This breed offers the best of both worlds- it provides good quality eggs while delivering tender duck meat. But the Alabio duck breed is still underrated and unheard of elsewhere aside from its country of origin.
If you haven’t heard of them yet, it’s not too late to learn about this breed.
Today, we’ll introduce you to the Alabio Ducks and give you a glimpse of their:
- background and history
- physical attributes
- and disposition
We’ll also help you weigh in if this breed is worth an investment in case you’re planning to try Alabio duck farming.
So, without further ado, let’s discover what these ducks are and what they’re capable of.
Alabio Duck Breed Background and History
Alabio ducks originated from Kabupaten Hulu Sungai Utara, in the Kalimantan region of Indonesia. The breed’s name “Alabio” comes from the name of the sub-district they were reared in.
It was given to them by a researcher and veterinarian named Saleh Puspo. This breed is locally known in Indonesia as Itik Alabio.
It’s the result of crossbreeding local Indonesian ducks and the Pekin duck.
These Alabio ducks are so popular in Indonesia.
In fact, in 2006, there were over 3,487,002 of them in South Kalimantan, which were spread across its 13 regencies.
They’re a dual-purpose breed which means that Alabio ducks are both excellent egg layers and meat producers.
Physical Attributes of Alabio Duck Breed
Original Alabio ducks are generally characterized by cream feathers and yellow beaks with a few black spots.
Their body is mostly brown with some white spots and line patterns around their eyes.
But there’s a subtle difference in drakes and duck’s coloration.
Ducks often feature light brown heads, while drakes boast bright blue to green coloration in their head.
On the other hand, their ducklings flaunt a bright yellow color with black stripes.
However, it’s now almost impossible to find purebred Alabio ducks since they’ve been crossbred with many other ducks.
That explains why there have been many changes in the shank color, beaks, feathers, and the productivity of Alabio ducks today.
Their feet are usually thin and contain soft muscles that aid them in swimming.
Alabio hens weigh around 1.6-1.8 kg on average, while their drakes are heavier, weighing about 1.8-2.0 kg.
On the other hand, their height ranges from 20 to 23 inches.
Disposition of Alabio Duck Breed
Alabio ducks are generally gentle and energetic. They’re broody and are excellent egg layers.
But the drakes are protective towards their flock, and they tend to chase away other ducks to protect their nest.
Since this breed was developed and raised in a warm climate, it has high heat tolerance and is hardy.
Depending on the lifestyle and environment, they’re solid and long-living, with some living up to 8 to 12 years when cared for properly.
What Do Alabio Duck Breed Eat
These ducks are good foragers, and they mainly feed on rice bran, sago, crustaceans, insects, and other plants.
It’s safe to say that they’re into organic foods and water, so they need constant access to water.
Some farmers, however, feed their Alabio ducks with commercial feeds to bolster growth and development and for better egg production.
Alabio Duck Breed’s Meat and Egg Laying Capabilities
After crossbreeding Alabio ducks, breeders have managed to develop high-quality ducks for egg and meat production.
The meat of the Alabio Duck is prized for its flavor and is exported all over the world.
Alabio meat production is a profitable business, as the ducklings only take 5-8 weeks to mature.
Additionally, the Alabios are among the best layers in the duck family, laying over 200-250 eggs every year.
Their incubation period lasts around 26 to 28 days, and their egg weighs approximately 65 to 70 grams.
Despite being higher in cholesterol, their eggs provide more albumen and twice the nutritional value of chicken eggs, including Omega 3 fatty acids.
On top of that, their eggs can last longer because of their thicker shell.
So their eggs can be a better option than chickens’ eggs.
Alabio Duck Farming Tips
Alabio ducks are both suitable for egg and meat production. Thus, they can be very profitable.
Starting an Alabio duck farming business isn’t backbreaking.
It only takes 5 to 8 works for ducklings to grow, and they’re not very needy. So, you won’t have a hard time raising them.
The challenge is looking for an Alabio duck since it’s popular in South Asian countries but not elsewhere.
But looking at classified ads online may help.
If you decide to start an Alabio duck farming business, we’ve listed some tips to help kickstart your business.
Secure their housing
Alabio ducks thrive in confinement even if they’re great foragers.
But you have to know that they require appropriate duck housing facilities with secure and enough space.
A partially enclosed shed will do as long as they have enough equipment such as watering devices, feed hopper or trough, and fencing.
That can help keep them away from predators and adverse weather conditions.
It would also be best if the house is easy to clean and has a good ventilation system and lighting.
Provide a swimming spot for them
Like most other ducks, this breed has a natural desire to swim, even if it’s just in a shallow dish.
Without water, ducks can become emotionally distressed and anxious. On top of that, they may develop destructive behavior in the long run.
So, ducks, as well as ducklings, need water. The longest time ducks can go without water is 8 hours.
However, losing access to water, even just in a short time, can negatively affect these birds.
Therefore, you need a sufficient amount of clean water for them to drink, swim and bathe in.
Provide sufficient feed to bolster their growth
The most crucial aspect of Alabio duck farming is providing high-quality, nutritional food to the birds.
Therefore, you have to provide enough healthy and nutritious food for your ducks.
You also need to ensure that they can easily access clean and freshwater.
Also, never provide filthy or contaminated feed to your ducks.
If you want to speed up their growth, you can feed them with ready-made or commercial duck or poultry feeds.
But they’d also enjoy foraging if you’d permit them to do so.
Keep a decent male-to-female ratio.
The Alabio ducks are excellent breeders by nature.
But they’ll reproduce more quickly if you preserve a decent male-to-female ratio.
In most cases, one male duck is sufficient to breed up to ten female ducks.
Keeping such a male-to-female ratio will ensure that enough viable eggs are produced.
FAQ About Alabio Ducks
Can Alabio ducks fly?
Yes, Alabio ducks can be considered good flyers, and it is an edge for them if predators attack them.
How long do Alabio ducks live?
Alabio ducks are long-living birds. Their average lifespan can range from 8 to 12 years when cared for properly,
What do Alabio ducks eat?
Alabio ducks in commercial farms mainly feed on duck feeds, and poultry feeds.
But those free-range ducks can eat rice bran, crustaceans, insects, and plants.
Alabio ducks are ideal for farming since they’re both excellent egg and meat producers.
And it is not difficult to market the meat and eggs of Alabio ducks too.
That is because the meat and eggs of these ducks are in high demand and have a high market value.
Thus, you’ll most likely be able to sell the items in your local market.
So, if you’re planning to enter the world of duck farming, an Alabio duck is worth considering.
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