NATIVE DUCK RAISING
DUCK is the second largest poultry industry that provides income to farmers through egg and meat production in the Philippines. It is raised in the country for its products such as balut (boiled embryonated egg) and salted egg. A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF THE INDUSTRY Native duck farming today is divided into two schemes. The first is the free range scheme, which is the traditional way of raising native ducks. In this scheme, ducks are allowed to graze and scavenge on newly harvested rice fields. Rice fields are rich in duck feeds such as rice hull, snails, seeds, grass, fish, and insects. Under the free-range scheme, a temporary shelter and fence created using fishnets is provided to allow ducks to rest in the afternoon. The shelter also serves as a nesting place and provides protection from wild animals. This scheme allows the duck farmer to save on feeds and housing. This is also the popular scheme used for raising ducks one to five months old.
The other scheme for raising ducks is through the confinement system using a duck house (kamalig). In this scheme, ducks are provided with a balanced diet that includes formulated feeds and clean drinking water, proper floor space, feeding spaces, and other requirements needed for maintenance, growth, and development, and for egg production.
There is much potential in native duck farming in the Philippines due to the high demand for balut and salted egg. The industry has a promising future given the vast knowledge and experience of local duck raisers and availability of complete feed rations for various stages of growth (e.g., from brooding and growing ducklings to the laying stages). Various studies on proper stock selection can be practiced by duck raisers to increase duck productivity since superior traits from well-selected layers can be passed to their offspring. Furthermore, the Philippines remains bird flu-free.
However, there are some problems currently being faced by native duck farmers. These include high costs in rearing ducks, insufficient supply of good quality day-old ducklings and ready-tolay pullets, fluctuating prices of eggs, limited space for free-range operations, and inadequate research studies being conducted on native duck raising. The Department of Agriculture (DA) through the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) is finding ways to increase revenues from native duck farming and to continue developing the native duck industry in the country.
NATIVE DUCK BREEDING An egg-type Mallard duck has a small body and weighs 1.3 to 1.4 kilograms. It starts to lay eggs at five months of age with an increase of approximately 50-65% in egg production per year. An egg weighs an average of 65-70 grams.
In breeding native ducks, the mating ratio of drakes (males) to female ducks should be 1:10 to ensure a high percentage of fertility for fertile egg production. It can be a big help to native duck raisers if they practice proper breeder stock selection.
CHARACTERISTICS OF A GOOD LAYER DUCK 1. Has a small body and weighs between 1.3 to 1.5 kilograms at 5 months old. 2. Efficient feed converter: consumes between 120-140 grams of feed per day/duck. 3. Lays many eggs, yielding over 200 eggs/year/duck. 4. Produces large eggs weighing between 65-70 grams each. 5. Persistent egg producer: can lay eggs for more than 10 months. 6. Adaptable to local conditions and sturdy.
The practice of selection for good traits can yield long-term solutions for continuous progress in native duck egg production. This is one of the ways identified that will help make native duck farming sustainable, since the cost of production inputs continues to rise.
Proper recording or documentation of data in egg production and performance is needed as a basis for selection. The data should include the number of ducks, the age and weight of ducks on the first egg laying, number of eggs laid per day, amount of feeds given per day, number of ducks that died (mortality rate), number of ducks sold, etc. This information can be a good basis for determining farm (egg) production efficiency.