Indian Journal of Animal Research

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Indian Journal of Animal Research, volume 58 issue 2 (february 2024) : 298-301

Performance of White Pekin Ducks Fed Wheat or Broken Rice based Diets during Mid Phase of Laying under Intensive Rearing System

P.K. Naik1,*, B.K. Swain1, S.K. Sahoo1, D. Kumar1, S.K. Mishra1, C.K. Beura1
1ICAR-Directorate of Poultry Research Regional Station, Bhubaneswar-751 003, Odisha, India.
Cite article:- Naik P.K., Swain B.K., Sahoo S.K., Kumar D., Mishra S.K., Beura C.K. (2024). Performance of White Pekin Ducks Fed Wheat or Broken Rice based Diets during Mid Phase of Laying under Intensive Rearing System . Indian Journal of Animal Research. 58(2): 298-301. doi: 10.18805/IJAR.B-4870.
Background: White Pekin ducks can be reared under intensive rearing system for meat and egg production. Depending upon the availability, duck farmers use different types of cereals for feeding their ducks. Therefore, a study was conducted to find out the performance of White Pekin ducks during mid phase of layingfed on wheat and/or broken rice based diets under intensive rearing system. 

Methods: White Pekin laying ducks (45; 41 weeks old) were divided into three groups. Three types of diets without (BR-0) and with broken rice (BR), replacing 50 (BR-50) and 100 (BR-100) per cent of wheat were prepared and offered randomly to the above three groups till the ducks attained 52 weeks of age under standard feeding and management practices. 

Result: The total egg production (dozen) and duck day egg production (DDEP) % were higher in BR-50 group (4.51 and 64.44) than the BR-100 group (3.85 and 55.00); however, both were similar to BR-0 group (4.09 and 58.49). The total feed intake (12.55-13.80, kg) and feed conversion ratio (feed consumed in kg per dozen eggs produced) (2.93-3.31) were similar among the groups. The cost (Rs.) per egg was lower in BR-50 group (7.79) than the BR-0 group (8.32) and BR-100 group (8.71). The egg weight in BR-50 group (76.61 g) was higher than the BR-0 group (75.42 g); however, both were similar with BR-100 group (76.19 g). There was no significant difference in the egg shape index (68.22-69.69), albumen index (0.13-0.14) and yolk index (0.42-0.44) among the groups. The However, the Haugh unit in BR-100 groups (87.32) was lower than BR-0 group (89.90); but both were similar with BR-50 group (89.56). There were no significant differences in the percentage of albumen (55.09-55.71), yolk (31.75-32.38) and shell (12.45-12.63) among the groups. Similarly, the shell thickness with membrane (0.50-0.52, mm) and without membrane (0.43-0.44, mm) were also similar among the groups. It can be concluded that White Pekin ducks can be raised on wheat and/or broken rice-based diets during mid phase of laying under intensive rearing system; however, mixture of wheat and broken rice in equal ratio increased the performance and was economical.
The major chunk (98.86%) of the total egg production of India (103.32 billion) is by chickens and only 1.15% is contributed by ducks. The meat production from chicken is 4.06 million tonnes, contributing about 50% of the total meat production of the country (8.11 Million tonnes) (Anonymous, 2019). The requirement for egg and poultry meat in India is 180 and 10.8 kg per person per annum, respectively; however, the per capita availability of egg and poultry meat is only 86 and 2.2 kg (Anonymous, 2021a, 2021b). Therefore, to be self-sufficient and sustain nutritional security, other alternate species, particularly ducks should be explored for egg and meat production. The total population of ducks in India is 33.511 Million, which is only 3.93% of the total poultry population of the country. However, the percentage of increase in duck population than the previous census is more (+42.4) than the chickens (+16.6). Due to unavailability of water bodies, now days, many farmers keep ducks under intensive rearing system. White Pekin ducks can be reared under intensive rearing system with good quality feeds for meat and egg production (Mishra et al., 2021). Depending upon the availability and cost, duck farmers use different types of cereals time to time for feeding their ducks. Cereals like wheat and broken rice are important ingredients for the duck feeds. Therefore, a study was conducted to find out the performance of White Pekin ducks during mid phase of laying when fed wheat and/or broken rice-based diets under intensive rearing system.
The experiment was conducted at ICAR-Directorate of Poultry Research Regional Station, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India, during 2019-2020. White Pekin female ducks (45) in mid phase of laying (41 weeks) were divided into three groups. Each group had three replicates and each replicate had five ducks. Three experimental diets without (BR-0) and with BR, replacing 50 (BR-50) and 100 (BR-100), percent wheat were prepared (Table 1). The diets were offered randomly to the above groups, as per the suggested practical levels of nutrient requirements for a period of 12 weeks till they attained 52 weeks of age (Singh and Panda, 1996). During the experiment, the ducks were on deep litter system and the respective diets were fed ad lib following standard management practices. The data on feed intake and egg production were recorded daily; while the live weights were recorded weekly. For external egg quality parameters, weight, length and width of the egg were recorded weekly and the egg shape index was calculated. For internal egg quality parameters, per cent of albumen, yolk, shell, shell thickness; and length, width and height of albumen and yolk were recorded weekly; and albumen index, yolk index and Haugh unit were calculated. The external egg quality parameters were determined as per the formula of Shultz (1953); while the internal egg quality parameters were calculated as per the formula of Heiman and Carver (1936), Sharp and Powell (1930), Haugh (1937) and Funk (1948). The data were statistically analyzed for the test of significance (Snedecor and Cochran, 1994).

