The effect of feeding density in water-pad duck house on growth performance in mule ducks
The aim of this experiment was to evaluate the effects of feeding density in water-pad duck house on performance of mule ducks. Mule ducklings were raised in a brooding house from hatch to 3 weeks old. Thereafter, ducks were randomly divided into 5 treatments i.e. feeding density 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5 ducks/m2 in the water-pad duck house and 1 duck/m2 in semi-opened house. Three replicates were included in each treatment. During the experiment, growth performance, feather development and environmental parameters in duck house were determined. Ducks were sacrificed at 10 and 12 weeks of age for meat quality determination. The results showed that during 3-7 weeks of age, feed intakes of all treatments in water pad duck house were higher（P<0.05）than that in semi-opend house. During 3-7, 7-10 and 10-12 weeks of age, feed conversion ratio in semi-opened house was better（P<0.05）than that in all treatments in water pad duck house. The heaviest live body weight 2,721g was observed in the 1.5 duck/m2 group in the water pad duck house at 12 weeks of age. At 10 weeks of age, the carcass and breast meat weight in 1.5 duck/m2 treatment were 2,136 and 349 g respectively, which were higher（P<0.05）than other treatments. In conclusion, it is recommended for feeding ducks with 1.5 duck/m2 density in the water-pad duck house.
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