Integrated Fish Duck Farming, Duck Dropping as Manure

Introduction: Hello farmers, we are back with a great informatin on integrated fish and duck Farming. Integrated fish farming is the system that blending of different compatible agricultural enterprises into a unified whole farming for the purpose of sustainability. It is a no waste, low cost and low energy production in which the by-products of one enterprise is recycled into another as input.

A guide to integrated fish duck farming

The integrated fish farming practices can utilize the waste from different components of the system that is duckery,  poultry,  piggery and various other agriculture byproducts for fish production. Raising ducks over fish ponds fits well with the fish polyculture system. The system is advantageous to farmers in several ways;

  • Ducks fertilize the pond by droppings when given free range over the pond surface. Ducks have been manuring machines for their efficient and labor-saving system of pond manuring. And resulting in complete savings on pond fertilizer and supplementary fish feed which accounts for about 60 percent of the total cost in conventional fish culture.
  • Duck houses are constructed on pond dikes; thus, no additional land is required for duckery activities.
  • Ducks obtain most of their total feed requirements from the pond in the form of aquatic weeds, insects, larvae, earthworms, etc. Ducks require little feed, and farmers give kitchen wastes, molasses, and also rice bran, for the purpose.
  • Ducks aerate the water while swimming and thus, they have been called «biological aerators.
Fish Farming with Duck Farming.
Fish Farming with Duck Farming.

Fish species for integrated fish and duck farming

The suitable fish species for fish cum duck farming are those fishes that could filter and feed on phytoplankton, zooplankton, and bacteria from water. The integrated fish cum duck farming is to make maximum plankton in water through manuring which is rich in protein and also a natural feed for fishes.

Fish species selection for integrated system is very important, where the plankton feeder should be 60% and omnivorous should be 40%. A combination of six species that are, Catla (20%), Silver carp (20%), Rohu (20%), Mrigal (15%), Grass carp (10%) and Common carp (15%) must be stocked at density about 8000 to 8500 fingerlings/ha for the targeted production level of more than 3500 kg/ha. Such integration is suitable for rearing and stocking ponds where fishes are above 12 gm.

Depending on the feeding nature the fishes are divided into three categories they are;

  • Surface feeder,
  • Column feeder and
  • Bottom feeder.

An integrated system of fish both indigenous and exotic species are recommended. The indigenous species, for example, Mrigal, Kalabasu are detritivorous and common carp an exotic species which are detritivorous or omnivorous are a bottom feeder. Exotic species such as Grass carp which are herbivorous cover surface, column and marginal area of feeding zone.

You should not miss the Plant Nursery Project Report for Bank Loan in India.

Cultural practices of Fish

Successful pond management is mainly the basis of profitable fish culture. Build the pond (about 1000 m²) near your house to enable you to take proper care of ducks and fish and to discourage poaching. Check the pond dikes and repair the damages. Deepen the pond so that it retains more than 1-meter depth during the dry season. Dry the pond and remove all the remaining fish stock from the pond by applying 15 kg bleaching powder and 15 kg urea/1 000 m². Urea and bleaching powder can be carefully applied one after the other and the dead fish netted out. Alternatively, 250 kg of Mahua oil cake can be applied which not only kills fish but also acts as pond fertilizer.

Apply 20 to 25 kg of lime about a week before manuring the pond. A mixture of bleaching powder and urea is applied to eradicate the predatory and weed fishes, then apply 5 to 10 kg of lime. Manure the pond with a basal dose of cattle dung about 500 kg/1 000 m².

Rising ducks in centralized enclosures near the fish pond

  • A centralized duck shed is constructed in the vicinity of fish ponds with a cemented area of dry and also wet runs outside.
  • The average stocking density of duck is about 4 to 6 ducks/sq.m. area.
  • The dry and wet runs are cleaned once a day and after cleaning the duck shed.

Raising a large group of ducks in open water

  • This is the grazing type of duck rising and the average number of a group of ducks in the grazing method is about 1000 ducks.
  • This technique is advantageous in large water bodies for promoting fish production.

Rising ducks in the fish pond

  • In this system, the embankments of the ponds are partly fenced with a net to form a wet run.
  • Fenced net is installed 40 to 50 cm above and below the water surface, to enable the fish to enter into the wet run though ducks cannot escape under the net.

Selection of ducks and stocking

The kind of duck to be raised should be selected with care since all the domesticated races are not productive. The most important breeds of Indian ducks are Sylhet Mete and Nageswari. The improved breed, Indian runner, being hardy is suitable for this purpose; they are not as good layers as exotic Khaki Campbell.

Ducks required for manuring of a one-hectare fish pond is a matter of consideration. About 200 to 300 ducks are sufficient to produce manure adequate to fertilize a hectare of water area under fish pond culture. About 2 – 4 months old ducklings are kept on the pond after providing them prophylactic medicines as a safeguard against epidemics.

Stocking density of fish

  • The pond is stocked after the pond water gets appropriately detoxified. 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 to 20% weedy feeders are chosen for high fish yields.
  • Mixed culture of Indian major carps can be taken up with a species ratio of 40% surface, 30 % column and also 30 % bottom feeders.
  • In the northern and northwestern states of India, the ponds stocked in March and harvested in October – November, due to severe winter, this can affects the fish growth.

