Weight control of breeders ducks

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

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Controlling the growth of your duck breeders is essential to optimise your performance during the production cycle.


Loïc Fruchet


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Objectives of weighing

The control of the weight evolution of the animals allows us to guarantee the good growth of the flock. It also allows us to manage the breeding with full knowledge of the facts and thus to control their performances. The control of animals weight is an important factor in their good health. Information on breeding ducks weight should be collected as frequently as possible. In this way, the technical management of the flock is optimized.

With future breeders, weight control must allows to control the growth curve. Thus, the objective of sexual maturity is reached in a more precise and grouped way. Having accurate information on the weight and the homogeneity of the flock also allows to make corrections adapted to the feeding of ducks.

Finally, weight monitoring of future breeders enables early detection of health problems in a flock. It is also easier to observe the impact of a feed change or a defective feed.

The laying period

During the laying period of mule breeders, weight control has other objectives. It must allow us to control the dicrease of food rationing for the animals. This will allow us to stimulate the increase of egg laying according to

  • their maturity,
  • the rate of laying,
  • weight of eggs
  • weight of ducks

All these elements taken into account at the same time which enable us to fully control the rise of egg laying.

The implementation of the manual scale

If you are using a hand-held scale and a weighing cone:

  • Position your scale in a stable and fixed positio
  • Set the validation parameters of your manual scale correctly
  • Take a sample from a flock and from a location in the flock that is representative such as the middle
  • Weigh at least 100 animals. Weighing is always done on fasted animals

Take time to observe the animal’s body condition during handling. However, beware, handling can stresses the animal and increases the risk of injury.

Weigh your animals regularly. During weight changes, weighing once a week may not be enough.

Setting up the automatic scale

If you are using an automatic scale and a tray: Weighing is done during a period of time when animals are fasting. Make sure that the equipment is properly installed:

  • The tray fixed to the ceiling must be stable. Depending on the brand and model, a nearby electrical outlet may be required.
  • Position the equipment strategically in the animal’s path. This way, you increase the number of animals to get on the tray and therefore the number of weighings.
  • Check daily that the equipment is correctly adjusted and that the tray is at the correct height. Tare the equipment regularly with a weight.

WARNING: The automatic weighing system does not replace the work of the breeder. It is a comfort and technical tool that must be controlled by the breeder such as adjustment, height… It obviously requires the breeder to control his equipment and his flock to avoid errors: “technology is a useful servant but a dangerous master”.

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