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					                                   Duck Feeding
                                    Booklet No. 461
                            Animal Husbandry- Ducks: DKS - 4
Contents
Preface
I.     Introduction
II.    Nutritional Requirement for Ducks
       A Recommended nutrients
       B. Amino acid requirements
III.   Duck Rations
IV.    Feeding Method and Frequency
V.     Feed Storage
VI.    Centres of Poultry and Duck Research in India
VII.   Conclusion

Preface

        Duck production like in the case of chicken has great potential to improve the socio-
economic and nutritional level of the rural as well as urban population of our country. About
seven per cent of the poultry population in our country is estimated be ducks and the their total
number is about 10 million. Ducks are water birds hence they are mostly concentrated in states
like Assam, West Bengal, Andhra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Orissa, Tripura, Bihar, Manipur, Jammu
and Kashmir. Ducks are efficient converters of fallen grains in the field, insects, aquatic plants
and organisms, kitchen waste and plant material from the fields. However better feeding is
necessary if one wants to rear them commercially and profitably. This booklet provides some of
the basic principles and practices of duck feeding.

Dr. K T. Chandy, Agricultural &Environmental Education

I. Introduction

        Ducks can be reared and managed like chicken. The feeding practices also are very
similar both in the free range and intensive system. In the free range the ducks are let loose and
they fend for themselves. This may be supplemented with some hand feeding. In the intensive
system they depend completely on hand feeding. The feeds are artificially prepared according
to the nurtitional requirements of the ducks.

        The nutritional requirements of ducks depends on growth, stage, whether they are layers
or broilers, or whether they are reared for breeding; the feeding practices also vary accordingly.
This booklet attempts to provide some of the basic details about the duck feeds and feeding
practices.

II. Nutrient Requirements for Ducks

        Like any other animal ducks too require, energy, protein, minerals, vitamins and water in
a specific proportion. After many years of research the scientists have estimated the required
nutrients and their proportion.

       Energy is required for carrying out all the physiological functions protein is required for
the growth vitamins and minerals are required for various functions that are taking place in the
body; water is needed for all the physiological activities. For further details consult booklet No.
25 on Animal Nutrition.

A. Recommended nutrients
        A number of research institutions like National Research Council, Agriculture Research
council and Poultry Research council come out with a number suggestions on various nutrients
required for the ducks. Taking all their suggestions into consideration the following as given in
table 1 is accepted as the practical level of nutrient requirements.

                     Table 1: Practical levels of nutrients in feed for ducks

       Sl.No Nutrients                Starter    Grower               Layer      Breeder
                                                 3-8    9-20
                                                 wks    wks
       A      Metabolizable       2750           2750   2700          2650       2650
              energy, kcal/kg
       B      Protein %           20           18       15            18         18
       C      Minerals
       1      Calcium %           0.9          0.8      0.8           2.5        2.5
       2      Phosphorus %        0.45         0.45     0.45          0.45       0.45
       3      Sodium %            0.15         0.15     0.15          0.15       0.15
       4      Copper mg/kg        8            8        8             8          8
       5      Iodine mg/kg        0.6          0.6      0.6           0.6        0.6
       6      Iron mg/kg          80           80       80            80         80
       7      Manganese mg/kg     100          100      100           100        100
       8      Zinc mg/kg          60           60       60            80         80
       D      Vitamins
       1      Biotin mg/kg        0.1          0.1      0.1           0.1        0.2
       2      Choline mg/kg       1800         1800     1100          1100       1100
       3      Folic acid mg/kg    1            1        1             1          1.5
       4      Niacin mg/kg        60           60       60            80         80
       5      Pantothenic acid    15           15       15            15         15
       6      Pyridoxine mg/kg    6            6        6             6          9
       7      Riboflavin mg/kg    5            5        5             5          8
       8      Thiamine mg/kg      4            4        4             2          2
       9      Vit. A IU/kg        4000         4000     4000          6000       8000
       10     Vit. B12 mg/kg      0.01         0.01     0.01          0.01       0.01
       11     Vit .D3 ICU/kg      600          600      600           1000       1000
       12     Vit. E mg/kg        20           20       20            20         20
       13     Vit. K mg/kg        2            2        2             2          2
       KS. Singh and B. Panda, Poutry Nutrition, P. 252

       Certain salient features of the nutrient requirement from table 1 are noted here.

