A commercial trial evaluating three open water sources for farmed ducks: effects on health and production.


1. The present study investigated the effects on Pekin duck health and production of three open water resources in a commercial setting. The three resources were: narrow troughs (15 cm wide and 8 cm deep), intermediate troughs (20 cm wide and 12 cm deep) and wide troughs (50 cm wide and 8 cm deep). A total of 23 flocks of ducks were investigated, with an average size of 4540 ± 680 individuals and a final stocking density always under 17 kg/m(2). 2. The health of the birds was considered to be of a good standard overall. The only health difference among the resources was that the foot condition of ducks provided with wide troughs was worse than those with intermediate troughs, whilst the foot condition of birds with narrow troughs was intermediate. The open water resources did not differ in their effects on the production measures assessed. 3. Properly managed open water did not have any major negative effects on the health or production of commercial Pekin ducks. Wide, intermediate and narrow troughs did not differ substantially in measures of health or productivity.