Vietnamese Duck Farmers Earn More While Preventing Avian Influenza

Le provides clean water for his flock of ducks.
Le Thanh Thuong provides clean water for his flock of ducks.
Improved sanitation spells greater egg production, better health
“The changes I make help prevent disease for my family and help keep the environment clean.”

Jan. 2015—Surrounded by almost 2,000 quacking ducks, Le Thanh Thuong reflects on the changes he has made on his duck breeding farm and hatchery in Can Tho, Vietnam. Previously, his ducks were free range—they drank water from a nearby pond and grazed on small fish and shrimp from rice paddies, which left them undernourished and susceptible to diseases like salmonella and parasites. Poor sanitation and insufficient separation between residential and production areas put his family and workers at risk for picking up diseases from the ducks.

As part of the USAID-funded project, “Immediate Technical Assistance to Strengthen Emergency Preparedness for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza to Viet Nam,” Le was given technical advice on how to reorganize his hatchery, prepare clean nests for egg laying, maintain vaccination records and disinfect eggs. His workers received personal protective equipment and work boots to wear throughout the farm.

With his own investment and financial support from the project, he was able to provide a clean water supply and feeding trays for his flock. Appropriate feeding, separating flocks from living areas, providing clean drinking water, fumigating eggs and properly cleaning hatching and delivery areas help to protect flocks against diseases like avian influenza. 

Since he implemented the new measures, Le has seen an increase in the number of eggs that survive to birth and healthier ducklings. The number of ducks that died within three weeks has decreased from 10 percent to 3 percent. The improved health of his ducks and the increase in eggs has helped him earn more income, which he plans to use to further upgrade his farm.

“The changes I make help prevent disease for my family and help keep the environment clean,” said Le.

Other duck farmers and hatchery owners who have also implemented biosecurity measures with project support have earned, on average, over $1,800 in extra income over the course of the project due to increased duckling survival rates and egg production. They also gain a reputation for having quality products among the local poultry buyers.

Through the project, which ran between 2012 and 2014, 12 duck farmers and hatchery owners received equipment and technical advice, including monthly monitoring sessions, to implement biosecurity measures and prevent the spread of disease from animals to humans. In addition, outcomes from the program will be integrated into policy documents addressing hatchery and parent flock management.


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