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Duck Meat And Egg Production (Part 1)

Have you been wanting, your own duck business? Here’s a non-sense guide to jumpstart your way to success.

Duck production is one of the most profitable livestock industries in the Philippines mainly because of its egg which can be marketed through different channels. Duck eggs, both in fresh and preserved forms, are sold and consumed daily throughout the country. Duck meat is also gaining ground in the market today.

Duck production in Asia accounts for more than 80% of total world production, as ducks have been traditionally raised alongside fish farming and rice production. 90% of total duck egg production in the country is used for balut-making. Offsized and infertile eggs are used for processing of century eggs and salted eggs. Dead embryos are sold as penoy. Meat-type ducks are also raised for restaurants, while home consumption duck meat is derived from excess males and culled layers from egg-type ducks.

The demand for duck products in the Philippines continually rises indicating that the duck industry can be a lucrative enterprise. Duck egg production rose from 33400 tonnes in 1991 to 53,63o tones in 2002 with the average growth rate of 4.03%. Duck meat production rose from dressed weight 6,513 tonnes in 1991 to 11,057 tonnes in 2002 with the average growth rate of 4.51%.

Duck production in the Philippines is close to self-sufficient. For the cycle 1991 to 2002, only 0.33% of total duck egg supply and 2% of total duck meat supply came from imports. Duck meat and egg production in the country was valued at Php 2.67 B in 2002, which was relatively higher than production of carabao, goat and dairy cattle, which were Php 2.53 B, Php2.28 billion pesos and P76.07 M pesos respectively. Duck production can be a very rewarding enterprise in the country today.

Duck types and breeds
Backyard duck farming dominates duck production with more than 75% of total ducks raised in the Philippines today. Small flocks are commonly raised by rural households as they can subsist under a wide range of climactic conditions on various feeds and are resistant to common avian diseases. Ducks are primarily raised for balut and egg production; however, as the market for duck meat increases, more meat-type breeds are also available commercially.

Egg-type breeds Commercial hybrid

The Commercial Hybrid breed is characterized by its white plummage. This breed lays eggs at approximately age 20 weeks and has a body weight of 1.5o kg at point of lay. The Commercial Hybrid averagely lays 285 eggs for up to age 72 weeks. Commercial Hybrid eggs are often white or greenish. Commercial Hybrids are also known as CV2ooo and were developed at Cherry Valley Farms in England.

Indian Runner

The Indian Runner originated-from the East Indies. However, its egg production capacity was developed in Western Europe. This breed is characterized by a very erect normal posture and an almost straight neck. The duck’s back is long, straight and narrow. This breed was referred to as ‘Penguin Ducks’ by Dutch explorers and some of the early importers. Indian Runners are a relatively small breed of duck, with the standard listing 1.6-2.25kg (3.5-5lb) for drakes and 1.35-2 kg (3-4.5lb) for ducks. Drakes
are 65-80cm (26-32 in.), ducks 60-70 cm (24-28 in.).

The Indian Runner has an incredible reputation for egg-laying. Indian Runners produce large quantities of eggs. The ducks themselves have enough flesh on them to feed two people and their meat is less fatty than other duck breeds.

Khaki Campbell
The Khaki Campbell breed was originally bred by a Mrs Campbell in England, by crossing a Rouen drake with a fawn and white Indian Runner duck to produce a dual-purpose breed. It lays eggs with a pearly white shell and is preferred by most breeders for commercial egg production.

Khaki Campbells are characterized by a deep, compact, and fairly wide body and a slightly sloping back with the abdomen well developed but not sagging; carriage is slightly upright. Khaki Campbells are extremely active and show little desire for swimming. They lay as many as 300 or more eggs in a year. Their eggs are fairly large and thick-shelled, and weigh 70 to 75 grams each.

The Native or Pateros breed is commonly known as the itik. This breed is most popularly raised locally. The Pateros breed is relatively smaller than imported breeds but they produce rather large eggs and are good layers and non-sitters. Native ducks are predominantly black and gray, while others are brown or have white plumage mixed with black/green. Male natives have coarser heads and have heavier bodies than females. Males emit high-pitched sounds while females emit low-pitched quacking sounds. Males have curly feathers at the top of their tails. Females have their tail feathers lying flat or close to their bodies. At age two to three days, the sex of the duckling is determined at commercial duck hatcheries.

The Tsaiya breed was developed in Taiwan. This breed’s color ranges from black neck to pure white. However, the brown breed was selected and raised as the major variety as per farmers’ preference. The white variety was developed for production of mule ducks. Tsaiya ducks have a small body size. An adult female weighs approximately 1.30Kg and the male Tsaiya weighs approximately 1.40 Kg. Tsaiya eggs weigh about 68 grams. The average age at just egg is 126 days. Tsaiya ducks lay approximately 207 eggs in 320 days.

Meat-type breeds
The Muscovy breed is locally known as pato. It is easily identified by its red knobby nodules along the eyes and above the base of the bill.

Muscovy is a heavy breed. It has low egg production, hatching eggs at age 33 to 35 days. However, the Muscovy is more self-sustaining than the Pateros breed. Muscovy ducks prefer to stay on land. They are great foragers and can sustain on what they pick up in the field, supplemented only with corn and palay. This breed has a tendency to fly away and get lost. Thus, their flight feathers must be clipped regularly.

The Pekin breed is native to China. It is oftentimes mistaken as a goose mainly because of it carries its body upright. It is docile and is well-adapted to the climate in the Philippines. Pekin ducks are good layers. Pekin ducklings are ready for market at age two to three months.

Duck raising in the Philippines
Ducks are a relatively low-maintenance, self-sustaining livestock enterprise in the Philippines. However it is prudent to take necessary precautions and implementations to maximize profit.

to be continued…