Table 1: Ingredient composition (%) of feeds.

The chemical compositions of the feeds are presented in Table 2. The total egg production (dozen) and duck day egg production (DDEP) % in BR-50 group were higher (P<0.05) than the BR-100 group; however, both were similar to BR-0 group (Table 3). The total feed intake was similar among the groups. The feed conversion ratio (feed consumed in kg per dozen egg production) was also similar among the groups. The feed cost per egg in BR-50 was lower than BR-0 and BR-0 groups. The higher nutrients metabolisability in BR-50 group might have the reason for the better performance of the ducks of the BR-50 group (Naik et al., 2021a).

Table 2: Chemical composition (on % DM basis) of feeds.



Table 3: Effect of feeding broken rice replacing wheat on egg production, feed conversion and economics in Pekin ducks.



The egg weight in BR-50 group was higher than the BR-0 group; however, both were similar with BR-100 group (Table 4). The egg weight observed in this study was higher than the observations (59.03-74.79 g) of the earlier workers (Rath et al., 2016; Kavitha et al., 2017; Swain et al., 2018 and Naik et al., 2020a) in White Pekin ducks. However, higher and lower egg weights in White Pekin ducks have also been reported than the present study. In general, egg weight in ducks is heavier than the chickens; and further, egg weight in White Pekin is higher than the other breeds of ducks, which might be due to their heavier body weight. The egg shape index was similar among the groups, which were very close to the findings of other workers (Naik et al., 2020a; Swain et al., 2018). However, higher egg shape index values have also been reported by the earlier workers (Rath et al., 2016; Kavitha et al., 2017) in White Pekin ducks.

Table 4: Effect of feeding broken rice replacing wheat on egg quality in Pekin ducks.



There was no difference (P>0.05) in albumen index and yolk index among the groups; and the values corroborate well with those of the earlier workers in Whit Pekin ducks (Rath et al., 2016; Kavitha et al., 2017; Swain et al., 2018; Naik et al., 2020a). The Haugh unit in BR-100 group was lower than BR-0 group; however, both were similar to BR-50 group). The Haugh unit observed in this experiment was lower (P<0.05) than the findings of other workers (Swain et al., 2018; Naik et al., 2020a). The egg contents viz. percentage of albumen and yolk were similar among the groups, which corroborated well with the findings of the earlier workers (Rath et al., 2016; Swain et al., 2018; Naik et al., 2020a). The percentage of shell weights was similar among the groups, which was lower than the findings of other workers (Swain et al., 2018; Naik et al., 2020a), but higher than the observations of Rath et al., (2016). The shell thickness (mm) with membrane was higher (P>0.05) in BR-100 group than BR-0 group; however, both were similar to BR-50 group. Similar, lower and higher egg shell thickness have also been recorded in White Pekin ducks (Palanivel and Harikrishnan, 2011; Rath et al., 2016; Kavitha et al., 2017; Swain et al., 2018; Naik et al., 2020a). The shell thickness without membrane were similar (P>0.05) among the groups, which were very close to the findings (0.43-0.48 mm) of the earlier workers (Swain et al., 2018; Naik et al., 2020a). The similar shell thickness without membrane was not affected by substitution of wheat with BR, even though wheat contains higher Ca than BR; as the contribution of the cereals to total Ca supply was very low (Singh and Panda, 1996). Thus, the reduction in absolute Ca supply due to substitution of wheat was rather meagre to cause any adverse impact on shell formation. The CP content of wheat was higher than the BR and the comparative amino acid profile of the two cereals revealed that wheat contained higher amount of lysine than BR (Singh and Panda, 1996; Panda, 2013). In spite of these, no adverse impact on egg quality parameters was observed, when wheat was replaced completely with BR. It could be explained on the basis that the absolute contribution of cereal grains to the CP, lysine and methionine supply is rather low. Moreover, the rations were balanced to be iso-nitrogenous by adjusting the amount of soybean meal in the ration. Earlier, it was reported that the complete replacement of wheat by broken rice in the diets of white Pekin ducks during second year of egg production had no affect on the egg quality (Naik et al., 2020a), blood biochemical parameters (Naik et al., 2020b) and various nutrients metabolisability (Naik et al., 2021b).
It can be concluded that White Pekin ducks during mid phase of laying can be raised on what and/or broken rice based diets under intensive rearing system; however, mixture of wheat and broken rice in equal ratio increased the performance and was economical. 
The authors are thankful to Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi; for providing financial support to conduct the study.
All authors declared that there is no conflict of interest.

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