"Duck Rearing 222"
Duck Rearing: an Introduction Booklet No. 222 Animal Husbandry-Ducks: DKS - 8 Contents Preface I. Introduction II. Advantages of Duck Rearing III. Breeds of Duck IV. Egg Production in Ducks V. Brooding Ducklings VI. Duck Rearing VII. Land Based Duck Rearing VIII. Duck Feeding IX. Common Duck Diseases X. Source of Ducklings Availability. Preface Duck is a very good income generating occupation for those who are small and marginal farmers. This can be even reared by landless classes and women. This booklet covers all the basics of the duck rearing such as breeds, egg production and incubation, rearing practices, feeding and common diseases. Dr. K.T. Chandy, Agricultural & Environmental Education I. Introduction Duck rearing seems to be a new enterprise to farmers in dry areas, but it is a major source of income for farmers in southern and eastern coastal area, North-eastern India and Jammu and Kashmir. Ducks must have been domesticated a long time since Romans referred to them as early as 2000 years ago. Today among the leading duck producing countries of the world, Vietnam, Poland, Indonesia, Thailand, United States, Brazil, China, Bangladesh are rated in decreasing order. There are about 15 million ducks in India, West Bengal has the highest duck population followed by Assam, Bihar, Manipur, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Orissa and Tripura. Duck rearing is profitable and simple in management because ducks are (i) less hazardous bird, (2) have disease resistance, (3) have longer economic egg-production life, (4) duck eggs are heavier and fetch a better price, (5) meat is also a delicacy and is relished by the people, (6) they do not need elaborate housing, and (7) ducks kill snails, slugs and other crop pests. Duck rearing can be done in all Indian states. Marshy river sides, wetlands, ponds, tanks, barren moors, etc. are good for ducks. Land based duck farming is being recently started on artificial water stores, near big cities on small and large commercial scale. Weaker and disorganised sections of people are mostly involved in duck rearing. Therefore, considering duck rearing as an effective tool for socio-economic development of rural masses, recently, a scientific approach in rearing ducks have been initiated by Govt. of India. A central duck breeding farm at Hassarghata supplies improved duck birds of "Khakii Campbell" and " Indian Runner" which produce 250-300 eggs per year, at subsidized rates to the farmers. It also imparts training in duck rearing. Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) has launched many programmes on integrated farming systems, such as duck cum fish farming, where the droppings of duck serve as feed to fish and some fish can be used as duck feed. Duck cum crop farming, where weeds in the field, by-products of the crops, broken, and shriveled grains can be used as duck feed. Duck kills snails and other pests of crops, like potato beetle, grass hoppers etc. Duck is a water bird and yet swimming in water is not essential for them. However, they need to wet or clean their heads in water at times. Their eyes and bills need cleaning. For this waterer should be sufficiently deep enough to dip their heads. II. Advantages of Duck Rearing There are a number of advantages of duck rearing over chicken or other poultry birds. They are the following. 1. Ducks lay on an average 40-50 more eggs than the layers of chicken. 2. Duck eggs are about 15to 20 grams heavier than chicken eggs. 3. They require less care and attention compared to other birds. 4. They are good foragers and are able to meet part of their feed requirements. 5. Ducks have longer economically laying period than chicken. 6. They are hardy and more easily resistant to many avian 7. Ducks flourish well in marshy and wet land where most other domestic animals can not survive. 8. Ducks are free from cannibalism and other objectionable tendencies. 9. Ducks lay their eggs before 9.00 a.m. and hence egg collection is easy for the keeper. 10. They are easily trained to manage themselves. 11. They live longer than chicken. 12. They are suitable to integrated farming systems such as duck cum fish farming, duck cum pig cum fish and duck cum kitchen garden. 13. They are resistant to a number of diseases that are usually found among chicken. 14. Ducklings are easily sexed compared to chicks. 15. They are good predators of insect pests. 