"Domestic Duck Production, Science and Practice" - The BookAugust 27, 2011
I didn't know about this book until a customer told me about it. I am happy he did as we are changing some of our management practices because of it. Domestic Duck Production, Science and Practice is a book written for commercial producers. Much of the information concerns raising ducks for meat but the section on breeder management applies whether you have Pekin breeders to produce meat ducklings or Golden 300 Hybrids, White Layers or Khaki Campbells for egg production. Even if you are only a serious hobbyist, there will be information in this book that will make you say “Really?” and you will realize there might be a better way to care for your ducks.
The main change we are making because of this book is our use of light. Historically we have grown our ducks on natural day length and then increased the day length to 17 hours between 20 to 25 weeks of age to bring them into egg production. The authors' recommendation is to maintain the ducks on 17 hours of light their entire life and bring them into production with an increase in quality and quantity of feed when they are sexually mature. “Excellent results have been obtained by maintaining meat strain ducks and drakes on a constant photoperiod of 17 hours from day-old until the end of the breeding cycle. Since this programme is simple and applicable at all latitudes it deserves to be adopted as the standard method for rearing Pekin breeding stock.”
Research supports all the information in this book with some of that research being done by the authors. There is a list of references at the end of each chapter if you want to do further research on a specific topic. There are many graphs showing the results of the research and quite a few formulas showing the effects of different variables on weight, age of maturity, etc.
This graph shows the increased egg production from Pekin breeders that were fed 80% of full feed (Controlled growth) up to 18 weeks versus those that were fed all they wanted (Ad libitum feed) their entire life.
The chapters in Domestic Duck Production, Science and Practice are:
History and Biology of the Domestic Duck
This drawing shows the ideal duck feeder to prevent waste. Divide these numbers by
25.4 to get inches.