1. The total energy and protein requirement are amximum at the early stages (1 to 2 weeks and
3 to 8 seeks).
2. The energy requirement, though decreases by age, remains constant for all practical
purposes.
3. The protein requirement decreases by age up to the growers age but increases at the
production level ego layer and breeder.
4. Totally eight minerals are essential to duck. But the requirement of calcium is maximum
highest for the layers and breeders.
5. A total of thirteen vitamins are essential for the ducks. However, the requirements of Choline
is maximum till the age of eight weeks and Thimine till the age of 20 weeks.
6. Requirements of Zinc, Biotine, folic acid, Pyridoxine, Riboflavin, Vitamin A and Vitamin D are
maximum for the breeder ducks and drakes.

        While preparing the feed for the ducks these salient features have to be kept in mind so
that the ducks can be provided with a balanced amount of all the required nutrients.

B. Amino acid requirement
       Protien is compost of a number of amino acids some of which are very essetial for the
growth and development ducks. Hence they should necessarily be present in the feed. The
requirement of amino acids for ducks at various stages of growth and functions in terms of
percentage of protein and diet are given in table 2.
                    Table 2: Practical levels of amino acids in feed for duck

   Sl.No Amino acids              Starter               Grower              Layer and breeder
                            0-2 wk 3-8 wks        9-20wk (or upto        ( from point of lay)
                                                  point of lay)
                            Protein    Diet (%)   Protein     Diet (%)   Protein(%) Diet (%)
                            (%)                   (%)
   1      Argloine4.00      5.9        1.18       1.06        0.89       3.1         0.56
   2      Glycine & or      3.0        0.60       0.54        0.45       -           -
          serine
   3      Histidine         1.4        0.28       0.25        0.21       1.0         0.18
   4      Isoleucine        3.2        0.64       0.58        0.48       3.3         0.59
   5      Leucine           6.4        1.28       1.15        0.96       4.1         0.74
   6      Lysine            5.0        1.00       0.90        0.75       5.5         0.81
   7      Methionine        1.9        0.38       0.34        0.29       1.5         0.27
   8      Methionine +      3.6        0.72       0.65        0.54       2.9         0.52
          cystine
   9      Phenylalanine     3.4        0.68       0.61        0.51       2.8         0.50
   10     Phenylalanine     6.4        1.28       1.15        0.96       5.0         0.90
          + tyrosine
   11     Threonine         3.2        0.64       0.58        0.48       2.2         0.40
   12     Tryptophan        1.0        0.20       0.18        0.15       1.0         0.18
   13     Valine            4.1        0.82       0.74        0.62       3.3         0.59
          Total                        20.0       18.0        15.0                   18.0

The salient features as shown in table 2 are the following.

1. Thirteen out of the twenty amino acids are essential for ducks.
2. Requirements of almost all the amino acids are maximum during the starter and layer period.
3. Requirements of Arginine, Leusine, Lysine, Phenylalanin and tyrosine at the time of starter
and layer period is above 5% of the total protein requirement in the feed
4. Requirements of Glysine, Isoleusine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine and Valine range
from 3 to 4 percentage of the total protein requirement in the feed
       It is clear from the table that while balancing the ration for various stages of ducks the
percentage of requirements of each of the amino acids needs to be considered.

