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Mulard are called hybrid birds obtained as a result of the work of geneticists. They received the best qualities from the parental line. The main purpose of the mulard content is to obtain dietary meat. Mulard males are purposefully reared for the further preparation of foie gras. The liver, cooked in a special way, is considered a traditional delicacy in French cuisine.
The origin of ducks
Mulard were obtained as a result of selective crossing between wild species of muscovy ducks and domesticated Pekinoks. The hybrid, which came to be called mulard, is a cross between a wild duck drake and a domestic breeding brood hen. To obtain a mulard of the meat direction, other breeds of domestic duck, except for the Peking duck, can be crossed, but the parental line is always based on the use of the drake gene from the Indo-duck breed. In terms of taste, mulard meat is similar to goose meat, the size and appearance of carcasses after slaughter are almost the same. Mulardov and geese have in common a feature that characterizes the taste of the liver. Mulard liver replaces goose liver without loss of qualities.
Reference! The peculiarity of mulard is sterility, they are not able to reproduce offspring, therefore the breed is often called “birds for one season”.
Description and characteristics of mulard
Adult ducks weigh 7 kilograms. Females grow 0.5 kg less than males. With dense feeding, the weight of the birds increases by week. In 2 months, the duck can be fattened by 2 kilograms. Table of indicators of weight gain in birds by month:
|Bird age||Bird weight|
|By 3 months||About 4 kilograms|
|After 6 months||More than 4 kilograms|
|By the age of 1||7 kilograms|
Mulardy look like large Peking ducks. They have snow-white plumage; a black spot is often located on the head, which indicates that they belong to the breed. A feature that distinguishes mulard from Peking is a quick set of muscle mass. Beijing people gain fat, but their muscle mass remains the same.
The body of a standard duck of the Mulard breed is large, with wings tightly pressed on the sides. The bird moves slowly, calmly, does not enter into a fight with neighbors, does not provoke other birds. Females are known for their cleanliness, while their hatching instinct is almost undeveloped.
Zarechny Maxim Valerievich
Agronomist with 12 years of experience. Our best summer cottage expert.
Compared to Peking girls, mulardy are distinguished by a calm disposition and soundlessness, they are not loud, they do not hiss at neighbors like mute birds, they do not wake up with screams in the morning like Spanish or Dutch birds. Mulard are able to spend whole days calmly walking, looking for juicy grass and drink.
Mulattoes are birds that develop dark feathers in the tail plumage. This means that mistakes were made when crossing the parental line. Experienced breeders seek to acquire birds with white plumage and a black spot on the head.
Advantages and disadvantages
Mulard is kept for delicious meat. The requirements for placement conditions are related to the advantages and disadvantages of the breed.
quality and taste of meat;
the presence of a healthy liver in birds, which is suitable for foie gras;
the ability to quickly gain weight on a simple feed;
the ability to adapt to new conditions of detention;
a tendency to maintain cleanliness around you;
unpretentiousness in the preparation of the diet;
resistance to common avian diseases.
inability to get offspring naturally;
inability to tolerate drops in air temperature, high susceptibility to drafts;
Varieties of the breed
Purebred mulard are birds with white plumage and a black spot on their heads. But when you mix several lines, you get ducks with different plumage and a combination of qualities. This happens if black musk drakes and females with white plumage were used when crossing.
Mulard began to grow in the south of France. The goal of the French breeders was to obtain meat comparable in taste to Peking duck meat, but with less fat. The company "Orvia" is a leader in the cultivation of interspecific Indo-Ducks. The company supplies over 70 percent of the birds to the market.
The largest among the mulard are birds, the snow-white plumage of which turns to a blue hue. Against the background of plumage, the colored red beak looks especially noticeable. The weight of an adult of this species reaches 7-7.5 kilograms. The yield of pure meat is at least 70 percent. Such an individual can be obtained by crossing a snow-white drake with a pure white Peking duck.
Reference! For crossing, choose a musk breed and any domestic waterfowl breed. In addition to the Peking duck, they take a Bashkir or white Russian bird.
Features of the maintenance and care of hybrids
The life expectancy of mulard is limited to 1 or 1.5 years. In order to start slaughtering a bird, it must reach a certain height and weight. The best option is to bring the bird to a weight of 4-6 kilograms. To bring the bird to a suitable state, it is necessary to create conditions for full growth and development:
- content at a temperature regime from +16 to +25 degrees, a humidity regime from 60 to 70 percent;
- providing bird walks;
- providing a small container of water for the bird to bathe;
- free access for birds to drink;
- balanced diet;
- lack of drafts in the room where birds are kept.
Information! Mulards do not tolerate cold well, so the owners tend to send them to the slaughter before the onset of frost.
Breeding and rearing young animals
Domestic crossing is carried out between a musk drake and several Peking ducks. This process requires special supervision and the participation of experienced breeders. After crossing the birds, the resulting eggs are recommended to be kept in an incubator for 28-30 days until the offspring appear.