Feed management in integrated duck and fish farming

Duck Feed

Mostly fine rice bran and poultry feed (layers mash etc.) are used as duck feed at the rate of 100 to 120 gm feed/day/duck. Duck feed must be stored in a cool and dry environment to avoid growth mold producing aflatoxin. Inclusion of maize in duck feed can be avoided as it is rich in magnesium which will favor mold growth in a moist environment. Apart from that  Duck weeds are fed to the ducks.  Duck consumes tadpoles, juvenile of frogs, dragonfly larvae and various other organic materials. Protein content in natural food organisms of the ponds consumed by duck is very high. Then, the duck reared in fishponds saves the cost of protein substantially in duck feeds and gives more eggs in comparison to duck which is not allowed in fishponds. The leftover feed is given to the ducks and duck dropping fulfill  60 to 65%  of the food requirements of farm fishes. Algal bloom could increase, and then duck dropping should be stopped periodically by using a plastic sheet at the bottom of the duck house and removed.

Fish feed

In the integration of fish culture with duck, supplementary feeding to the cultured fish is not required as duck excreta helps in fertilizing the pond water to generate fish food organism – phytoplankton and zooplankton.  About 60 percent of the operational cost of farming goes for feed alone.  So, the local availability of fed ingredients as well as their cost is important.  Apart from that some fish such as- common carp take duck dropping directly as their feed. But the supply of feed to the herbivorous fish such as- grass carp, java puthi, etc is required. They need to be fed with grasses such as- Para grass, Napier or Hybrid Napier, banana leaves, chopped green cattle fodder, etc.

Use of duck dropping as manure

  • The ducks are given a free-range over the pond surface 9 to 5 PM; and they distribute their droppings in the pond, automatically manuring the pond.
  • The droppings voided at night time are collected from the duck house. Each duck voids between 125 to 150 gm of dropping per day.
  • The stocking density of 200 to 300 ducks/ha gives 10,000 to 15,000 kg of droppings and is recycled in one-hectare ponds every year.
  • The droppings have 81% moisture, 0.91% nitrogen and 0.38% phosphate on dry matter basis.

Duck-fish production systems

Duck-fish production systems can be divided into three types. They are;

  • Duck-pond fish culture integration,
  • Duck-extensive fish culture in lakes/reservoirs/rivers, and
  • Duck paddy-fish integration.

A duck-pond fish culture system

This is the popular system currently practiced. Here, duck and fish are closely integrated through the bidirectional material flow. In the system, the duck shed is built on the pond dyke or above the fishpond. And some of the pond areas are enclosed with netting as a swimming area for the ducks. The swimming area is directly connected to the fenced playing ground on the pond dyke, which is connected to the duck shed.

Duck-extensive fish culture in lakes/reservoirs/rivers

This is another type of duck-fish production commonly practiced in the open water bodies in the three provinces. The duck shed is generally built on the river bank or lake/reservoir side. A certain area of water and land is fenced by netting and serves as playing ground for the ducks.

The duck-paddy-fish production system

There are different duck-paddy-fish production systems. A closely integrated duck-paddy fish production is the combination of duck rearing with fish culture in paddy fields. The paddy field is modified for concurrent fish culture by digging peripheral and also central cross ditches. Fish stocking could be carried out before or after transplanting.

The duck shed is built on the broad ridge of the field and duck rising starts after the transplanted seedling turns green. Another duck-paddy system is practiced in a looser form. Ducks are raised in the duck shed on the pond dyke or bank of a lake, reservoir or river during most of the production period. After the paddy is harvested, the ducks are grazed on the paddy field in the daytime and then return to the duck shed in the evening time.

Benefits of integrated fish and duck farming

  • The water surface of ponds can be put into full utilization by duck farming.
  • Fish ponds provide a good environment to ducks which prevents them from infection of parasites.
  • Ducks feed on predators and also help the fingerlings to grow.
  • The feed efficiency and body weight of ducks increase and then spilt feeds can be utilized by fish.
  • Survival of ducks produced in fish ponds increases by 3.5 % due to the clean environment of fish ponds.
  • Duck droppings and the leftover feed of each duck can increase the output of fish about 37.5 Kg/ha.
  • Ducks keep the water body clean and then increase dissolved oxygen by doubling action.

Care of ducks in integrated fish and duck farming

  • Ducks are subjected to relatively few diseases when compared to poultry farming.
  • The local variety of ducks is more resistant to diseases than other duck varieties.
  • Proper sanitation and health care are very important for ducks as for poultry.
  • Ducks should be vaccinated for diseases such as duck plague. The sick birds must be immediately isolated, not allowed to go to the pond and treated with medicines.

Harvesting of fish in integrated fish and duck farming

Keeping in view the demand of the fish in the market, partial harvesting of the table size fish is done. After harvesting partially, the pond must be restocked with the same species and the same number of fingerlings. Final harvesting will be done after 12 months of rearing.

Fish yield ranging from 3500 to 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 2 years, ducks can be sold out for flesh in the market. About 18,000 to 18,500 eggs and 500 to 600 Kg of duck meat is obtained.

That’s all folks about duck dropping as manure for integrated fish and duck farming. You might be interested in Quail Farming Business Plan in India.


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