Moulard ducks: breed description, breeding features at home
Growing poultry for meat, experienced farmers from those who kept mullards do not change this hybrid, because of its high productivity. This article is devoted to the description of the characteristics, features, productivity and maintenance standards of these ducks, which are also called mulattos.
The breed was artificially bred in France in 1960, by crossing Peking and Musk ducks. Breeding work was carried out in the direction of fixing and improving the meat productivity of birds, as well as eliminating the shortcomings of the original lines: slow growth, late precocity, pronounced maternal qualities.
The Mulard gathered all the positive qualities of their ancestors. From ordinary ducks they are distinguished by cleanliness and a more relaxed disposition. Whether they fly like musky ducks - yes, but they should not cut their wings, since massiveness prevents the manifestation of flying abilities.
Birds are large, with a long body, wings fit snugly. Medium-sized head with dark eyes and a yellow beak, long neck. Yellow short legs, small tail. Comparing hybrid individuals with relatives of musky breed, it is worth noting the smaller body size and smaller growth on the beak, the legs are also shorter.
There are color variations of the color of the mulard:
|White||The whole body is covered with a plain light feather with a black speck on the head.|
|White black||Mostly light plumage with dark spots on the head, wings and tail|
|White brown||Light body combined with dark plumage of the head, wings and tail|
Weight and dimensions
Already at 3 months, the duck reaches a weight of 4 kg, which is considered the optimal slaughter weight, with a longer cultivation, the indicator for an adult rises to 7 kg.
Important! 2 weeks before slaughter, the birds are transferred to another menu, excluding fishmeal from the diet. This will prevent the unpleasant smell of meat.
When approaching the issue of slaughter, it is important to know how long mullards grow: from 1 to 3 months, ducks are actively gaining muscle mass, and fat deposits are practically absent. Based on this, it is clear when you need to cut a bird. Keeping it longer than the specified period is impractical, since shedding and weight loss begin.On average, the maximum life expectancy is about 10-15 years, but often hybrids are used for industrial cultivation and cut long before that. Before the murder, they spend several hours of fasting with free access to water. Ducks are chopped and then scalded with hot water to remove feathers.
Having considered the question of at what age and at what month it is recommended to slaughter the livestock, we will move on to the next point - sexual dimorphism of muleards.
How to distinguish a drake from a duck
Like musk ducks, gender differences are mild.
One can distinguish a male from a female by the following characteristics:
- Outward signs. The duck is characterized by a more saturated color of plumage, a growth is formed on their nose from above. As for the females, their head is more rounded, the neck is short and graceful, the body is narrower. The shape of the tail also varies: males have rounded feathers at the end, straight lines are characteristic for ducks.
- Features of behavior. In a duck flock, ducks are always in front, while males are kept away or behind. It is worth noting the more aggressive behavior of drakes. It gives the females a quack, while the males give a whistle and hiss.
- The structure of the reproductive system. The drakes present a fold 3-4 mm thick in the area of the cloaca, the so-called pseudopenis.
The main direction of growing ducks is the production of meat, provided by early puberty and rapid gain in live weight.
Ducks rush or not - a frequently asked question by beginning farmers, the answer is yes - yes. The Mulard inherited early maturity from the Beijing relatives and begin to lay eggs from 7–7.5 months of age. About 210 pieces are demolished per year. The nutritional value is not worse than chicken and are used in cooking.
Important! In its raw form, it is contraindicated for use, due to the high risk of infection with salmonellosis.
Mularda is a broiler breed, they quickly gain weight, without excessive fatty deposits, up to 3% of the carcass weight. The meat has a high palatability: tender, nutritious, without a specific smell and taste. Due to its low fat content, it is recommended that children be added to the menu.
Calorie content and nutritional value of meat are indicated in the table:
|Calorie content||248 kcal|
Did you know? Unlike adults, ducklings contain more copper, phosphorus, aluminum, cobalt, silicon, magnesium and sodium.
Pros and cons of the breed
To fully characterize the hybrid, it is important to approach the review comprehensively, having studied all the positive and negative traits of mullards.
- calm type of behavior;
- rapid growth and weight gain;
- high nutritional qualities of meat;
- quick adaptation.
- sensitivity to high humidity;
Home breeding and care
Given all the positive properties, many are aimed at growing mulards in their compound. Before proceeding with this, it is necessary to familiarize yourself with detailed information about the conditions of keeping and growing ducks.
In order for the bird to intensively grow and develop, it is important to create the necessary conditions for keeping.
