Duck is the common name for a number of species in the Anatidae family of birds.
The ducks are divided between several subfamilies listed in full in the Anatidae
article. Ducks are mostly aquatic birds, mostly smaller than their relatives the
swans and geese, and may be found in both fresh water and sea water. Most ducks
have a wide flat beak adapted for dredging. They exploit a variety of food sources
such as grasses, aquatic plants, fish, insects, small amphibians, worms, and small
Ducks occupy an important position next to chicken farming in India. They form about
10% of the total poultry population and contribute about 6-7% of total eggs produced
in the country. Ducks are mostly concentrated in the Eastern and Southern States
of the country mainly coastal region with non-descriptive indigenous stocks, which
however are poor layers.
Ducks are comparatively harder than chicken and are easily manageable. They give
economic production even during their second year of lay. Local ducks of Kerala
viz. Chara and Chemballi with proven laying ability can be raised.