Indigenous Muscovy ducks in Congo-Brazzaville. 1. A survey of indigenous Muscovy duck management in households in Dolisie City

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A cross-sectional study by means of a questionnaire with open-ended questions and multiple-choice questions was used to collect data on the profile of duck keepers, husbandry practices, and performances, opportunities and constraints of Muscovy duck breeding in households (n = 88) in Dolisie city (Congo-Brazzaville). The study confirmed the common observations on traditional poultry keeping such as scavenging during the day and housing overnight. The flock size (7.7 ± 3 ducks per unit) showed no specialization of husbandry (100% of surveyed flocks were kept for simultaneous production of ducklings, meat and eggs) and a high drake-to-duck ratio (1:3). The hatchability was close to 80.5% ± 13%, whereas the average number of eggs was 13.2 ± 5 per clutch. In addition, a high mortality (80%) was observed in ducklings, which was due to poor feeding, lack of veterinary care and housing conditions. Eggs and live ducks were sold by duck farmers in response to the family needs rather than market price. The three most important findings were as follows: (1) duck keepers were mainly men (80% versus 20% of women); (2) there was no evidence of taboo; and (3) the duck as an exotic bird was not proscribed by cultural beliefs, and therefore development of the Muscovy duck in Congo Brazzaville should be unhindered.

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