16. Ducks do not need elaborate housing III. Breeds of Duck Breeds of the ducks can be classified into three main groups: A. egg types consisting of Khaki Campbell and Indian Runner breeds, B. meat type consisting of White Pekin, Muscovy and Aylesbury breeds, and C. ornamental type consisting of Crested White breed. A. Egg type ducb Breed wise description of egg type ducks is given here. 1. Khaki Campbell The breed has been developed in England from a cross of Fawn and White Runner, and Mallard ducks. Ducks have brownish bronze lower backs, tail coverts, head and necks rest on the body, plumage is khaki, they have green bills and dark orange legs and toes, The adult drake weighs between 2.2 to 2.4 kg, while female weighs between 2.0 to 2.2 kg and that of an egg is about 70 gms. Egg production average is close to 300 eggs per duck per year. 2. Indian Runner This breed receives its name from its supposed introduction from East India. There are three standard varieties of this breed namely the Fawn, White Runner and the Penciled variety. Indian Runner is also a good layer having an average record of 250 eggs per year. a. The Fawn The birds are white with fawn back and shoulders. Its upper parts of the breast and wings are fawn but the lower part is white. The body is long and narrow, slopping gradually into the neck and resembling somewhat a penguin in shape. The shanks and toes are orange red. The bill of the young drake is yellow, later becoming greenish yellow while a young duck has a yellow bill spotted with green, which later becomes a dull green. b. The White Runner This variety is pure in all sections. The bill is yellow and the shanks and toes are orange. c. The Penciled variety The head of the male is dull bronze -green and white and the back has a soft, fawn ground, finely stippled with a slightly darker shade of fawn. The body and the upper section of the breast are medium fawn and the tail of the female is medium fawn and white. While the white markings in the plumage resembles those of the male. The coloured markings are a medium fawn throughout, with a light line of fawn colour running around the edge of each feather, the border being a darker shade. B. Meat type duck Duck meat is highly acceptable among the non-vegetarians, if it is not popular, it is due to non-availability. The meat is rich in fat (14.5%) and total energy (190 kcal/100 gm). The protein contents averages to about 13 percent. White Pekin is the most popular meat type duck in the world Some of meat type ducks are described here. 1. White Pekin This breed originated in China. Birds are large white feathered. They have orange - yellow bills, reddish yellow shanks and feet and yellow skin. Their eggs tinted white which is considered less important than its capability to produce excellent quality meal. Birds of this breed are bad sitters and very sensitive to outside interferences. Hence they should be treated gently. 2. Muscovy It is to be very much questioned whether Muscovy is really a duck. It is more like a goose in more ways than one; for instance, it is a grazer and eats grasses in the same way as a goose. These are very strong and powerful in flight, yet very tame and friendly. The ducklings are late in feather formation by four days, it takes about 16 weeks, whereas in other breeds the ducklings are in full feather at 12 weeks. The drakes are big in size and weigh above 4.5 kg, whereas ducks weigh about 3.0 kg. The breed is native to Brazil and very popular in Australia. When crossed with other breeds, it produces sterile duck, known as mule ducks which produce higher meat yield. There are two varieties of Muscovy ducks, the white and the dark. The head and face of the Muscovy are partly bare, with red, rough, carunculated skin. It has a long, broad body, with greater breadth. The white variety has pure white plumage, pale orange or yellow legs and a pinkish, flesh coloured beak. The dark variety has got a lustrous blue black body and back. It provides meat of excellent quality and taste, provided they are marketed before 17 weeks of age. They are also good sitters and will hatch and care for approximately 30 ducklings from 40-45 eggs they produce annually. Muscovy (drake) male has no curl feathers in his tail. Ducklings emerge from eggs after 36 days of incubation period. 3. Aylesbury This breed originated in Buckingham in U.K. The plumages are white, legs are short but sturdy and orange in colour. Due to its light bone and high percentage of creamy white flesh, the breed is regarded as a delicious table bird. It also produces excellent quality meat, and reaches market weight in8 weeks. Eggs are tinted white. 