III. Duck Rations

        Based on the above mentioned requirements given in tables No.1 & 2 some ready made
compositions of rations for starter, grower and layer ducks are presented here. Table 3 gives
three formulae each for starter and grower ducks of broiler types and table 4 gives three each
formulae for grower (9-20 wks) and layer/breeder (20 wks above).

                          Table 3: Ducks starter and growers rations

    Sl.No Ingredients           Starter 0-2 wks                  Grower 3-8 wk
          (kg/100kg)
                                1           2         3          1          2        3
    1       Maize               32.00       43.10     32.24      31.70      45.00    30.32
    2       Jowar               11.00       -         15.00      17.00      -        25.00
    3       Rice polish         16.90       20.00     20.00      17.00      20.00    20.00
    4       Rice bran           -           -         -          -          -        -
    5       Wheat bran          -           5.00      -          -          9.00     -
    6       Salseed meal        5.00        -         -          5.00       -        -
            (decoiled)
    7       Groundnut cake      11.00       -         10.00      9.00       -        6.00
            (40% pre)
    8       Sunflower cake      11.00       7.00      -          9.00       5.00     -
            (37% pre)
    9       Mustard oilcake     -           7.00      -          -          5.00     -
            (40% pre)(solvent
            extract)
    10      Maize glutten       -           7.00      -          -          5.00     -
            meal (50% pro)
    11      Sesamum cake        -           -         10.00      -          -        6.00
            (40% pro)
    12      Fish meal (43%      12.00       10.00     7.00       10.00      10.00    6.00
            pro)
    13      Meat meal (56%      -           -         5.00       -          -        6.00
            pro)
    14      Bone meal           0.70        0.50      0.40       0.90       0.60     0.50
    15      Salt                9.24        0.25      -          0.24       0.24     -
    16      Lime stone          -           -         0.20       -          -        -
    17      Choline chloride    0.05        0.02      0.05       0.05       0.05     0.07
    18      Minerals +          0.11        0.11      0.11       0.11       0.11     0.11
            vitamins
                                100.00      100.00    100.00     100.00     100.00   100.00

       Depending on the availability of various ingredients one can choose any one of the three
formulae given in the table however one should remember that formulae No 1 under the starter
goes with the No.1 of the grower, No.2 of the starter with No.2 of the grower. Because the same
ingredients are used in both the formulae.
       As in table No.3 in table No.4 also formula No.1 under grower goes with formula No.1
under the layer and breeder. Hence depends on the availability of the ingredients one can
choose any of the formulae.

                            Table 4: duck grower and layer rations

   Sl.No Ingredients             Grower (9-20 wk or upto           Layer and breeder (from
         (kg/100kg)              point of lay)                     point of lay)
                                 1           2        3            1           2       3
   1      Maize                  33.69       -        62.00        31.89       47.00   35.82
   2      Jowar                  -           44.70    -            -           10.44   -
   3      Rice polish            40.00       40.00    -            35.00       -       30.00
   4      Rice bran              -           -        10.00        -           18.00   -
   5      Wheat bran             10.00       -        9.60         -           -       5.00
   6      Groundnut cake         -           8.00     -            -           11.00   -
          (40% pro)
   7      Sunflower cake         5.00       -           -          11.50       11.00      -
          (31% pro)
   8      Mustard oil cake       -          --          -          -           -          -
          (40% pro)(solvent
          extract)
   9      Maize glutten meal     -          -           -          -           -          8.00
          (50% pro)
   10     Sesamum cake           -          -           9.00       -           -          8.00
          (40% pro)
   11     Fish meal (56%         5.00       6.00        8.00       4.00        -          8.00
          pro)
   12     Meat meal (56%         -          -           -          -           6.00       -
          pro)
   13     Bone meal             0.70        1.00        1.00       0.75        1.30       0.75
   14     Salt                  0.20        0.19        0.29       0.29        0.05       0.22
   15     Lime stone            0.20        -           -          5.00        5.10       4.10
   16     Minerals + vitamins   0.11        0.11        0.11       0.11        0.11       0.11
                                100.00      100.00      100.00     100.00      100.00     100.00
Singh K.S. & Panda B.P. Poultry Nutrition, P. 257.

