Feed gain ratios of white pekin ducks as affected by age and environmental temperature
Hester, P.Y.; Pierson, F.W.; Wilson, E.K.; Adams, R.L.; Stadelman, W.J.
Poultry Science 60(11): 2401-2406
ISSN/ISBN: 0032-5791 DOI: 10.3382/ps.0602401
Feed/gain ratios of male and female White Pekin ducks were ascertained on a daily basis during the latter stage of grow-out to determine at what age poor feed efficiencies occur. Two temperature regimens were used in trial 1 with the temperature of the control and heated environmental chambers being 18.3 and 29.4.degree. C, respectively. In trial 2, the ducks were subjected to varying environmental conditions since they were raised in a windowed poultry house during March, April and May. Body weights and feed consumption were determined weekly up to 35 days of age and then daily from 39-52 and 36-61 days of age for trials 1 and 2, respectively. The results of both trials indicate that male and female ducks exposed to environmental temperatures within their comfort zone should be marketed between 48-51 days of age when considering feed efficiency only. The earlier age of 48 days would be preferable to 51 days in order to increase the probability of avoiding poor feed efficiencies. If ducks reared during the summer are exposed to high ambient temperatures, then feed/gain ratios may peak earlier than 48 days of age with losses in weight gains.