Duck raising’s huge potentials tackled PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 31 May 2015 14:00

By NONOY E LACSON

The Philippine duck raising industry, which started during the Spanish colonial period when the popular “balut” was introduced to Filipinos, is experiencing a huge comeback – thanks mainly to rapid growing demand not only for balut but for other duck egg products like salted eggs, century eggs, and “penoy” or boiled duck eggs.

During a recent “Kapihan at Sarimanukan” session in a duck farm in Barangay Malamig, Bustos, Bulacan, duck raising and animal nutrition experts tackled the many opportunities and challenges facing the resurgent industry as well as how to maximize the economic benefits of running a duck farm.

The “Kapihan at Sarimanukan” is a nationwide outreach program of Sarimanok Poultry Feeds, the poultry business unit of Univet Nutrition and Animal Healthcare Company or UNAHCO. It adopts an informal “coffee shop talk” setup to reach and provide relevant information to farmers, backyard and commercial poultry raisers, feed dealers and other stakeholders.

The Bulacan “Kapihan” featured as main speaker Dr. Erwin Joseph Cruz, a veterinarian and expert duck farmer himself, who discussed the topic “Matubong Pag-iitikan” or profitable duck-raising with some 30 local duck farmers and feed dealers.

The Kapihan was held at the front yard of local farmer Edgar Austria who runs a 3,000-head duck farm nearby.

Dr. Cruz said there is an estimated 11 million duck population in the country today, mostly layers or those that are raised for their eggs. He said the present consumption in the Philippines alone is about 500 million eggs a year and still rapidly growing.

“There is a very strong market for balut not only in the Philippines but in many countries around the world where there are overseas Filipino workers who crave for this local delicacy,” he said. “There is also increasing demand in the Visayas and Mindanao, and the supply is constantly being outstripped by demand.”

He said the industry needs to ensure a high quality of layers, especially hybrids of the local Philippine mallard that are ideal for local conditions, as well as the right kinds of feeds and efficient farm management to ensure consistent egg production and profitability.

Dr. Fe Marie Alejandre Colico, the head of UNAHCO’s poultry business unit, for her part explained the benefits of Sarimanok’s Duck Layer Feeds to ensure high quality eggs and longer layer productivity.

She said Sarimanok Duck Layer Feeds contain OVN or Optimum Vitamin Nutrition formulation that ensures high vitamin levels in eggs. This is made possible by a special ingredient that allows efficient deposition of various nutrients in the egg, which also makes the color of the yolk a deeper yellow.

Sarimanok Duck Layer Feeds’ special formulation also helps make the vitelline membrane – the membrane that encloses the yolk, much stronger to keep its fat content intact thereby retaining its oily characteristic, Dr. Colico added.

The oily characteristic and deep yellow yolk are the most sought-after qualities in salted eggs.

Dr. Colico said OVN likewise has anti-carcinogenic qualities and doubles the shelf life of eggs from the usual one month to almost two months at room temperature, which gives farmers more time to get their products to the market without spoilage.

She said the OVN in Sarimanok makes duck layers more productive, with each layer producing at least eight more eggs due to the longer persistence of laying. The shells are also thicker and thus not prone to breakage, a common problem among raisers.

Dr. Colico said she and Sarimanok’s pool of experts will continue bringing the Kapihan program to more farms in the coming months to help educate not only duck farmers but also those engaged in raising free range, layer and broiler chickens.

For those who want to learn more about poultry raising, Dr. Colico said the “Kapihan at Sarimanukan” is now also on television through a regular segment on the weekly “AgriTV Hayop ang Galing” show that airs every Sunday starting at 7:30 a.m. at the ABS-CBN Sports+Action Channel. — Nonoy E Lacson