The domestic duck is distributed
throughout the world. Ducks are easy to keep, adapt
readily to a wide range of conditions, they are also
easily managed under village conditions particularly if
a waterway is nearby. They appear to be more resistant
and more adept at foraging than chickens.
distinctive types of ducks have been developed in
various regions. Most have lost the ability to fly any
distance, but they retain a boat like posture and a
labored, waddling walk. Domestic ducks range in body
size from the diminutive Call, which weighs less than a
kilo to the largest meat strains weighing as much as 4.5
Ducks thrive in hot, humid
climates, however during torrid weather they must have
access to shade, drinking water and bathing water. They
are adapted to rivers, canals, lakes, ponds, marshes and
other aquatic locations. All domestic ducks interbreed
freely, eggs normally take 28 days to incubate, brooding
and rearing is done solely by the female.
Ducks are shy, nervous and seldom
aggressive towards each other or humans. Skilled and
enthusiastic swimmers from the day they hatch, they
spend many hours each day bathing and frolicking in any
available water. Most breeds can however be raised
successfully without swimming water. Wild ducks normally
pair off; however, domestic drakes will mate
indiscriminately with any females in a flock. Ducks are
vulnerable to predators as they are almost incapable of
defending themselves. They are also poor mothers.
In the zoo we have Indian Runner,
Crested and Call Duck
Indian Runner duck
Originated in India and brought to England from Malaya
by a ship�s captain in 1830, Indian Runner duck has a
distinctive �racy� look-long, flat, head and long,
slender neck and stands upright. Drake weighs between
1.6 to 2.25kg whilst duck weighs between 1.35 and 2 kg.
the comedian of the duck family � nosy, small and cute.
The females in particular have a very loud quack. They
originated from England. They were developed as decoys
to �call� wild ducks down on to a lake to be hunted.
There are 2 varieties of call duck: grey, with Mallard
markings and white, although they can be any of an
amasing array of colours. They are small with a mass of
570g to 800g for a drake and 450 � 700g for duck.
Ducks are used as a
meat source. They are larger than hens and the meat
remains tender and palatable even in older birds. Eggs
are typically larger than hens� eggs. The eggs are
nutritious, have more fat and protein and contain less
water than hen�s eggs. Down is sought as filler for
pillows, comforters and winter clothing. They have a
special fondness for mosquito and beetle larvae,
grasshoppers, snails, slugs and crustaceans and
therefore are effective pest control agents.