The habitat is divided into two parts:
- insulated barn;
- walking yard.
The space is calculated based on the norms:
- 1 m² for 3 heads for the barn;
- 2 m² per 1 head for the pen.
The temperature is kept at +16 ... + 25 ° C, humidity is from 60 to 70%, at higher rates the likelihood of diseases increases, it is also important to protect ducks from drafts. A thick layer of straw or sawdust is laid on the floor, which is replaced as it becomes dirty.
In the walking yard, you should place a large tank for swimming and cleaning, fill it with water.
What and how to feed
Before forming a diet, you should take care of convenient feeders 140 cm long and 23 cm wide, with a calculation of 4 cm per head, for the implementation of a leisurely and accurate saturation. Failure to comply with the content standards, the main reason for the deterioration of the appetite of the mulard.
Also, birds do not eat barley grain well, so before serving it should be soaked for 10-20 hours in warm water and given to ducks in it, which will increase interest in this type of feed.
In summer time
The feeding system depends on the season, so in the summer mulard is fed 3-4 times, of which they give compound feed or wet mixers twice.
Be sure to make:
- green herbs;
- from vegetables - boiled potatoes, beets, carrots, pumpkin.
From cereals, corn and wheat are preferred.
To provide ducks with valuable minerals in the diet make:
- a shell;
- a piece of chalk;
- crushed eggshell.
Do not forget about animal feed: fish and meat and bone meal. It is recommended to install a container with gravel or sand in the pen to fill the muscle stomach.
In winter time
In winter, ducks are fed twice: the first meal consists of wet mash mulchers with the addition of chopped vegetables, the second - dry feed.It is important to make the diet diverse and full of nutrients.Prepare compound feed at home by mixing several components:
- barley groats;
You can also prepare a combined silo, this will require:
- or any low-fiber vegetables.
All of the above ingredients are crushed and added to the main feed.
At the age of 70 days, moulards begin to molt seasonally, during which the bird loses weight, feathers leave “stumps”, which remove skin damage. Based on this, the term of slaughter of ducks is determined, it is important to conduct it before the onset of the process of changing the feather cover.
If the ducklings have not reached the desired slaughter weight, you should consider how long the molt lasts and carry out the procedure after that. On average, it takes about two months.
Premature molting can be caused by:
- eating disorders;
- improper conditions of detention (elevated temperature and humidity, reduced daylight hours);
- stress factors.
Given the inability to reproduce, ducklings are obtained by constantly crossing the original breeds. Selected individuals aged 7 to 10 months, in the ratio of 1 spleen to 6-7 females.
For hatching, 10–15 eggs should be taken no earlier than 2-3 weeks of laying, as hens or hen-hens are preferred as hens, which ensures a higher percentage of hatchability.
Conditions for keeping
Ducklings appear in a month. Depending on the amount, they allot space for growing: from the box to the whole room, with a calculation of no more than 5-6 ducklings per 1 m². The litter is formed with straw or hay.
In the first days, the temperature is maintained at +28 ... + 30 ° C, in the absence of a hen, after a few days they are reduced to +23 ° C. The first week is covered almost completely - 18–20 hours a day, reducing the rate by 2 hours every week.
After hatching and drying, ducklings are drunk with a weak solution of warm potassium permanganate, in the future they will organize uninterrupted access to clean water. At the very beginning, they feed on steeply boiled eggs, previously finely ground.
A few days later add low-fat cottage cheese, small cereals without films. On day 4, boiled meat waste and fresh herbs are introduced. After 10 days, you can give boiled potatoes. After a month, they can not only be accustomed to whole grains, but also transferred to the diet of adults. And after 40 days they are released into the pasture.
In practice, each poultry breeder is faced with the manifestation of diseases, for each species they are individual, for the mulard the following are dangerous:
- Aspergillosis The source of the disease is spores of fungi that form in moldy straw and feed, for the prevention of the disease it is important to observe sanitary and hygienic standards in the house, as well as monitor the contents of feeders.
- Pecking the pen. Provoked by protein deficiency and dirty habitat. A balanced diet and a clean room for keeping will help prevent the phenomenon.
- Cloacite. Another disease caused by a lack of nutrients, namely vitamins.
Having studied the nature of mullards, we can say with confidence: this is one of the best hybrids for meat products, birds are easy to care for, they quickly ripen and grow, which makes it possible to get a low-fat product similar to beef, and with a special feeding system - foie gras .
The birds are clean, have a unique color and a variety of colors, making it a wonderful addition to the home compound.