4. Broiler duck Another short broiler type of duck, found in Kalluru lake area of Andhra Pradesh is famous for meat production. They are similar to broiler chicken but these are marketed at the age of 6-8 months. The meat of such ducks is said to be more tasty and nutritive. IV. Egg Production in Ducks Annual rate of egg production varies with breed. Ducks normally begin to lay at about 6 month of age. Indiginous duck produce 90-130eggs per bird per year. Muscovy breed known for meat production in the world lays only 40-45 eggs per bird per year. Indian Runner breed is a good layer having an average record of more than 250 eggs per annum. Khakhi Campbell breed is highly prolific and its ducklings start laying of eggs when they are 120 days of age and produce about 300 eggs per bird per year. They also produce eggs during second year. About 95% of eggs are laid in the morning. Ducks can live for about ten years but the effective laying period is about 4 years. For the commercial egg producers, it is advantageous that eggs are laid during morning between 6-9 a.m. can be collected on paddy straw spread in the field within a temporary fence. A. Egg for hatching Egg for hatching must be fertilized. A duck normally starts laying eggs at the age of 16 weeks. For the purpose of producing fertilized eggs, one drake (male) is used for mating 5-6 ducks. During early periods of breeding this ratio can be one male to four females and similarly at the older age the number of males is increased since during these times the drakes are less active. Drakes should be kept with ducks all the time and eggs produced after one month, from the day, ducks and drakes were kept together, are collected for hatching. Both sexes are allowed to mate till the requirement for the fertilized eggs stands. It is a mistaken belief that effective copulation can only take place in water. Matings are successful on dry ground. The role of water in the vicinity is that ducks keep themselves clean and they keep their eggs at a place having correct humidity and temperature. B. Incubation of eggs Ducks of the improved laying breeds are for all practical purposes non-broody. On a small scale, eggs can be hatched by a broody hen, duck breeds Muscovy and East Indian breeds, which are good sitters. A hen can cover about 12 eggs and a broody duck about 15 eggs. The most common method of getting eggs hatched is the use of incubators. The incubation period of duck egg is 28 days. The optimum temperature is 37.2 to 37 .5°Cand the relative humidity is about 65 to 70 per cent. In the incubator eggs are turned at 2 to 4 hours intervals up to 25th day. On 26th day, they can be transported to hatching tray and no turning is needed afterwards. Ducklings can be kept about a day in these trays. The main problem that needs consideration while incubating artificially is that shells of duck eggs have much larger pores. For this reason, they should not be stored longer before incubating. Stored eggs dry up and get infection of bacteria. Eggs laid in low temperature hatch better than those laid in high temperature. More important is that hatching eggs should be kept cool prior to incubation. Egg should be kept at temperature below 200C. Eggs laid during cool season show about 80% fertility; while eggs laid during hot season could go down to as low as 12 percent. Eggs of medium size show more fertility than eggs of small and large size. Avoid small, large, pointed, round, greasy and chalky and thin shelled eggs. V. Brooding Ducklings In commercial duck farming, brooding of duckling is very important Brooding management determines the growth, mortality rate and eventually the productive life of the ducks. Under natural conditions, a duck or a broody hen can take up to 10-15 ducklings for brooding. For the first few days after hatching feed and water should be provided in the house. After 5- 7 days, the broody hen or duck along with the ducklings may be allowed to move within the restricted area. Young ducklings fall easy prey to wild birds. The entire brood should be protected from rain, cold winds, predatory birds, animals and rodents. After 2-3 weeks no mothering is necessary. Artificial brooding is necessary for large number of ducklings. Any equipment that broods chicks efficiently can be used for brooding ducklings. The brooding period of ducklings varies with breed. Khaki campbell duckling requires 3 -4 weeks of brooding. On an average brooding period of ducklings is about 4 weeks. A temperature of 30o C is enough for the first weak and it is to be reduced about 3o C per week till it reaches the room temperature. Then ducklings are transferred to shed or other place where they grow and mature. Ducklings can be reared in intensive, semi-intensive and range system. In range system, they need a little high shelter. Ducklings may be brooded on wire floor, litter or in batteries. A wire floor space of 0.046 squire metre per bird or solid floor space of an average of 0.093 sq m per bird would be sufficient up to 2 weeks of a age. The space requirement from first to eighth I weeks of age is given in table-l Table -1: Space allowances for ducklings Sl.No Age in weeks Floor space per bird (sq.m) 1 1-2 0.09 2 2-3 0.13 3 3-4 0.19 4 4-5 0.23 5 5-6 0.37 VI. Duck Rearing After brooding ducklings for 4 weeks, birds are transferred to sheds of convenient size for their comfortable stay and growth. Ducklings can be reared in (1) ineffective system, (2) semi- intensive, and (3) range system. 