Modern techniques of integrated duck cum fish farming
The demand for fish and fish products along with meat and animal products are very high. To meet the demand and supply the integration with fish and livestock is very promising and could bring a significant profitability from a unit area particularly for small holding farmers.
Ideal housing for Duck- fish integrated farming system
In duck cum fish farming the duck house may be constructed above the pond thus the excreta and feed waste directly goes to the pond and serve as a feed for fishes. Optimum livestock-fish ratio should be maintained to avoid excess manuring in water. slatted floor is considered for both birds. The animal excreta channelized in the pond directly. The slatted type floor may be constructed with wood, bamboo etc.
Management of pond
The pond should be water retentive and not to be situated in flood prone area. There should be constant water supply or throughout the year there should be water in the pond. Seasonal ponds, which can retain 8 to 9 month water also, can be considered for integrated farming system. At least there should be 1.0 m of water and ideal is 1.5 to 3.0 m. Lime helps in maintaining pH, kills and decomposes parasites. The lime should be applied in 3 to 4 split doses.The basal dose of lime and cow dung application in per hectare of water bodies is 1200 kg and 5000 kg, respectively. The pond should be regularly cleaned from aquatic plants which prevents sunlight penetration and oxygen circulation in water as well as shelter fish predators.
The weeding can be done by manually, mechanically, biologically, chemically or by increasing the water depth in the pond. The ammonia, tea seed cake and bleaching powder also can be applied to remove enemy fishes.
Benefits of fish cum duck farming
1. Water surface of ponds can be put into full utilization by duck raising.
2. Fish ponds provide an excellent environment to ducks which prevent them from infection of parasites.
3. Ducks feed on predators and help the fingerlings to grow.
4. Duck raising in fish ponds reduces the demand for protein to 2 – 3 % in duck feeds.
5. Duck droppings go directly into water providing essential nutrients to increase the biomass of natural food organisms.
6. The daily waste of duck feed (about 20 – 30 gm/duck) serves as fish feed in ponds or as manure, resulting in higher fish yield.
7. Manuring is conducted by ducks and homogeneously distributed without any heaping of duck droppings.
8. By virtue of the digging action of ducks in search of benthos, the nutritional elements of soil get diffused in water and promote plankton production.
9. Ducks serve as bio aerators as they swim, play and chase in the pond. This disturbance to the surface of the pond facilitates aeration.
10. The feed efficiency and body weight of ducks increase and the spilt feeds could be utilised by fish.
11. Survival of ducks raised in fish ponds increases by 3.5 % due to the clean environment of fish ponds.
12. Duck droppings and the left over feed of each duck can increase the output of fish to 37.5 Kg/ha.
13. Ducks keep aquatic plants in check.
14. No additional land is required for duckery activities.
15. It results in high production of fish, duck eggs and duck meat in unit time and water area.
16. It ensures high profit through less investment.
Stocking Density of fish
The stocking rates vary from 6000 fingerlings/ha and a species ratio of 40 % surface feeders, 20 % of column feeders, 30 % bottom feeders and 10-20 % weedy feeders are preferred for high fish yields.
Use of duck dropping as manure
The ducks are given a free range over the pond surface from 9 to 5 PM, when they distribute their droppings in the whole pond, automatically manuring the pond.
• Each duck voids between 125 – 150 gm of dropping per day.
• The droppings voided at night are collected from the duck house and applied to the pond every morning.
• The stocking density of 200-300 ducks/ha gives 10,000 – 15,000 kg of droppings and are recycled in one hectare ponds every year.
• The droppings contain 81% moisture, 0.91% nitrogen and 0.38% phosphate on dry matter basis.
Raising ducks in fish pond
• The embankments of the ponds are partly fenced with net to form a wet run.
• The fenced net is installed 40-50 cm above and below the water surface, so as to enable the fish to enter into the wet run while ducks cannot escape under the net.
• Ducks in the open water are able to find natural food from the pond but that is not sufficient for their proper growth.
• A mixture of any standard balanced poultry feed and rice bran in the ratio of 1:2 by weight can be fed to the ducks as supplementary feed at the rate of 100 gm/ bird/day.
• The feed is given twice in a day, first in the morning and second in the evening.
• The ducks start laying the eggs after attaining the age of 24 weeks and continue to lay eggs for two years.
• Ducks are subjected to relatively few diseases when compared to poultry.
• The local variety of ducks is more resistant to diseases than other varieties.
• Proper sanitation and health care are as important for ducks as for poultry.
• The transmissible diseases of ducks are duck virus, hepatitis, duck cholera, keel disease, etc.
• Ducks should be vaccinated for diseases like duck plague. Sick birds can be isolated by listening to the sounds of the birds and by observing any reduction in the daily feed consumption, watery discharges from the eyes and nostrils, sneezing and coughing.
• The sick birds should be immediately isolated, not allowed to go to the pond and treated with medicines.
• Keeping in view the demand of the fish in the local market, partial harvesting of the table size fish is done.
• After harvesting partially, the pond should be restocked with the same species and the same number of fingerlings.
• Final harvesting is done after 12 months of rearing.
• Fish yield ranging from 3500 – 4000 Kg/ha/yr and 2000 – 3000 Kg/ha/yr are generally obtained with 6 – species and 3 – species stocking respectively.
• The eggs are collected every morning. After two years, ducks can be sold out for flesh in the market. About 18,000 – 18,500 eggs and 500 – 600 Kg duck meat are obtained.