WEATHER »

Mistakes and death

Yesterday and today I found a single dead duckling in the morning, they were the runts, smallest of the flock. In thinking it over I have decided our feeding trough no longer works for the weakest in the flock. As they grow the larger ducklings dominate the feeding time and push the runts away. Beginning tonight we will separate the smallest ones and give them separate feed.

We want to let everyone learn from our mistakes on this first field trial of integrated rice duck on Mindoro. Here are three:

  1. We did not secure ducklings early enough in the process. Ducklings take 35 days to hatch so they must be ordered before the rice seed is germinated (28 days to transplant). Because of this we had to use balut, recycled as ducklings!

  2. Our water level was less than optimum on release day, causing the ducklings to trample a bit of rice (it has now recovered). Ducklings should be able to walk or swim but not forced to walk over the rice.

  3. We fed the ducklings with one feeding trough. This allowed the strongest to dominate and we lost two of the weakest. Separate the small ones and feed.

Tomorrow I transfer to the Divine Word College San Jose to attempt the first rice duck field trial there on Mindoro Occidental. We hope to integrate ducklings about May 1st in Magsaysay.

Best wishes, Lane Anderson

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