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Fish cum Duck farming

Benefits of fish cum duck farming

  • Water surface of ponds can be put into full utilization by duck raising.
  • Fish ponds provide an excellent environment to ducks which prevent them from infection of parasites.
  • Ducks feed on predators and help the fingerlings to grow.
  • Duck raising in fish ponds reduces the demand for protein to 2 – 3 % in duck feeds.
  • Duck droppings go directly into water providing essential nutrients to increase the biomass of natural food organisms.
  • The daily waste of duck feed (about 20 - 30 gm/duck) serves as fish feed in ponds or as manure, resulting in higher fish yield.
  • Manuring is conducted by ducks and homogeneously distributed without any heaping of duck droppings.
  • By virtue of the digging action of ducks in search of benthos, the nutritional elements of soil get diffused in water and promote plankton production.
  • Ducks serve as bio aerators as they swim, play and chase in the pond. This disturbance to the surface of the pond facilitates aeration.
  • The feed efficiency and body weight of ducks increase and the spilt feeds could be utilized by fish.
  • Survival of ducks raised in fish ponds increases by 3.5 % due to     the clean environment of fish ponds.
  • Duck droppings and the left over feed of each duck can increase the output of fish to 37.5 Kg/ha.
  • Ducks keep aquatic plants in check.
  • No additional land is required for duckery activities.
  • It results in high production of fish, duck eggs and duck meat in unit time and water area.
  • It ensures high profit through less investment.

Stocking Density of fish

  • The pond is stocked after the pond water gets properly detoxified.
  • The stocking rates vary from 6000 fingerlings/ha and a species ratio of 40 % surface feeders, 20 % of column feeders, 30 % bottom feeders and 10-20 % weedy feeders are preferred for high fish yields.
  • Mixed culture of only Indian major carps can be taken up with a species ratio of 40 % surface, 30 % column and 30 % bottom feeders.
  • In the northern and north - western states of India, the ponds should be stocked in the month of March and harvested in the month of October - November, due to severe winter, which affect the growth of fishes.
  • In the south, coastal and north - eastern states of India, where the winter season is mild, the ponds should be stocked in June - September months and harvested after rearing the fish for 12 months.

Use of duck dropping as manure:

  • The ducks are given a free range over the pond surface from 9 to 5 PM, when they distribute their droppings in the whole pond, automatically manuring the pond.
  • The droppings voided at night are collected from the duck house and applied to the pond every morning.
  • Each duck voids between 125 - 150 gm of dropping per day.
  • The stocking density of 200-300 ducks/ha gives 10,000 - 15,000 kg of droppings and  are recycled in one hectare ponds every year.
  • The droppings contain 81% moisture, 0.91% nitrogen and 0.38% phosphate on dry matter basis.

Duck husbandry practices : The following three types of farming practice are adopted.

Raising large group of ducks in open water

  • This is the grazing type of duck raising.
  • The average number of a group of ducks in the grazing method is about 1000 ducks.
  • The ducks are allowed to graze in large bodies of water like lakes and reservoirs during the day time, but are kept in pens at night.
  • This method is advantageous in large water bodies for promoting fish production.

Raising ducks in centralised enclosures near the fish pond

  • A centralised duck shed is constructed in the vicinity of fish ponds with a cemented area of dry and wet runs out side.
  • The average stocking density of duck is about 4 - 6 ducks/sq.m. area.
  • The dry and wet runs are cleaned once a day. After cleaning the duck shed, the waste water is allowed to enter in to the pond.

Raising ducks in fish pond

  • This is the common method of practice.
  • The embankments of the ponds are partly fenced with net to form a wet run.
  • The fenced net is installed 40-50 cm above and below the water surface, so as to enable the fish to enter into the wet run while ducks cannot escape under the net.

Selection of ducks and stocking

  • The kind of duck to be raised must be chosen with care since all the domesticated races are not productive.
  • The important breeds of Indian ducks are Sylhet Mete and Nageswari.
  • The improved breed, Indian runner, being hardy has been found to be most suitable for this purpose, although they are not as good layers as exotic Khaki Campbell.
  • The number of ducks required for proper manuring of one hectare fish pond is also a matter of consideration.
  • It has been found that 200 – 300 ducks are sufficient to produce manure adequate enough to fertilize a hectare of water area under fish culture.
  • 2 - 4 months old ducklings are kept on the pond after providing them necessary prophylactic medicines as a safeguard against epidemics.


  • Ducks in the open water are able to find natural food from the pond but that is not sufficient for their proper growth.
  • A mixture of any standard balanced poultry feed and rice bran in the ratio of 1:2 by weight can be fed to the ducks as supplementary feed at the rate of 100 gm/ bird/day.
  • The feed is given twice in a day, first in the morning and second in the evening.
  • The feed is given either on the pond embankment or in the duck house and the spilled feed is then drained into the pond.
  • Water must be provided in the containers deep enough for the ducks to submerge their bills, along with feed.
  • The ducks are not able to eat without water. Ducks are quite susceptible to afflatoxin contamination, there fore, mouldy feeds kept for a long time should be avoided.
  • The ground nut oil cake and maize are more susceptible to Aspergilus flavus which causes aflotoxin contamination and may be eliminated from the feed.

Egg laying

  • The ducks start laying the eggs after attaining the age of 24 weeks and continue to lay eggs for two years.
  • The ducks lay eggs only at night. It is always better to keep some straw or hay in the corners of the duck house for egg laying.
  • The eggs are collected every morning after the ducks are let out of the duck house.


  • Keeping in view the demand of the fish in the local market, partial harvesting of the table size fish is done.
  • After harvesting partially, the pond should be restocked with the same species and the same number of fingerlings.
  • Final harvesting is done after 12 months of rearing.
  • Fish yield ranging from 3500 - 4000 Kg/ha/yr and 2000 - 3000 Kg/ha/yr are generally obtained with 6 - species and 3 - species stocking respectively.

The eggs are collected every morning. After two years, ducks can be sold out for flesh in the market. About 18,000 - 18,500 eggs and 500 - 600 Kg duck meat are obtained.


Updated on : March 2015


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