1. Intensive system Under intensive system ducks are reared on deep litter till they attain the age of 16 weeks. A confined space of 0.279sq m(3sq.ft) per bird is allowed. As the ducklings become 17 weeks old, they are vaccinated against duck plague and given more space, about 0.465 sq. m (5 sq. ft) per duck. Ducklings grow at very fast rate and therefore require a ration rich in all nutrients. Khaki Campbell duck consumes about 12.5 kg of feed up to 20 weeks of age. Afterwards the consumption varies from 120- 170 gm per bird per day depending upon the rate of production and availability of greens. The starter, growers and layers ration should contain a protein percentage of 21, 18, and 18 respectively with a metabolizable energy (ME)of2850, 2,900 and 2800 kcal per kilo of feed, respectively. 2. Semi-intensive system Under semi-intensive system, birds are grown on deep litter with floor space of 0.186sq m in high shelter and 0.929 sq. m as outside run till they attain an age of 16 weeks. For feeding wet mash. V' shaped feeders can be used. Allow 10 cm space on the hopper for feeding. Under semi- intensive system local feeds are also made use off. One third of the meal ration may be replaced by cheaper vegetable feeds household scrapes and fodders as available under local conditions. 3. Free range system In free range systems, ducklings are provided ample space for run and in night shelter. Under this system a flock of 2000 ducks can be reared per acre (0.0456 hectare). Ducks on free range system obtain most of their protein needs by foraging from small fish, crustaceans and insects. VII. Land Based Duck Rearing Land based duck rearing is to make arrangements for artificial water stores, ponds etc. It is a recent innovation suited for places where natural water bodies are not available and ducks can be reared economically, because of vicinity of the market for ducks products. Moreover, this a unique system for even large scale commercial farming in minimum space. Normally more than 120 ducks are reared, along with pisciculture (fish farming) on an area of 1200 sq. feet including night shelter, water channel, feeding floor and open run. The water channel of 25 feet long, 1.5 feet wide and one feet deep is sufficient for 100 ducks, which is filled with fresh water every day. Duck farming in such intensive system is always advantageous from the point of its management, feed utilization and maintenance of hygiene. A night shelter may be constructed using appropriate materials with sufficient provision for ventilation. VIII. Duck Feeding Ducks are the most efficient type of birds to convert fallen grains of the fields, insects, plant materials and pond materials into edible meat and eggs. Ducks of various age groups are fed on different feeds viz starters 0 -2 weeks, growers (3 -8 weeks) and for adults above 9 to 20weeks till they start laying eggs, layers and breeders. Commercial feeds are available as mash pelets and crumbs. Ducks should never have access to feed without drinking water because they need wet feed. Pellet feeding though costly has distinct advantage of saving the amount of feed, labour convenience, no scouring and improvement insanitary conditions. 1. Feeding ducklings Ducklings should be fed as soon as they are removed from the incubator to the brooder or immediately after they are received from the hatchery. Since ducklings do not readily learn to eat, it is necessary that extreme care should be given to them for the first few days to save them from dying or starvation. If it is possible to put several ducklings that have already learned how to eat in the brooder with the new hatch they will learn to eat quickly. If it is not possible, it might be necessary to hand feed some of them for the first day or two. Day-old ducklings should be given coarse milled cereals moistened with milk or water as a first feed and then a proprietary mash or one with composition approximating to following:- (a) Milled cereal 35 parts (b) Fine cereal bran 30 parts (c) Fish or meat meal 20 parts (d) extracted oil-cake meal 10 parts (e) Fine grit and minerals 5 parts. The mash should be damped just sufficiently to make it "crumble'. If it is too wet, much of it is lost through the saving process to which it is subjected in the ducks bill. No more feed that can be eaten in about 1 0 minutes should be fed at any time. Grit or sand and water should be available. Ducklings normally consume 12.5 kg of feed in 20 weeks. 