        It is also informative and educative to know some of the duck ration formulae evolved in
o0ther countries. Table 5 gives the formula evolved by National Poultry Institute in England.
This ration formulae though prepared for the breeder ducks, can be used for layers also. But for
the broiler ducks we need to take only the starter and grower rations.

               Table 5: Formula prepared by National Poultry Institute, England

            Sl.No    Feed items          Starter (kg)       Grower (kg)    Breeder (kg)
            1        Maize               203.4              101.7          101.7
            2        Wheat broken        597.5              762.7          508.7
            3        Barley              -                  -              178.0
            4        Soyabean            76.3               50.8           76.3
            5        Fish meal           76.3               25.4           76.3
            6        Meat meal           38.1            50.8             25.4
            7        Beef tallow         -               12.7             -
            8        Pellet hardner      12.7            12.7             12.7
            9        Powdered lime       -               6.4              38.1
                     stone
            10       Supplement          25.4            12.7             25.4
                     (Vitamins,
                     minerals,
                     mixtures)
            11       Di calcium          -               -                6.4
                     phosphate (DAP)
                     Total               1029.7          1035.9           1048.8
            This formulae containes
            1        Crude protein%      18.5            15.5             17.4
            2        Metabolizable       3000.00         3000.0           2940.0
                     energy (KCl/Kg

       Similarly a formula evolved in America is given in table 6. It is to be noted that the
American formula is more specific and contains more details. It also has an additional formula
for breed developer which accelerates the development of breeder ducks. The same can be
used for the layer ducks as layer developer to accelerate the development of the overy in layers.

                     Table 6: American formula for 1017 kg approximately

  Sl.No    Feed items                              Starter      Grower     Breed       Breeder
                                                                           developer
  1        Broken maize (kg)                       574.3        655.2      299.6       490.3
  2        Broken barley of oats (kg)              -            -          88.5        43.1
  3        Broken wheat (kg)                       -            -          363.2       90.8
  4        Soyabean cake 44% protein (kg)          -            -          45.4        -
  5        Soyabean oilcake 50% protein (kg)       245.1        163.4      -           68.1
  6        Alfa alfa powder 17% protein (kg)       9.0          9.0        90.8        45.4
  7        Fish meal (kg)                          27.2         27.2       -           45.4
  8        Fish solubles (kg)                      4.5          4.5        -           -
  9        Brewers yeast (kg)                      -            -          -           22.7
  10       Dried whey (kg)                         9.0          9.0        -           -
  11       Brewry waste                            9.0          9.0        -           -
  12       Dicalcium phos (kg)                     11.8         12.7       9.0         -
  13       Lime stone (kg)                         9.0          9.0        4.5         27.2
  14       Iodised salt (kg)                       2.7          2.7        2.2         2.2
  15       Manganese sulphate (kg)                 0.27         0.27       0.22        0.22
  16       Zinc oxide (kg)                         0.9          0.9        0.9         0.9
  17       Methionine (kg)*                        0.9          0.9        -           -
  18       Vitamin A (IU)#                         5000000      5000000    2000000     5000000
  19       Vitamin D (IUC)@                        1000000      1000000    1000000     1000000
  20       Vitamin E (IU)*                         10000        10000      20000       20000
  21       Vitamin K (gm)*                         4            4          1           1
  22       Riboflavin (gm)*                        8            8          2           4
  23       Niacin (gm)*                            160          160        25          20
   24       Vitamin B (mg)*                       12         12          2            6
   25       Cal. Pentothenate (gm)*               16         16          5            8
   26       Colin chloride (gm)*                  2400       2400        112          -
# IU: International Unit
@ IUC : International unit chick
* Vitamin premix

       The table 7 gives another formula for the broiler type of duck. But the source of this
formula is not know. The number against each item designates the proportion.

