Horizontal dissemination of duckling production technology by Mini Incubator at backyard level by ICAR-CIARI

Dr T Sujatha

The meat and egg of ducks are merely the major source of poultry producefor the rural people residing in various isolated Andaman Islands and in particular North &Middle Andaman where in ducks is the choice of poultry. However, their major constraint is non- availability of ducklings for farming in time. Very few hatches of ducklings are obtained through natural hatching with broody hen. Hence, need based specific programme was formulated by a team of Scientists of ICAR-CIARI comprising of Dr.T.Sujatha, Dr.A.Kundu, Dr.Jai Sunder and Dr.Shardul Lal and the concept of ‘’Through farmers to farmers’’ was programmed.
The concept was executed by empowering farmers to produce more hatchable duck eggs with the scientific package of duck farming practices viz., elevated housing, balanced feeding and artificial incubation using mini incubator and propagate those ducklings to other farmers. Duckling resource unit comprising of duck breeders cum mini incubator was established at Nimbudera in collaboration with KVK, North Middle Andaman under funding of NABARD. For the first of its kind, mini incubator was introduced into these islands. A total of five farmers were trained to operate mini incubator and its associated activities.
In a span of three months, backward and forward linkage was established by this concept among the farmers by producing hatchable duck eggs and hatching by themselves and distribution of those ducklings to other farmers. With a unit of 20 ducks and 5 drakes, farmers could obtain duck eggs ranging from 200 to 300 in a period of 20 to 30 days. Through cluster approach, the slot was allotted to each farmer to hatch his own duck eggs at a time in that mini incubator. A total of three hatches have been completed withthe hatchability of 30to 55.8percent. The capacity of mini incubator is 120 eggs.
A total of 139 ducklings have been hatched out by the farmers with setting of 290 eggs in a period of three months which is double the production of ducklings from natural hatching during the period. Optimal numbers of ducklings are kept by the farmer as a replacement stock and the rest are sold to other farmers. Hatching performance is being improved with third batch indicating skill development of farmers on scientific management of duck farming and to handle the mini incubator which was the outreach science and technology for the farmers in really remote areas of North and Middle Andaman. This concept has highly motivated the farmers and made them confident on scientific artificial incubation using mini incubator that is the only sustainable resource for ducklings in North and Middle Andaman.

* Senior Scientist, Animal Science Division, ICAR-Central Island Agricultural Research Institute, Port Blair

Monday, 9 April, 2018