviation of malnutrition. When the rice harvest time comes in autumn, the ducks will be ready to be sold or to fly to reproduce in the paddy fields, giving life to a new cycle of nature. And it is not less important that this method also contributes to the beauty of the fields and the landscape.

Also thanks to the support of the NGO Duck and Rice Association, created by Takao Furuno, today the method is widely applied in rice producing countries such as Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, and also in Cuba. In Japan, more than 75,000 small rice farmers have already adopted this method.

The peculiarity of Ducks:

Ducks are animals that live in pairs or groups and who lament when their companions die.

They are animals adapted to the water, land, and air that fly hundreds of kilometers each year in their migrations.

When flying they do so in formations that reduce air resistance and are more efficient and can fly at a speed of 95 kilometers per hour.

They are sociable animals that enjoy being with others. They spend their days looking for food in the grass or on the surface of the water and sleep together during the night.

Ducks are very meticulous animals with cleanliness and like to keep their nests clean, they also enjoy grooming their feathers and spreading their beautiful plumage to possible couples.

Duck Feed:

Foods in the form of crumbs or granules, with 10% protein, special for ducks are the most recommended. This food should be available to the animal during the 24 hours in the first four weeks of life.

Therefore, after the fourth week, it is advisable to change the balance for another cheaper food, which usually contains less protein.

A reasonable fattening diet may consist of a “kitchen leftover soup” made with bran, ground oats, barley flour and a little cornmeal. A mixture of old bread soaked with boiled fish remains an excellent diet, but growth will be slower.

Duck’s Eggs and Meat Market:

 1. Duck meat has a high level of approval. However, its purchase and consumption in households are low, compared to restaurants. Where 58% do not buy this type of meat and 42% buy it very sporadically.

2. 16% of the population buys at least once a year or more.

3. The low consumption is mainly explained by the low availability of the product in the market, more than a barrier with the type of meat.

Therefore, it is not a meat of massive taste. There is usually a dislike for the amount and type of fat it presents.

Globally, domestic ducks are very important as a source of food. Especially in Asia, where the production and marketing of their eggs are the most important.

Duck Breeds:

To a greater extent, all races of ducks come from the wild duck. Therefore their characteristics are as common as they are attractive.

There are different breeds with an infinity of characteristics, among them are:

German Duck Welsh Harlequin Duck Gimbsheim Duck
Peking duck Allier White Duck Merchtem Duck
Bask duck Blekinge Duck Twisted Peak Duck
Orpington Duck Campbell Duck Saxon duck
Havanna Duck Cayuga Duck Shetland Duck
Duck high flyer Indian Runner Duck Duckling Duck
Hungarian duck Danish duck Orpington Duck
Majorcan duck Aylesbury Duck Overberg Duck
American Peking Duck Bali Duck Silvery Appleyard Duck
Abacot Ranger Duck Bourbourg Duck Pomeranian Duck
Swedish Yellow Duck Forest Duck

Meat Duck Breeds:

Breeds breeding to market their meat duck Peking, duck duck, Rouen duck, etc.

Layer Duck Breeds:

Among the breeds are the following: the Indian Runner duck, Khaki Campbell duck, Buff Orpington duck, among others.

Housing:

The breeding facilities for meat ducks that are going to go to work, must have the same conditions as for the players.

The bell has to deliver from 2500 to 3000 Kcal. for 250 to 300 ducklings.

  • 1 circular drinking fountain for 50 to 60 ducklings.
  • 1 feeder for 50 ducklings.
  • The construction has to be pre-heated 24 to 48 hours before the ducklings arrive in order to obtain temperatures in the order of 28 ° C.
  • 1 nipple for 10 ducklings.
  • Depending on the climatic conditions and the atmosphere of the building a minimum level of ventilation is required,
  • During the second week, the ventilation should be minimum 1-3m/hour per kg of live weight.
  • The ammonium level in the air should not exceed 10 ppm.
  • After 3 weeks the level of the hood will depend on the weather conditions.

Breeding:

To breed ducks, physical characteristics should be considered where these animals are to be reared.

  • Provide your duck the right habitat, ducks must have ponds or ponds nearby because they like to swim.
  • Large patios are preferred by ducks. They like the wide places, to walk and look for food. Although they can adapt to small places, but it will take time for this to happen.
  • They should be fed correctly. There is a myth that ducks eat all day. This myth derived from the conditions of breeding for consumption, that is to say, of the species that are raised for meat in several parts of the world. Applying it as truth will fatten our duck in a short time causing health problems linked to obesity provoked. In the balance is the answer. There are several types of meals for domestic ducks. They are also usually fed by combining their diet with some vegetables, insects found in the yard and vitamin supplements.
  • Access to water, indispensable for the duck to be happy. Ducks must have 24 hours access to a source of clean drinking water. This is of vital importance to these pets as they often drink water upon waking at night due to night thirst. In turn, the pond water should be chlorine-free because it damages the feathers and the beak.
  • The reproductive cycle of the duck. Respecting the reproductive cycle of your domestic duck is essential to avoid behavioral changes or bad habits. On the other hand, often lose the instinct of incubation when they practice artificial incubation with their eggs.

Storing Eggs:

The storage of duck eggs is really different from storing hen’s eggs. Once the eggs are gathered, they should be washed and dried, then stored in a dry and cool place.

If the eggs are put in the refrigerator, it can be kept for up to six weeks. They can also be frozen if you are going to use them at a later date. They can last in the freezer for up to six months.

If storing the duck eggs in the refrigerator, be sure to keep them away from other foods. Especially onions and things that contain ingredients that have a strong odor.

The shell of an egg is porous. So it tends to collect odors easily, which can cause the taste of the egg to be altered. This is also true if you are storing other types of eggs in the freezer. Be sure to keep them separate.

Sex Determination:

There are several ways to determine the sex of ducklings, including:

By feathers: Once ducklings grow up to two months, there will be a sure way to tell males from females. Look at the tail of his duck. In the end, there will be an obvious pen, which usually complains of the down in a very particular curl. This is called the pen sex.

Color: One of the most common breeds is the wild duck. Royal mallards, like many other races, can be counted on each other by their color. Males are very colorful with green heads and a white ring around the neck. The females are several shades of brown.

By Size: Looking at the size of the ducks to determine their sex is always a great solution. Some breeds of ducks are similar in size no matter the genus. In races such as the Mallard or Black Indies Orientals, the male is larger than the female.

By the tone of voice: Many breeds of ducks can be sexed based on the volume and tone of their charlatan. Black Indian East Races and calls are well known for this feature.

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