It is customary to acquire young growth throughout April, early May, so that the bird is fully strengthened by the beginning of summer, gaining weight before the onset of cold weather. You can get mulard eggs at home by crossing musk and Peking ducks. At the same time, the probability of a violation at the gene level is high, so breeders prefer to buy ducklings from industrialists.
The ducklings of the first days of life are kept under special conditions:
- the bottom of the box or the floor of a small room is lined with disposable diapers, which are changed several times a day;
- the first day over the ducklings leave a lamp with muted artificial light, the air temperature is maintained at +30 degrees;
- chicks are given a weak solution of manganese for 2-3 days, this protects against infection with infectious diseases;
- gradually daylight hours and air temperature are reduced by 2-3 divisions;
- by the 10th day, a temperature of +22 degrees is sufficient for birds, while the light intensity should be reduced to natural.
In the first hours of life, the chicks are fed with boiled eggs. The yolks and whites are colored and sprinkled on top of the ducks. This helps develop the grasping reflex. By the 2nd and 3rd day of life, the chicks should learn to feed on their own. To organize the feeding process, it is necessary to provide each bird with access to a feeder. At the feeder, a bar is provided so that the young do not lift their heads and injure their necks when feeding.
From the 10th day of life until reaching 1 month of age, the ducks are fed with compound feed and grass. From one month of age, the birds are fed high-calorie food twice: in the morning and in the evening. Mineral and vitamin supplements are added to food.
Attention! To better digest food, they practice the addition of river sand or fine gravel.
What diseases do they have?
Mulard is valued for its high immunity, but its performance decreases noticeably when the air temperature drops by several degrees.
Common diseases of the breed:
- Pecking feathers. At any stage of growth, birds may begin to pinch each other's feathers. There can be several reasons for the problem. Individuals are sensitive to a violation of the humidity regime. Excessive dryness or high humidity can provoke bird aggression. Poor diet, lack of salt supplements, lack of water - this often leads to the fact that birds pinch each other.
- Aspergillosis. A fungal infection that spreads to birds through contaminated bedding or feeders. The duck becomes lethargic, loses weight, does not touch the food. The problem can be solved by prescribing antibiotic therapy. If you do not start treatment in a timely manner, then the consequence of the disease is complete paralysis.
- Cloacite. A dangerous disease characterized by inflammation of the cloaca. Inflammation is caused by an infection in the body or a violation of the rules of care. Due to the inflammation, the duck experiences discomfort, and purulent discharge begins from the anus. To save the bird, the cloaca is treated with iodine solution, the anus is smeared with zinc ointment.
- Viral hepatitis. A serious disease that affects the liver, which is especially dangerous for mularda, grown for sale for foie gras. Young ducklings are susceptible to hepatitis. When infected, the birds clump together, begin to fall on their side, and twist their necks. Many chicks develop initially conjunctivitis and shortness of breath. A measure of hepatitis prevention is keeping the house clean.
Information! Timely vaccination is a preventive measure to support immunity. Ducklings are vaccinated at the age of 5 days.
Possible growing problems
Home breeding is about following basic rules. Violation leads to the formation of typical problems:
- Birds begin to peck at each other if the diet lacks vitamins and minerals. This is a fairly common phenomenon in mulard, the reaction is especially characteristic of domestic individuals. Containment breach may trigger a reaction. To avoid this, it is advised to monitor the diet. In aggressive individuals, beak cutting is practiced.
- If the bird is not provided with a container of water, it may become restless. This is due to the cleanliness of the breed.
- Hatching at home is rarely practiced. This is due to the low survival rate of chicks, which is 55 percent. To breed ducklings obtained after self-crossing Musk and Peking breeds, it is necessary to use an incubator.
How to tell a mulard duckling from other ducklings
To get a purebred mulard, it is customary to cross musks and waterfowl Peking ducks. Distinguishing mulard ducklings from musks is quite difficult.
When purchasing ducklings from breeders, you should pay attention to the following data:
- Mulard ducklings grow faster than their relatives;
- there is a black spot on the head of purebred chicks;
- the tails of the chicks of this breed are lifted up, the tail of the Indo-ducks is lowered down;
- unlike Peking girls or mute henchlings, ducklings are calm, not loud, do not hiss or get into fights.
Poultry farming starts with a business plan and cost planning. The goal of any business is the opportunity to make a good profit, so calculations are made in advance. The business plan includes the following data:
- the cost of consumables for building a poultry house;
- the cost of feed, given that mulards are unpretentious, but need a high-calorie feed for quick weight gain;
- the presence of associated costs, which include payments for vaccinations, veterinarian services, the purchase of vitamin and mineral complexes.
The breed is grown for meat for one season, so you need to take care of the market in advance. Meat and liver are purchased by large companies that supply products for restaurants and cafes.
When receiving direct income without intermediaries, it is necessary to establish communication with restaurant kitchens directly. In this case, it is important to provide for the possibility of storing meat with the provision of sanitary and hygienic standards.