Ducks are a type of bird that belongs – scientifically – to the duck family (Latin: Anatidae), and it belongs to the order of geese and is characterized by its relatively small size and that it has a short beak. Ducks live around Aquatic natural habitats, where they feed on fish and others, and these birds inhabit almost all parts of the world, except Antarctica and the Arctic.
Ducks are distinguished from many birds by the fact that their chicks hatch while they are strong and developing; they are covered with light feathers and are able to walk to the water and start looking for food – with the help of their mother – within a few hours after hatching from the egg.
Types of ducks :
Biologists tend to classify Ducks with geese and geese within a single order called geese; this group includes 147 different species of these birds, about a hundred of which belong to ducks alone. Duck species have in common that they are organisms that live in aquatic environments, and have been domesticated by humans to benefit from their meat and eggs for thousands of years; some types of ducks are known as sea ducks or diving ducks, River ducks or freshwater ducks, including also black ducks and red-breasted Mallards; as the latter is one of the fastest birds in the world, it can fly at a speed exceeding sixty kilometers per hour, and some types of ducks are also: The beautiful forest duck, which was hunted in huge numbers until it was almost extinct in an effort to take advantage of its colorful feathers to decorate hats, and the black-headed duck, which is known to parasitize the nests of other birds and leave its eggs in them, to be taken care of by others.
Wild ducks, also called mallard ducks, are believed by many scientists to be the actual ancestor from which all domesticated duck breeds that now exist in the world descended; this wild bird was first domesticated in China two to three thousand years ago, and one of its most prominent species is the White Peking duck (from China), which is the most widespread duck species in the United States at present.
Wild ducks are one of the breeds of birds that have been domesticated, that is, domesticated to benefit from them, from their meat, eggs, and feathers, and this type of duck is characterized by the fact that its males have a head covered with bright green feathers, and its neck is wrapped in a white ring, and its chest is dyed in a burgundy color. This bird is widely distributed on the continent of Europe, most of Asia, as well as North America; where it spends the summer, and then migrates in winter south to North Africa, India, or southern Mexico.
Breeding ducks :
Breeding ducks are spread within small farms or barns in most countries of the world, and trade is usually limited to small farms and not too large production companies, which rarely take care of this bird except in specific places, such as England, the Netherlands, and the United States.
Breeding birds are not completely easy; the person who is responsible for breeding them must pay attention to their health and the state of the presence of the disease; animals of all kinds transmit diseases to humans, including ducks. Ducks are generally a strong and highly tolerant birds, so they do not need a vaccination or close medical attention in most cases, and they are not as attractive to pests – such as mites, and lice – as much as other domestic birds (chickens, for example), thanks to spending a lot of time inside the water, but nevertheless, they may pick up some harmful diseases.
One of the worst diseases that Ducks may be exposed to is hepatitis of ducks; this disease usually affects young chicks aged from one day to one month, after which their immunity to it becomes strong; as this disease strikes the liver first, and then spreads in the body quickly causing death, and if this disease affects one of the Ducks, it spreads quickly in the flock or with it, the Duck shows signs of dullness and lethargy, and may die a little later, and can be avoided In such cases, vaccinate birds against these diseases and keep them in as clean and sterile an environment as possible.
Eat ducks :
Duck food in nature :
The diet of ducks varies according to its type; ducks in the wild eat a variety of organisms that they find in the natural aquatic environments they inhabit, and these organisms may be fish or shellfish, and they may also feed on plant food, such as green foliage and seeds.
The duckbill may be wide and equipped with strong edges capable of sifting grains, insects, and oyster shells from lake waters, and some species of these birds have beaks designed to enter cracks between rocks and hunt crustaceans, and their beak may be wide for fishing, and ducks may need to dive to great depths underwater in search of their food; Ducks can swim in the water very gracefully thanks to their feet equipped for rowing, floating and diving, and this allows them to reach their food easily.
Feeding the Ducks :
Domesticated there are specially packaged foods for ducks and other waterfowl available in shops, and these ducks can also live naturally on chicken food. When raising ducks to get their eggs, it is possible to feed them regular cereals that are offered to chickens and other poultry, but if a domesticated duck has young that she cares for until they grow up, she needs a higher nutritional content than usual. It is noteworthy that domesticated ducks need more vitamin niacin (B3) than chickens, and this need can be compensated by adding Brewer’s yeast to their food by up to 5%.
It is advisable to serve food to domestic ducks in bowls that cannot be turned upside down (in case the Ducks abuse them), and they must be large enough for all the barn Ducks to eat from it at the same time, and it is necessary to add a number of green leaves to the Ducks ‘ food, such as lettuce, herbs, etc., corn, peas, cucumber pieces, tomatoes, and other vegetables can also be served to them, and it is necessary to provide water near the Ducks permanently.