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In poultry meat farming, a broiler is called a duck that can quickly build muscle mass. Strictly speaking, all mallard ducks are broilers, since their muscle growth stops at 2 months, and then the duck begins to gain fat. Wild ducks need fat to survive the flight to the south. But usually among poultry farmers the term "broiler ducks" means a large duck, which in 2 months will weigh not 1-1.5 kg, but about 3. In Russia, the most popular meat breed is Peking duck.
Main broiler duck breeds
In the Russian version, all broiler duck breeds, or rather, crosses, are produced at the Blagovarskaya factory based on Peking duck:
- Bashkir colored;
- Blue favorite;
All these broiler ducks are crosses. The weight of the ducks of the Blagovar factory at the age of 42 days is about 3 kg with slight fluctuations, plus or minus. It makes no sense to breed these crosses of ducks, since they will not give the desired offspring. Of course, these crosses of broiler ducks are easy to grow for meat. Pay attention to their ancestor.
Densely knocked ducks of medium size compared to broiler crosses. The average weight of an adult Peking duck is 3.5 kg, and that of a drake is 4 kg. Ducklings at the age of 42 days reach a weight of 2.5 kg.
The heads of the Peking ducks are large, the beak is bright orange. Very wide back and chest. The neck is of medium length, powerful. The wings fit snugly against the body. Legs set wide. Metatarsus and feet are bright orange. The color is white.
The advantages of the Peking duck breed are in their high productivity (on average 110 eggs per season), good health, unpretentiousness and a developed instinct for incubation.
Features of the
Peking ducks have a very fast metabolism due to the high body temperature, which must be maintained. In addition, Peking ducks have very short intestines. Due to the length of the intestine, it absorbs feed very quickly. Peking ducks need constant access to food for normal growth and functioning.
Eilbury broiler ducks are one of the oldest breeds developed in England. When viewed from the side, Aylesbury ducks resemble geese. These ducks weigh much more than Peking ones. The duck's weight starts from 3.3 kg and can go up to 5 kg. In drakes, weight is in the range of 4-5.5 kg. Ducklings grow slower than Peking ones and reach a weight of 2.5 kg only at 60 days. The egg production of these broiler ducks is also low: 85-95 eggs per season. Oviposition lasts about six months.
Aylesbury ducks have a large head with small blue eyes. The beak is light orange, large. The body is set horizontally, tight. The skeleton is well developed, the keel is deep. Legs are thick, short. The ducks are white.
Aylesbury ducks are famous for their tender meat, but they are more delicate than Peking ducks. It is the delicacy that prevents the widespread widespread distribution of Aylesbury ducks.
Features of the content
For ducks of this breed, for a normal life, it is necessary to choose a place where water will not stagnate. This can be a hill on a personal plot or a specially equipped platform.
For the winter, they need a warm house with a concrete floor that is easy to clean. Since the birds are heavy, they may have problems with fertilization without a reservoir. Therefore, a small pond is equipped on the walking area.
When grown, young growth is kept on a deep litter, which is turned up and removed as it becomes dirty.
Lime is poured at the rate of 0.5 kg per square meter. A 10-15 cm thick litter is laid on top and only then the ducklings are transferred to the poultry house.
Very large powerful ducks of "wild" color. Ducks have a large head and a short thick neck. The body is parallel to the ground. Legs are short and belly fat can even brush against the ground. The chest and back are broad. Ducks tend to accumulate fat. Egg productivity is low: up to 100 eggs per season. Due to its high weight, the Rouen duck has a very low egg fertility. All these factors combined prevented the Rouen duck from gaining real popularity.
This is not a broiler duck, although the mulard is superior in size and growth rate to meat duck breeds. Mulard is the sterile hybridization of the common domestic duck with the South American muscovy duck. This is just the kind of cross that you can bring out at home. To obtain mulards, you will need domestic ducks and duck duck drake. Mulards grow quickly and are profitable to grow for meat. But not more.
These South American ducks are not literally broiler ducks, but they gain significant weight, which makes it possible to raise them for meat. An adult drake can weigh up to 7 kg. A duck is usually twice as small and weighs 3–3.5 kg.
Muscovy ducks have a well-developed hatching instinct and high fertility even without water bodies. Muscovy ducks, in principle, do not really need water, being forest ducks by nature.
But the general principles of keeping and breeding broiler ducks are the same.
Broiler ducks keeping
When keeping ducks, one must be prepared for the fact that these birds will breed a swamp in their habitat. They are capable of splashing water even from a vacuum drinker. The only way to avoid this is to organize a small body of water for ducks with a long exit from it from one side. So that while they walk, all the water is glass down.
The arrangement of the poultry house for wintering will have to be thought out so that the ducks cannot physically splash water everywhere. The swamp in frost will turn into an ice mass, where ducks will freeze in.
In winter, ducks are kept on deep bedding, trying to limit their access to water. But it is also impossible to completely deprive ducks of water, especially when feeding with compound feed. All animals after eating compound feed need a lot of water.
Breeding broiler ducks
Only thoroughbred broiler ducks are bred. Cross-breeding of broiler ducks in the second generation will give splitting and high-quality offspring will not work.
The total number of broiler ducks is calculated based on the area of the house: 5 ducks per 1 sq. M.
