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close this bookLivelihood Options for Coastal Communities (IIRR, 1995, 77 p.)
close this folderLand-based activities
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View the documentDuck raising
View the documentPot gardening for coastal areas
View the documentSalt production using Plastic sheets

Duck raising

Remote coastal areas often lack the supply of poultry meat and eggs essential to good nutrition and health. If it is available, the price is more expensive compared to urban centers.

One alternative is duck (itik or bibi) raising. Duck raising does not need much labor and care. This allows mothers, children or other members of the family to engage in a profitable food-based enterprise. Ducks are efficient producers of animal protein for the family and provide extra income.

Ducks require simple shelter, are resistant to common poultry diseases and can thrive on feeds locally available. It is an economical, useful and multipurpose water fowl appropriate to coastal areas.

They grow best along watered areas. The presence of mangroves, seagrasses and coral reefs in most coastal areas are rich natural sources of food. Ducks are voracious eaters and efficient scavengers.

In many coastal areas where malarial disease is prevalent (because of the presence of mosquito larvae that thrive in brackishwater), duck raising can minimize-if not control-its incidence by feeding on mosquito larvae (worm-like). However, a few crops in coastal areas can also be destroyed by ducks.

Duck (itik or bibi)


The traditional multipurpose breed is white or black; the most commonly raised in most rural areas, it can lay 100-120 eggs per year. The improved Pateros breed can lay 120-200 eggs per year. The egg-type Khaki Campbell breed can lay 200-250 eggs per year. Newly-introduced hybrid-egg types, like CV-2000, can lay 250 eggs and up. The recommended breeds for coastal areas are Muscovy and Pateros (mixed colors).

Different production methods

There are four commonly used production systems in the Philippines.

Scavenging system

This is most widely used in coastal and inland areas. A flock of 3() and below are allowed to range free over the village and return to the homeyard in the evening.

Herding system

Growing or laying ducks is allowed into wet lands, irrigation areas or harvested paddy fields scavenging for food during the day. They are herded into enclosures during the evening and night. If the natural feed supply is exhausted, they are transferred to other feeding sites.

Landing system

This is common in South Kalimantan (Borneo), Indonesia, where vast tracts of swamplands are available. The ducks arc provided with floating houses with fences on rafts. They feed on aquatic animals and plants given to them or by scavenging.

Confinement or intensive system

This is practiced by commercial growers with large flocks of more than 100 birds. They are kept in pen systems with shelters and are fed with available, commercial feeds.

Proposed design of duck shelter in coastal areas.

Management and care

A household may start with 15 birds of 13 female (ducks) and 2 males (drakes), as its source of food and income.

Most houses within tidal fluctuations have their own open porch for drying fish, etc. One can build the ducks' shelter under the porch or under the house. A one-half meter clearance from the highest tide level area should be allowed below the flooring of the ducks' house. A three-feet clearance from the family house floor to the ducks' house floor is enough. This can be done by using bamboo slats that are closely nailed to the flooring. Bamboo fences may also be provided. Place rice straw or other grass materials on the floor as litter. Provide nests for laying or brooding. One can use bamboo, discarded tires or other containers as feeders. Also, provide ladders. Ducks in coastal areas usually perform well because of the presence of aquatic and marine animals, like fish, snails, larvae, etc., and water plants, such as algae and grasses which they can feed on. Supplemental feeding may be done with kitchen leftovers, trash fish, rice bran, corn, cassava and other grains that can be bought for extra feeding, if necessary.

Allow at least two to three ducks to brood their eggs as replacement stocks. The rest of the eggs may be used for family consumption and/or sale. Peak laying of ducks is 18 months after six to seven months. Dispose or sell all the flock after the 1 8-month period, if there is a replacement available.

If the village has a history of recurring common fowl, diseases like Avian Pest, Fowl Pox and Fowl Cholera, request the services of the Municipal Livestock Technician for vaccination of the birds.

Economics of production—duck raising

Raising ducks may be a profitable project, especially in a rice-growing area with sufficient supply of water. Based on the experience of Mr. Antero Villareal of Barangay Plaridel, Llanera, Nueva Ecija, who started with only 200 ducklings in his 500-sq-m backyard and P7,000 as seed capital, a net profit of P17,850 from sales of fresh duck eggs was realized after five months. In 1987, he again bought 2,500 female ducklings at P8.50 each from Pampanga. He earned a net profit of P 150,000 from the eggs laid by 900 ducks in 1989 and used the money to buy the 20,000 sq m ricefield he is cultivating.

Today, he owns a balut factory and his 800 ducks provide most of his freshegg requirements: 600 for sale daily; 2,000 for salted eggs; 12,000 for balut production every three days; and 3,000 for hatching every week. His market extends up to the Munoz-San Jose City area (Greenfields, June 1993).