Indigenous Muscovy Ducks in Congo Brazzaville. 2. Preliminary observations on indigenous Muscovy ducks reared under moderate inputs in Congolese conditions

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To evaluate the potential of the native Muscovy ducks in Congo, a trial was conducted with closed housing, commercial feeding and veterinary care. The characterization included reproductive performance, daily weight gain, live body weight, feed conversion ratio, body live weight productivity, and meat productivity. The experimental genetic stock was bred under natural mating and natural incubation. The number of eggs recorded per female and per clutch was 14.6 ± 3 eggs with 2 clutches per year. The average (±SD) hatchability was 75% ± 3% and the average egg weight was 72 ± 8 g. The sexual dimorphism for body weight appeared after 3 weeks (p < 0.05). The maximum daily weight gain in males reached 55 ± 8 g/day and occurred at 5 weeks, whereas in females it occurred at 4 weeks and reached 35 ± 5 g/day. The carcass yield was 70% ± 5% and 51 ± 8% in males and females, respectively. The meat productivity was 26.7 and 11.5 kg/m2 per year in males and females, respectively. From these findings, it can be concluded that the incubation by mother duck is preferred in the small farming duck and that males should be raised for meat and females for egg production. Further studies including local poultry-related issues are needed to optimize the performance of the native Muscovy duck in Congo Brazzaville.

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