Fattening of ducks and geese – water poultry

When feeding and fattening ducks and geese, it is important to be aware of the differences between the main nutritional requirements. Experienced breeders are familiar at least with the basic differences between geese, ducks and Muscovy ducks.

Goose (individual original breeds or farmed hybrids) is an exclusive herbivore. Adding green fodder is suitable in the case of conventional breeding. Geese thrive on limited green grazing. Limiting movement and feeding exclusively grain fodder is suitable in the final stage of fattening (feeding mixture for the final stage of fattening).

Duck (mostly based on the Beijing duck breed) is an omnivore. Feeding doses comprising feeding mixtures may be supplemented with slaughterhouse waste or feeding blood with a smaller proportion of green fodder.

Muscovy duck is capable of feeding on green fodder from the enclosure in addition to feeding mixtures. If you want feeding to be intensive, it is good to limit the area and follow the animal’s behaviour. Ducks kept in an excessively small area tend to peck each other’s feathers growing on their wings and gradually all over their bodies. This duck needs a lot of protein during the intensive growth stage. Meat waste products may be given to these ducks as a supplement. Feeding the special type of the Muscovy duck called “barbarie” for very intensive breeding and a high proportion of meat is very complicated (especially for protein content).

During the initial stage of feeding (the first several weeks), using complete feeding mixture is suitable for triggering growth and for preventing high mortality. Partial use of the “cheaper local” sources of nutrients is appropriate during the fattening stage to increase the effectiveness of feeding.


Finally, several terms for clarity:

Barbarie: a term used for Muscovy ducks bred for meat, which were bread in France by selection and crossbreeding of different lines of Muscovy ducks. However, it is still a type of the Muscovy duck.

Duck-goose: a common term for the Muscovy duck. The term “Muscovy duck” would not look great on a blackboard in a butcher’s shop or a different shop. Ducks costing twice as much as the traditional Czech “fatty” goose would not sell very well either. This is why the term “duck-goose” was coined to improve the sales of the Muscovy ducks. Many consider the meat from these ducks to be one of the tastiest poultry products.

Mallard: usually a crossbreed between a male Muscovy duck (these are always very active) and a duck (Beijing duck – these production lines are good layers). The mallard grows very well and has similar feeding needs to the duck. It is excellent for fattening and does not reproduce.