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The mulberry ducks deserved the attention of large poultry farms and owners of private farms due to the fast set of weight and the excellent quality of the delicacy liver. This species of bird has already pushed geese, previously considered gourmets the best "suppliers" of raw materials for foie gras, and is increasingly grown for meat in households of ordinary poultry-lovers.
However, among the breeds or species of domestic ducks mullahs can not be found. The fact is that this is an interspecific hybrid, which only saw the light thanks to the inquisitive mind of man.
Origin of domestic mule ducks
As a basis for breeding, representatives of musk ducks, native to the American continent, and ordinary mallards of European and Asian descent were taken. The resulting ducklings were called mullards in two parts of the English names of the original species MUscovy duck and malLARD.
Today, musk ducks and birds of modern meat breeds are used to obtain a high-performance meat stock of mullards. Depending on the chosen parent pair, the cross gets its name and differs from others in the coloring of the feathering and some features of appearance and behavior. Like other descendants of interspecific couples, domestic mulberry ducks are not suitable for further breeding.
Although females and mulberry males may show signs of sexual interest, they are completely sterile. Therefore, breeding ducks of mulberries at home does not provide for the abandonment of the parent stock. All grown hybrid birds are hammered.
The descendants derived from the mating of musk and common, Peking ducks retain the positive qualities of both varieties and, importantly, reduce the influence of their weaknesses. For example, domestic ducks meat breeds, although larger than their American counterparts, but quickly accumulate fat, which negatively affects the quality of products. At the same time, they are not very calm, unclean and do not always hatch their eggs. Musky ducks are not as fast as Peking or other meats. But they have an amazing, containing a record low fat, tender meat, are beautiful hens, calm and vigilant to keep clean.
What ducks of a mulberry are obtained from the mating of representatives of two different species? Most often hybrid individuals have a mottled, black-white or white-brown color, but they are noticeably larger than their parents.
Features of breeding mule ducks
To combine all the positive sides and as early as possible to receive strong offspring from interspecific couples, male mousse duck and ordinary mallard ducklings are used. As a result of natural mating, which is used for breeding ducks of mulberries at home, ducklings from such pairs in the incubator appear after 30-31 days.
For reproduction, sexually mature birds are selected between the ages of 7 and 10 months. The best period, when the percentage of fertilized eggs is maximal, lasts the middle of spring before the beginning of summer. By this time, from the Peking and musk ducks form the parental livestock. One male in the pen should have 4-6 ducks. It is better if at the disposal of such a family there will be a house with a walking platform. The density of settlement is calculated on the basis of 1 meter of area for three birds inside the house and one meter on the head for a walk.
Since the instinct of brooding in meat breeds is not sufficiently developed, the eggs are taken away. For further breeding of mule ducks, an incubator is used or 20 eggs are put under a good hen, for example, under a musk duck.
Applying this trick, experienced poultry farmers achieve a rather high percentage of successful withdrawal. However, in this case the duck will have to be taken care of separately. For a hen, it is very important not only to have a drink and a full meal, but also to splash in the water. Wet feathers and heat create the atmosphere necessary for the development of the embryo. Therefore, in an incubator with duck eggs laid, irrigation with warm water is also used.
Growing ducks of mulberries at home
Born ducklings are usually strong and unpretentious. Therefore, further cultivation of ducks of mulberries almost does not have any features. The main focus is on the selection of a diet for early growth and weight gain.
Often from the poultry can hear the opinion that the ducks mullard, in the photo, grow beautifully on almost any stern. Nestlings are already released from the month of age on the paddock and little attention is paid to the feeding of the bird, hoping that the living curious ducklings will independently provide themselves with food. Such content, in fact, frees the poultryman from many problems. But the bird given to itself can not show the results that are inherent in it. Although by the age of three months chicks will grow larger than their parents, due to a lack of protein feed, an abundance of moisture, contributing to the rapid withdrawal of food from the intestine and a serious energy expenditure for the day the full potential of the mulberry is not will disclose.
From the first weeks of life, chicks should have a balanced diet with a predominance of specialized mixed fodders or nutritional mixtures based on grain.
From the competent organization of feeding ducks of mulberries and their contents depends on how much the bird will gain by 7-9 weeks and later, when the time of slaughter is suitable. For fast fattening we try to limit the ducks in motion. Because of the ability of muscular ancestors to increase lean meat with a low fat content, the domestic ducks of a mulberry even on a full meal and without long walks do not get fat. Therefore, there is no free-range for them, and feeders and drinking bowls are installed in the immediate vicinity of the herd's location.
Growing ducks of mulberries is akin to broiler chickens, when everything is aimed at a quick set of carcass mass.
Juicy forages and greens are added to the mashrooms or given separately. Water is offered in drip feeders. When feeding ducks, mullards take into account the propensity to stick, so in the diet must necessarily introduce sulfur and fodder, rich in calcium. Do not forget about such important components of the menu as fish and meat-and-bone meal, yeast and mineral supplements. Their ducklings should receive from the first month of life.
In industrial conditions mullards go to slaughter at the age of 7-10 weeks. Ducks give fine meat, and nowadays males are increasingly fed to get the finest raw materials for foie gras.
With the use of forced feeding of ducks of mulberries to 4 months of age, poultry breeders manage to obtain a 500-gram liver of superior quality. By the same time, the weight of the bird itself can reach 4 kilograms or more.
Video about the care of ducks with mulberries will be a useful help for a beginner poultry breeder. While observing the rules of keeping, proper feeding and maintaining cleanliness in poultry houses, this unpretentious interesting bird will be pleased with the rapid growth and excellent quality of meat products.