Duck is an aquatic bird that is located in the family Anatidae, this animal is found today in almost the entire world and the species that most characteristically represents it is Anas platyrhynchos domesticus, also known as domestic duck or Peking duck.
The domestic or farm duck has as its wild ancestor the Mallard, whose family also includes larger species such as the swan, the goose and the goose.
The domestic duck differs from the wild duck, among other things, in that it has almost completely lost its ability to fly by loss of strength in the wings, which are shorter and lighter. This is interpreted evolutionarily as a phenomenon of adaptation, since of having to feed themselves these birds happened to be fed by the human beings.
Characteristics Of Ducks
1. Neck and beak
The duck has a short neck and a characteristic broad flattened beak, often orange, with horny sheets at the edges.
In some species the beak is sawed on the sides, facilitating the hunting activity of small fish. In the upper part of the peak there are small holes that intervene in the respiratory process and that explain the production of the recognized squawking of the ducks.
2. Wings and legs
The ducks have rather short wings and webbed feet (animal palmípedo), that when folded they are very delayed with respect to the body, which grants them a quite elegant swim. However, his walking on land is quite clumsy. In domestic ducks the legs are much stronger than in the wild ones.
The body of the duck is rather round and is covered with feathers that can be white or other shades, including brown or black, sometimes with striking bluish and greenish. Males usually have more variety of colors than females. The ducklings are often yellow with an orange beak, there are also black pups. The colors of the beak are variable (orange, red, black).
It is an oviparous animal, the female must hatch the eggs for about four weeks, in production farms this can be done in artificial incubators.
4. Life expectancy
How much do the ducks live? The duck lives on average about 9 to 12 years.
How much does a duck weigh? The adult weight of the domestic duck is about 3 to 4 kilograms, that of the wild duck is greater.
6. Adaptation of the newborn duck
During the first 3 months of life, the ducks depend entirely on maternal protection, since the body is covered only by a sparse and heterogeneous plumage called down, which is not waterproof. In this stage they are very sensitive to extreme temperatures.
7. Adaptation of the Adult Duck
The adult animal, on the other hand, is extremely resistant and adapts without major difficulties to almost any type of habitat. It is little affected by pests or diseases.
8. Duck meat
Duck meat is very appreciated. The varieties of domestic ducks raised in the most widespread production farms in the world are the Beijing, appreciated as a variety of meat; La Bebería, from which it is obtained in addition to pate meat, and the Mulard, which arose from the crossing of the previous two and which is especially useful for obtaining “foie gras”. Other fairly widespread varieties are the Campbell and Bufe Arlington duck.
With respect to its temperament, the domestic duck is a calm, peaceful animal, that coexists with the human without problems, also coexists well with other habitual pets (dogs, horses); On the contrary, the wild duck is much more unruly.
What do the ducks eat? Farm ducks are usually fed with corn or soy feed, or crushed oats or wheat grains. They are also often offered other vegetables. Pond ducks feed on fish and small crustaceans.