Preparing the arrival of ducklings at your farm

Partner(s): Grimaud Frères
Industry(ies): Duck

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Infrared claw treatment, a technique with two advantages for Muscovy duck farmers.

Claw treatment concerns all duckling farmers. It is an essential step to avoid injuries between ducks and damage to the meat, which could lead to downgrades or seizures at the slaughterhouse.

It is also a response to the requirements of European law and requests from NGOs.

If farmers decide to carry out this intervention on their farms, they often combine it with the parvovirus vaccine booster and debeaking. The combining of these operations around the 15th day of ducklings’ lives weakens their health and does not encourage good assimilation of the vaccine. This then leads to health risks. Furthermore, techniques used by breeders can be traumatic, leaving traces or worse.

Animal well-being and reduced health risks

By adopting infrared claw treatment, farmers are giving priority to human and animal well-being. The treatment considerably reduces handling time for farmers, or simply saves them from having to find and invest in labour to carry out this operation. Also, when carried out on ducklings barely one day old, it enables permanent removal (98% success rate) of ducklings’ claws, painlessly and without trauma. This pulsed light technique is non-invasive and has the advantage of only lasting a few seconds… a two-fold advantage ensuring good quality meat.

Now let’s look at how to prepare your building before the ducklings arrive.

What are the essential steps in preparing for the arrival of ducklings at your farm ?

By conscientiously following all the steps described here, you will increase the chances of having a successful farming operation.

1. Thorough cleaning before the arrival of the ducklings

Cleaning is the first essential step in receiving ducklings into a healthy environment. Farmers must decontaminate their buildings of any microbes from the previous batch.

2. Disinfection in compliance with standards

After this thorough cleaning, farmers should proceed with the disinfection stage. Using virucidal, bactericidal and fungicidal products, farmers should remove all microorganisms and undesirable viruses in their buildings. The final stage of the disinfection process is rat extermination. These first two stages of cleaning and disinfection generally take two to three weeks.

3. A building heated to 30°C

30°C is the required temperature for newly arrived ducklings. They need this temperature in order not to undergo heat shock after the sensation of the incubator and to evolve properly.

4. Customized equipment

1 waterer and 1 feeder are recommended for 50 to 100 ducklings. A heating point, usually radiant, is also necessary for each 450 to 500 ducklings, to recreate the sensation of maternal warmth. The ducklings’ comfort ensures good quality meat.

5. Good quality water

Farmers should check water quality by carrying out tests every year. Chlorination is necessary if the results are not satisfactory. Also, since the building is kept at a temperature of 30°C, it is important to regularly replace the water and food.

6. Almost full-time monitoring during the first few days

The first 72 hours are crucial. As soon as the ducklings arrive, the farmer should spend as much time as possible with them, in order to observe their habits and adapt to their requirements. We recommend visits every two hours on the first day and then gradually spacing out visits over the following days. 

You are now ready to receive the ducklings. Note that Grimaud Frères’ services, which won an Innov Space award in 2018, include a telephone technical support line and a preparatory guide to ensure that can raise your ducklings in the best possible conditions. Grimaud Frères’s treatment has been adopted in Germany, Italy, Canada and the USA.

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Mule duck production manager


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