Integration of livestock in fish culture has been a popular system in practice since traditional times. In the mix has been the use of ducks, pig, cattle and even goats. The premise of integrating two different animals in the rearing practice is to make use of one animal’s by-product to the advantage of another animal’s nutrition.
This is the thought behind fish culture and integrating ducks within the schema of this rearing practice. In this concept, ducks are combined with fish growing by constructing duck housing near a pond or over it in such a way that their wastes are directly drained into the pond. This ensures that duck excreta could be efficiently utilized as feed for fish and the end product is valuable animal protein. Duck excreta is a good source of nutrients for plankton production. This provides food for the fish and makes the physiochemical parameters of water and soil great for both fish and ducks to thrive.
The integration of fish and ducks is very promising and could bring a significant Return on Investment from a unit area particularly for small holding farmers. The cost and returns of fish-cum-duck farming is more profitable than fish farming alone.
Here are some advantages of this practice:
· Ducks are highly compatible with fishes.
· Fish stand to gain from the feed spilled by ducks and eat their droppings which directly contributes to their nutrition.
· Ducks are manure machines as they fertilize ponds with their droppings. This saves the expenditure involved in manually applying manure to the pond.
· Ducks help keep water plants in check and save fertilizer cost.
· They help save almost 60% of supplementary feed cost
· Ducks use the pond for their daily intake of water and also aerate them.
· Ducks increase pond productivity by releasing nutrients from the pond bed
· Duck get 50- 75% of their total feed requirement from the pond itself in the form of aquatic weeds, insects, molluscs, etc. which do not form the food of the fish.
Now that you know why this form of farming is your next big step in aquaculture and poultry rearing, you may want to know how to set up a farm like this. Watch out for our next blog where we walk you though detailed steps and requirements to launch an integrated duck and fish farm!