|By goGreen | December 25, 2011|
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 for the duck food.
Ducks are generally raised for eggs but when snail food gets scarce, they are sold for meat.
Kinds of Ducks
Native Pateros Duck
The native 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 barred (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 pitch sounds. They have curly feathers on top of their tails.
Females emit low pitch quacking sounds. Their tails feathers lie flat or close to the bodies.
In all commercial ducks hatcheries, determining the sex of duckling is done at the age of 2 to 3 days.
Khaki Campbell Duck
Khaki Campbell ducks have characteristic brown color, have extremely active habits, do well in good range and show a little desire for swimming.
These ducks are good layers, they lay as many as 300 or more eggs a year which are fairly large, thick-shelled and weigh 70 to 75 grams each.
Commercial Hybrid Duck
The world’s first hybrid egg-type duck known as cv2000 was developed at cherry valley farms, England. It has white plumage and lays its egg at about 20 weeks of age. The body weight at point of lay is about 1.5kg. On the average this duck could lay 285 eggs up to 72 weeks of age with a mean egg weight of 75 kg. This duck can be distinguished by their pure white feathers. Their eggs are either white or greenish.
This breed originated from the east indies but its egg production capability was developed in western Europe.
This duck assumes very erect normal postures which are almost straight neck. The back is long, straight and narrow. An adult weighs about 2.10kg while an adult duck weigh about 1.8 kg. The egg production characteristics of this breed resemble that of the Khaki Campbell.
This breed is 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 major variety, while the white variety was developed for the production of mule ducks
Muscovy duck (pato) is easily identified by its carunculated face or red, knobby 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 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 on 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 birds balance in flying.
Pekin duck is native in China belonging to the meat type of ducks. Sometimes it is mistaken for a goose because it carries 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 to 3 months old.
Build your duck housing in a quiet, cool place and near as possible to stream or pond. Local materials like bamboo, nipa and cogon are cool.
Prepare each duck with atleast 3 to 4 square feet floor space. Cover the floor with rice hull, 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 high or high enough to let a man stand inside.
You may provide a swimming pond 10 ft wide and 20 ft long for 50 birds. However the pond is not necessary in duck raising as they lay just as many eggs without it.
House ducks are grouped according to size or age to facilitate management and to avoid quarrels which is 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 to 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 ensure better fertility, hatchability and livability of offspring.
Drakes (male ducks) 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 breeds 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 old.
The period of incubation for duck eggs is 28 days, except Muscovy which is 30-35 days. Breeds of ducks that have high degree of laying are non-sitters and their eggs are hatch 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.
Feed duckling with wet starter mash for 8 weeks. Native ducklings raised the native way are fed moistened boiled rice for the first 33 weeks, 4 to 5 times a day. During the first few days, give feed at night. Start giving water in drinking trough or drinking fountains on the 2nd day. On the fifth day, add finely chopped small shrimps to boiled rice. Increase their feed as duckling grows.
At the age of one month, feed ducklings with tiny fresh water snails and boiled unhulled rice or palay. Give only enough feed to be consumed as they tend to spoil when left long in the troughs.
Mash feed for ducklings is composed of corn, soybean meal fish meal dried whey rice bran with oyster shell and bone meal with vitamin mineral supplements. Feed one day to six (6) weeks old ducklings with starter mash with 21% crude protein for six (60) to four (4) month old duckling with grower mash with 16% crude protein and four (4) months old ducks and above with layer mash or ratio with 16% crude protein.
If mash feed is preferred give only enough to be consumed quickly at one time to ten (10) to 15 minutes. Wet mash tends to spoil when left long in hoppers. If feeds is given at intervals, ducklings learn to eat more readily and their appetites are developed to stuff themselves in between drinks, digest food quickly and be ready to eat their fill for the next feeding time.
Four to five feeding a day are sufficient for ducklings over 2 weeks old. Provide plenty of clean fresh water as ducks drink after every mouthful of food.
Ducks are wasteful and slovenly while feeding. Provide proper and adequate feeding hoopers to prevent much waste of food.
Fine gravel of grit is necessary to growing ducks to help them grind their feed. After the 5th week give green feed such as chopped leaves of kangkong camote ipil ipil and legumes at least three (3) times a day 10grams of chopped green leaves per duck per day.
Health and Diseases
Ducks are more resistant to diseases than chicken and other fowls. Losses from various causes can be minimized through proper management adequate appropriate feeding and housing strict sanitary practices and effective prevention medication and vaccination program. However even with all precautionary measures substantial losses are incurred in duck farming operation due to various causes. Duck diseases are those caused by pathogenic viruses bacteria fungi and parasites while non-infectious types are due to chemical poisons toxins inferior feed or ration and environmental factors.
Livestock Development Council (LDC)