Pekin Duck : Fast-growing Money-maker
One promising new money-maker for local investors is the Pekin duck, particularly the F1 (first generation) ducklings of a superior genetic line from the Czech Republic that is now available locally.
According to Dr. Erwin Cruz who is distributing the ducklings, this Pekin duck will usually attain a liveweight of 3.6 kilos in only 49 days. With a dressing percentage of 69%, each bird will yield 2.48 kilos of marketable meat. The meat has a farmgate price of P190 per kilo, hence one dressed duck will gross the raiser P471.20.
And what is the cost of production per bird of a batch of 100? The cost of producing one kilo of meat, including the cost of dressing, is P122.83, according to Dr. Cruz. So the cost of producing the 2.48 kilos of meat per bird is P304.61. Subtract this from the gross of P471.20, and you get a net profit of P166.59 per head. That’s not bad for a growing period of 49 days.
The quality of the meat meets the high standards of the top restaurants in Manila as well as the importers from Japan, according to Dr. Cruz. In fact, one Japanese importer would like to import three container loads (54 tons) of dressed Pekin duck every week. However, as of the moment, the requirement could only be met partially.
Dr. Cruz said that the ducks should be raised in confinement inside a house with elevated floor (one meter above the ground). In the growing period of 49 days, each bird will usually consume 8.4 kilos costing P194.58.
The other costs are the cost of the ducklings (P65 each), brooding cost at P5 per head; rice hull used for brooding (P5 per head). Labor is placed at P1,000 per 100 birds.
Here is a golden opportunity for the Philippines to capitalize on the fact that it is about the only country in the region that is free of the bird flu. Clusters of Pekin duck production involving the small farmers is possible, according to Dr. Cruz.
What is needed is government support for the industry such as the provision of AAA dressing plants that will make it possible to export the Pekin duck meat not only to Japan but also elsewhere.
Technology in postharvest processing as well as various ways of cooking Pekin duck meat should be in the research agenda.
Of course, the target should not only be for export. More Filipinos should also be able to savor the Pekin duck meat.
Actually, many Filipinos think very lowly of duck meat because they believe it is tough and has a fishy taste (malangsa). That’s because the local ducks often cooked are the culls whose meat is tough.
Once they taste the fleshy and tender meat of the 49-days-old Pekin duck of Dr. Cruz, their impression of duck meat would be totally different.
By Zac B. Sarian