We know the first three days of a duck’s life determine the rest of its existence. Unlike Muscovy ducks, Pekin ducks are fast growing.
It is, therefore, necessary to ensure they can grow properly as soon as they arrive at the farm. All the stages described in this article are essential for the successful rearing of a batch of Pekin ducks.
Thorough cleaning before the arrival of the Pekin ducks
Cleaning is the first essential step in receiving Pekin ducks into a healthy environment. Farmers must decontaminate their buildings and all equipment of any microbes from the previous batch.
Disinfection in compliance with standards
After this thorough cleaning, farmers should proceed with the disinfection stage. Using virucidal, bactericidal and fungicidal products, farmers should remove all microorganisms and undesirable viruses in their buildings. The final stage of the disinfection process is rat extermination. These first two stages of cleaning and disinfection use to take between two and three weeks.
A completely dry building heated to 28°C
The disinfection downtime serves to dry out the building and establish effective sanitary barriers prior to the reception of the Pekin ducks. A thick layer of good quality straw is essential for the birds’ comfort. 28°C is the required temperature for newly arrived ducklings. They are more energetic than Muscovy ducks and move around more. They therefore need a slightly lower temperature, however it is necessary to begin heating the building well in advance to ensure the appropriate temperature is reached before their arrival.
1 waterer and 1 feeder are recommended for 50 ducklings. A heating point, usually radiant, is also necessary for each 250 ducklings, to recreate the sensation of maternal warmth. Appropriate care of the ducklings ensures they get off to a good, healthy start and can grow to their full potential.
Good quality water
At this stage, it is important to flush out the water channels regularly while the ducklings are present. Farmers should check water quality by carrying out tests every year. Chlorination or other treatment is necessary if the results are not satisfactory. Also, since the building is kept at a temperature of 28°C, it is important to regularly replace the water and food.
Almost full-time monitoring during the first few days
The first 72 hours are crucial. As soon as the ducklings arrive, the farmer should spend as much time as possible with them, in order to observe their habits and ensure that they move around. As ossification takes place very quickly in Pekin ducks, it is important to monitor them and to supplement with the correct vitamins to strengthen their bones. Visit the ducks every two hours on the first day and then gradually spacing out visits over the following days. Experts also stress the importance of spraying ducklings with water to rehydrate them quickly in an emergency.
An appropriate diet
Food must be appropriate for their young age and farmers should ensure that crumbles are stirred so that they remain palatable. The visual appearance of this food is crucial.
You are now ready to receive your ducklings. A technical support line and a preparatory guide ensure that you can raise your ducklings in the best possible conditions.