                           Table 7: Feed formula for the broiler ducks

                 Sl.No       Item of feed                Parts or percentage
                 A           Starter feed (1 to 7 days)
                 1           Finely ground wheat         40
                 2           Rice polish                 8
                 3           Barley meal                 20
                 4           Powdered oats               20
                 5           Milk powder                 10
                 6           Fish oil                    2
                             Total                       100 parts
                 B           Grower ration formula for ducks (8 days to 8 wks)
                 1           Wheat powder                30
                 2           Rice polish                 16
                 3           Barley                      20
                 4           Powdered oats               20
                 5           Meat powder                 10
                 6           Mineral mixture (appr)      3
                 7           Salt (appr)                 1
                             Total                       100 parts

       Where meat meal is not available instead of powdered oats and meat meal add
groundnut oil cake or any other oil cake at the of 30 parts out of hundred parts. Table 8
presents another formula for the starter, grower and layer ducks prepared by Dr. Chaudhary,
Central Poultry Breeding Farm Hassargatta.

                      Table 8: Formula for starter grower and layer ducks

         Sl.No       Feed items               Quality in percentages
                                              Starter (0- Grower (4-      Layer
                                              4 wks)       20 wks)        (above 20
                                                                          wks)
         Energy k cal/kg                      2750            2750          2750
         Protein
                                              18%              14%             15%
         1           Maize                    20.00        20.00          20.00
         2           Jowar/grains             15.00        20.00          17.00
         3           Rice polish              10.00        12.00          5.00
         4           Deoiled rice polish      10.00        12.00          5.00
         5          Wheat bran                 5.00         5.00           5.00
         6          Groundnut oil cake         13.00        8.00           10.00
         7          Til oil cake               11.00        8.00           5.00
         8          Fish powdered              8.00         6.00           6.00
         9          Mineral mixture            2.50         2.50           2.50
         10         Rovimix                    0.025        0.025          0.040
         11         Supplement                 0.020        0.020          0.020
         12         Bone powdered              1.00         0.75           1.00
         13         Rovi B                     0.010        0.010          0.010
         14         Potassium Iodide           0.0002       0.002          0.0002
         15         Magnesium sulphate         -            0.003          -
         16         Molasses                   -            5.00           5.00
         17         Shell grit                 -            -              4.00

      There is another duck feed formula which was prepared by the central hatchery at
Chengannur, Kerala. A modified version of this formula is given in table 9

                            Table 9: Chengannur duck feed formula

          Sl.No        Item of feed                       Ducklings     Full grown
          1            Dried tapioca powder               20.00         15.00
          2            Maize                              15.00         13.00
          3            Jowar                              10.00         12.00
          4            Rice bran                          7.00          12.00
          5            Rice polish                        25.00         10.00
          6            Coconut oil cake or til oil cake   10.00         20.00
          7            Fish powder                        10.00         15.00
          8            Meat powder                        2.00          2.00
          9            Mineral mixture                    1.00          1.00
          10           Vitamin A,B & D                    25 gm         25gm

        In England up to 30 days the following feed formulae are used by the duck farmers.
Since the ingredients are available we in India can also try the same. The underlying principle in
this fornlulae is that bikscuit is replacing the grains and to some extend the oil cakes. Because
biscuits itself is a balanced food prepared for human beings and pet animals. So by adopting
biscuits in the duck starter and grower ration one can escape of finding or making a balanced
ration for ducklings. Biscuit is a secure and ensured ration. At the duckling stage we should
ensure a very palatable and nutritionally balanced food. An- other advantage of biscuit is that is
a cooked feed. Hence it is least contaminated and most digestible. Because it is least
contaminated practically no antibiotics are needed. Since it is a farmers version of feed
proportional quantities of ingredients are adopted. Nor are they mixing any vitamins or mineral
mixture. Obviously this fornlula is for home level or semi commercial way of duck growing.

