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What’s important for ducks?

  • Disease prevention: Diseases cause birds to lose productivity. As such, it is imperative to protect birds via an integrated approach that utilizes both vaccinations and natural feed ingredients. A loss in productivity means that less meat is produced and, as a result, the producer turns less of a profit.
  • Meat quality: This is a measure of the quality of the meat, focusing on its appearance, texture, juiciness, flavor and functionality.
  • Feed efficiency: Feed efficiency describes how effectively ducks convert animal feed into human food (i.e., duck meat). Feed efficiency is measured through the feed conversion ratio and is important for maintaining a profitable production system.
  • Mycotoxin prevention: Mycotoxins are toxins produced by molds. Preventing molds and mycotoxins is important because they can hinder performance and create stress.

Common challenges

  • Diseases: Diseases decrease the productivity of birds. Therefore, it is imperative to protect birds by utilizing a wholistic approach that incorporates both vaccinations and natural additive solutions. A loss in productivity contributes to a loss in profitability. Ducks are susceptible to many common poultry diseases, including those caused by pathogens and toxins.
  • Mortality: Death is always a potential challenge, as ducks have sensitive GI tracts and are only given a short time to establish productive immune systems.
  • High FCR, low feed intake and low weight gain: These performance measurements are monitored to ensure proper flock health and profitability.
  • Mycotoxins: Mycotoxins are toxins produced by molds and are usually found in animal feed. These toxins can cause a drop in performance as a result of stress on the birds’ immune systems. Mycotoxins usually exist in a wide variety and in multiple types in the same feed, which can impact the severity of the risk to the animal.
  • Leg disorders: Leg and foot problems are common in ducks. Foot or leg problems can typically be suspected and/or identified by ducks lying on the ground, limping when walking and/or being reluctant to enter the water. Leg and foot problems in ducks are often associated with an unbalanced diet, poor sanitation, stagnant water and mismanagement.

Tips for maximizing health and performance

  • Provide antioxidants and minerals that are better absorbed in order to increase the ducks’ mineral reserves.
  • Establish a program that helps prevent and reduce the incidence of disease.
  • Incorporate a multi-enzyme into the ducks’ diet to help optimize nutrient absorption and protein breakdown.
  • Regularly test the feed for mycotoxins.