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Facts About Ducks

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By Umar Nsubuga  

Ducks are aquatic birds which often swim in flocks. Though they are close kin of geese and swans, they are often confused for other water birds like loons, grebes and coots.

A female duck is called ‘hen’ and has an orange beak and dull-brown feathers, unlike the drake (male duck) which has extravagant green plumage and a wide flat yellow beak.

Nsereko Lwamasaka did not just want to rear animals, he wanted to choose a unique enterprise too and ducks are one of them. 

He says the males use their colourful plumage to attract partners during the mating season. 

A duck lays more eggs in daylight. Photos by Umar Nsubuga

“There are different kinds of ducks like the diving ducks, sea ducks and dabbling ducks”, he says.  

While sea ducks feed deep underwater, dabbling ducks scours both water and land for food.

Ducks are born with webbed feet that act as paddles, which assist them to swim fast.

Their feet have no nerves or blood vessels so they never feel hot or cold. Ducks usually use their beaks to keep themselves clean. They also use feathers plucked from their chest to line their nests.

Ducks were once wild until they were domesticated by the Chinese many hundreds of years ago.

According to Lwamasaka ducks can stay in all weather conditions, a trait that explains their copious presence all over the globe.

They sleep with half their brains awake and sleep with one eye open when they are located on the edge of sleeping groups. Ducks can detect predators in less than a second.

Duck eggs have tiny pores that help draw in respiratory gas as well as water vapour to assist breathing.

Baby ducks are born with their eyes open and a warm coat and do not rely entirely on their parents for food.

A duck lays more eggs in daylight. From July to December when daylight is short, they slow down their production of eggs. Sometimes, ducks stop laying eggs completely during these months. 

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