                              Table 10: Starter duck feed formula

        Sl.No         Feed items                          Proportion
        A             Till 15 days old
        1             Biscuit powder                      1 part These are -
        2             Oats powder                         1 part mixed with-
        3             Finely powdered wheat               1 part water and made into
                                                                 small tablets.
        B             From 16 to 30 days
        1             Biscuit powder                   1 part
        2             Rice polish                      1 part
        3             Finely powdered wheat            3 parts
        4             Oats powder                      2 parts
        5             Fish powder                      ½ part
        C              From 31 to 41 days The amount of biscuit meal is reduced
                      and the amount of maize increased. The feed is given mixed with
                      water.
        D             Growers mash above 41 days
        1             Mash I
        1             Rice polish                      3 part
        2             Wheat powder                     3 part
        3             Maize powder                     2 part
        4             Oats powder                      1 part
        5             Fish powder                      1 part
        2             Mash II
        1             Rice polish                      4 part
        2             Wheat powder                     6 part
        3             Oats powder                      2 part
        4             Soyabean powdered                ½ part
        5             Fish powder                      ½ part

       Apart from this after the first week provide also with sand and gravel. After two weeks
provide also shell grit along with feed

IV. Feeding Method and Frequency

      Till the eighth week give feed four times a day, 8 to 9 weeks given three times a day,
above 10 weeks give twice a day the feed.

        The feed should be given in wet form; otherwise the ducks find it difficult to swallow the
feed.

        On an average about 175 to 200 gm feed should be provided per duck per day.

       Care should be taken to avoid waste of the feed given in the feeder. For this the feeder
should constructed properly.

        Water should be provided in abundance also with feed.

        Kitchen waste can be fed to the ducks to a great extend. The best way is to cook the
kitchen waste and mix it with the mash. This way we reduce the cost on feed. We can mix about
half a kilo of mash with 2.25 kg of cooked kitchen waste.

        Provide enough water soon after the ducklings are brought to the brooder. Starter mash
in wet form is also given. However the duckling do not learn to eat them quickly. It is better to
mix the new comers with some ducklings which have learned to eat themselves. If this is not
possible then we have to practice hand feeding for one or two days.

V. Feed Storage

       Ensure that the feed contain enough Niacine otherwise there are fairly good chance of
the ducks getting bow legged condition.

       Ducks are more susceptible to aflatoxicosis. Hence care should be taken that the ground
nut cake used is not spoiled or infected with aflatoxins.

VI. Centres of Poultry and Duck Research in India

1. Indian Veterinary Research Institute Izatnagar, Bareily, V.P.
2. Central Fowl Technological Research Institute Mysore, Kamataka
3. Central Avian Research Institute, Izatnagar, Bareily, U.P.
4. Central Poultry Breeding Farms in Bangalore, Bombay, Bhubaneswar and Gurgaon
5. Tamil Nadu Poultry and Duck Development Corporation Madras
6. Haryana Agricultural University, Hissar
7. University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore
8. University of Udaipur, Udaipur, Rajasthan
9. Deejay Hatcheries, Bangalore

VII. Conclusion

       The second most important kind of poultry raised in India is ducks. Ducks thrive well on
any soil, preferably where semi-acquatic conditions prevail.

Though, after the ducks are feathered, they are ready to range for themselves on tanks and
lakes, where grass, snails and other insects make up a considerable portion of their food. They
required a balanced diet. Ducks are voracious feeders and will eat anything they can find. For
one kg of live weight gained by the birds about four kg of feed is consumed. The growing and
laying birds should be fed good and balanced ration. The balanced ration includes
carbohydrates, proteins, minerals and vitamins as per the need of bird as per age and type.

        A suitable balanced all-mesh ration for ducklings and ducks can be preferred as given in
this booklet for good growth and good egg laying of birds.

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