2. Feeding growers and layers Feeding ducks require much care. Duck feed stored under comparatively high relative humidity, get poisoned due to fungal growth. In order to avoid problem of feed toxicity, feed may be formulated by eliminating maize and groundnut cakes as far as possible. Broken rice, damaged wheat, soybean meal etc. can be included in formulating the feed. Fish meal should be of fresh and good quality. Strong feed for longer time should be avoided, all other precautions must be observed before selection or making feed. A generalized formula for different categories of duck feed is given in Table -2. Depending upon the availability of different feed ingredients at different situations the formula may be altered. Table-2: Diet of duck of different categories Sl.No Ingredients Starters Growers Layers and Kg/100 kg breeders 1 Broken wheat 38 40 35 2 Broken rice 20 20 20 3 Soyabean meal 25 20 25 4 Fish meal 10 8 10 5 Deoiled ricebran 5 10 5 6 Mineral mixture 2 2 2 7 Shell grit - - 3 8 D.L.Methionin (g) 50 50 50 9 Manganese 10 10 10 sulphate 10 Vit. A,B2,D,K (g) 25 25 25 11 Copper sulphate 1 1 1 (g) 12 Gentian violet (g) 30 30 30 13 Niftin 200 (g) 25 - - 14 T.M-5 (g) 100 - - IX. Common Duck Diseases Ducks appear to excel all other domestic poultry in their resistance to common avian diseases, but they suffer from duck plague, duck virus hepatitis and some other diseases. A few for example are presented here. In case of need veterinarians must be consulted. 1. Duck plague Serious outbreak of duck plague also known as duck virus enteritis can Cause 80 -90 % mortality in flocks of all ages. It is a highly contagious disease and strikes swiftly without warning. a. Symptoms Birds become restless with drooping wings, ruffled feather. Their-eyes become swollen and moist with sticky discharge. They stop feeding and drink water frequently and feel difficulty in breathing. Sometimes watery yellow diarrahea with blood is seen. Occasionally penis is swollen and protruding. In laying females, haemorrhages can be observed in the deformed and discoloured ovarian follicles. b. Prevention and control The birds can be protected by duck plague vaccine, available in the country, given at the age of 8 weeks. 2. Duck cholera Highly infectious disease Caused by bacterial organism Pasteurella multocida in ducks over 4 weeks age. a. Symptoms Birds loose appetite and their body temperature becomes high. Initial diarrhoea is followed by mucoid droppings. b. Prevention and control Birds must be vaccinated first at the age of 4 weeks and again at 16 weeks age with duck cholera vaccine. Sulphonamides and antibiotics are effective in controlling the disease and reducing mortality. The dead birds should be burnt. 3. Aflatoxicosis Ducks are very susceptible to aflatoxin content of the feed. The minimum toxic dose for ducks is 0.03 per kilo in feed. ducklings are more susceptible. Aflatoxin is produced by the mould Aspergillus flavus in the feedstuffs such as groundnut, maize, rice polish, etc. a. Symptoms Birds first show poor feed intake, poor growth, falling of feathers, lethargy, unthriftliness, lameness. At the latter stages, birds express liver lesions, ataxia followed by convulsion and death. b. Prevention and control Avoid feeding mouldy feeds. Feeds should be checked for aflatoxin particularly during and after rainy season. 4. Botulism The disease occurs in young and adult stocks. It is caused by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum which grows in decaying plant and animal materials. a. Symptoms Birds lose control of their neck muscle and usually drown of swimming water is available. Bird show dullness, ruffled feathers, lameness, drooping wings, laboure breathing, coma and death. b. Prevention and control The affected birds can be given C-type antitoxin. Maintenance of cleanliness including the removal of rotting vegetation and dead birds, will prevent the diseaJe. 5. Internal parasites Ducks are resistant to internal parasites.. these are more when ducks are kept on a range or when they have access to ponds. These include flukes, tape worms and round worms. There are suitable medicaments available in the market which can kill or expell these from the body. Periodical examination of faecal material is very useful to identify and to treat ducks. 6. External parasites External parasites are comparatively less in ducks as compared to chicken. They produce annoyance to them leading to reduction in egg yields. Some of these do transmit a few disease producing organisms. It is for this reason they are to be free from these. X. Source of Ducklings Availability Various programmes by the central and state governments are being launched to popularize the duck production. A biginner in duck rearing can obtain required facilities from anyone of the sources listed below. 1. Hatching eggs facilities and Khaki Campbell ducklings are available at the Central Duck Breeding Farm, Hessarghatta, Bangalore. 2. Khaki Campbell ducks can also be procured from state Animal Husbandary Department Agartala, Tripura. 3. Ducklings are available for sale from the State Poultry Gobardanga 24 -parganas and State Poultary Farm Krishnanagar, Dist. Nadia. 4. Hatching eggs of khaki Campbell duck are available for sale from the Divyodaya Krishi Vigyan Keoorn, Ramshai, Jalpaiguri (North Bengal). %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%