Important! If natural incubation is planned, the number of ducks should be reduced so that the females are not stressed.
For breeding, a broodstock is formed at the rate of 4 ducks per 1 male. But you will have to navigate by the drakes. If the male is active, 3 ducks will not be enough for him, and from 5 the number of unfertilized eggs will increase.
Next, you need to decide on the breeding method. In the absence of an incubator, if the breed of ducks has an instinct for incubation, this process can be left to the mercy of nature, equipping future hens with shelters. The duck normally perceives an ordinary wooden fruit crate. She is convinced that no one sees her there, but she sees everything and can escape in case of danger.
Important! Shelters should be one and a half times more than future hens.
If females have no choice, two ducks may choose the same nest box. In this case, the ducks will spread their eggs, constantly moving around the box. As a result, the owner will be very lucky if this couple hatches at least some ducklings.
After selecting a box, the duck lays an egg directly on the bare ground. Nothing wrong. In the process of laying, she simultaneously drags grass, straw and other debris into the nest. By the time the brooding begins, the bird already has a full-fledged nest. It is only necessary to provide the layers with building materials.
After the duck has sat down tightly on the nest, it becomes invisible - not audible. A duck comes out once a day to eat. The duck deals with its eggs on its own and throws out the bad ones from the nest. On the nest, the hen sits until the last duckling hatches and may lose the first hatched. The hatching process takes about a day. During this time, the first ducklings dry up and go in search of adventure. If there is a cat or dog in the courtyard, adventures will surely be found.
In order not to lose the ducklings, by the end of the incubation period, you will have to monitor the hen. Eggs that have already been chipped can be removed and placed in the lamp box, calculated so that the eggs are not too hot or cold. In general, this is determined by touch. The eggs should not be much warmer than your hand.
During the season, a duck can hatch 3-4 broods with an average of 10-12 ducklings in each. If the duck is kept only for yourself, you should think about whether you need an incubator in the house or you can do without it.
If ducks are bred for further sale for meat, then it is advisable to use an incubator. Without wasting time on incubation, the female will lay more eggs per season.
Medium-sized eggs are taken for incubation. If there is an ovoscope, the eggs must first be enlightened to see if there are any cracks in the shell. Eggs are disinfected before incubation.
Important! Almost all asymptomatic ducks suffer from leptospirosis.
The leptospira remaining on the shell of the egg will later infect the newly hatched duckling.
After disinfection, the eggs are placed in an incubator and the temperature is set at 37.8 ° C. The main problem in egg incubation is humidity. Typically, incubators are designed for chicken eggs that need a moisture content of about 50%. For duck, humidity ranges from 60 to 70%. To the last digit, moisture is usually increased in the last 2 before hatching to facilitate the hatching of the chicks.
The best option for an incubator is with automatic egg turning. If the eggs are not turned over, the embryo sticks to the egg wall and dies.
Depending on the incubator model, in the last 2 days you can remove the motorized tray and leave the eggs on the tray or transfer the eggs almost ready to hatch into the hatcher with manual egg turning.
Advice! In the last 2 days, you do not need to turn the eggs, so the manual incubator will not add hassle.
After the ducklings have left their eggs and dried, they are transferred to a brooder.
Initially, the brooder is kept at about 30 ° C. As the ducklings grow, the temperature is lowered. The ducklings' need for warmth is evident in their behavior. If ducklings crowd around a heat source, they are cold. Otherwise, they go to the far corner.
Important! We must be prepared for the fact that ducklings will splash water from the first day of life.
Ducklings are fed depending on the owner's personal preferences. Someone prefers industrial feed for broiler duck breeds, someone himself prepares the feed for the ducks so that it is natural. With "natural" feeding, some owners give duckweeds to ducklings, believing that if this is a natural food, then it will not bring harm. Duckweed itself will not do harm. But together with it, the ducklings can be fed the larvae of intestinal parasites.
The disadvantage of natural food is not only that it is difficult to provide a balanced diet for fast-growing organisms, but also that such food quickly turns sour. Poor quality feed causes intestinal diseases. And at first, ducklings should have constant access to food, since they do not have their own fat reserves.
With a large livestock, in order to prevent coccidiosis, ducklings are fed coccidiostatics.
Important! Different age groups cannot be mixed.
Those diseases that are asymptomatic in an adult duck and do not bring harm can kill the entire brood of ducklings.
For ducklings, protein feed of animal origin is added to the feed: fish, blood or meat and bone meal.
When to score
In the case of broiler ducks, this depends entirely on the tastes of the owner. Ducks grow up to 2 months, after which they begin to gain fat. If you need a fat-free carcass with a thin skin, the duck is slaughtered at 2 months.
Attention! The skin may tear when plucked.
If you need a duck with a stronger skin and a small layer of fat, you should feed the duck up to 3-4 months. But then another problem arises: juvenile molt. When slaughtering a duck older than 2 months, one must be prepared for the fact that it has begun a juvenile molt and after plucking a lot of feather stumps will remain in the skin.
Mulard and duck ducks can be held for up to 5 months. They do not gain fat, but will have time to shed.
The basic principles for raising broiler ducks are the same as raising any other mallard ducks. It is only necessary to ensure that broiler ducks receive a sufficient amount of feed in general and protein in particular. Because of the rapid growth, broiler ducks need a lot of protein.