Free-range duck raisers also hit by drought
published : 21 Jul 2019 at 14:44
writer: Chinnawat Singha
PHITSANULOK: The ongoing dry spell has affected not only rice-growing farmers but also free-ranging duck raisers who say they are producing fewer and smaller eggs than usual, according to farmers in this central northern province.
By tradition, the raisers herd their ducks in droves across rice fields in the rainy season when the fields are full of rainwater and become a source of edible natural food, particularly golden apple snails.
Since the snails gobble up rice seedlings, rice farmers are more than happy to let duck raisers herd their poultry across their fields.
But the situation is different this year. Most of the rice fields in Phitsanulok are drying up due to a long rain break, leaving nothing edible for the ducks to forage.
Kiatchai Manowan, 42, a farmer in Phitsanulok's Bang Rakam district with a large brace of about 2,000 ducks, said the drought has deprived his poultry of natural food. Aggravated by the unusual heat, the ducks have become tense and are eating less, he added. They are producing fewer eggs, and those eggs are smaller in size than usual.
As a result, the farmer said, he has had to spend more on food and supplements for his poultry, raising his investment costs.