Agriculture - - How-to -

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.


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