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Rauch, Elke; Hirsch, Nicola; Firnkäs, Nina; Damme, Klaus; Erhard, Michael H. and Bergmann, Shana (2016): Hygiene, Wasserqualität und Tiergesundheit beim Einsatz von Rundtränken als tiergerechte Wasserversorgung für Pekingmastenten unter Praxisbedingungen. In: Berliner und Münchener Tierärztliche Wochenschrift, Vol. 129, No. 1/2: pp. 15-27

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Mandatory requirements for the keeping of Pekin ducks exist neither in Europe nor in Germany. The medium water is of high importance for ducks and is connected with many species-specific behaviours. In commercial fattening establishments the animals are provided drinking water solely by nipple drinkers because up to today, the economic and hygienic aspects of this drinking supply are beyond dispute. The aim of the study was to examine the influence of the round drinker AquaDucT (R) on animal hygiene and different health parameters in three commercial farms. The examinations took place in three fattening farms (7140-13 515 fattening places). Per farm 16 fattening periods were surveyed (alternately control and test trial) with one visit each between 28th-32nd and 35th-39th day of life. On one farm only ten periods could be examined. The ducks were provided with water by nipple drinkers. Additionally, the AquaDucT (R) was installed in the test trials, which was temporarily accessible. Apart from health evaluations of each 100 animals, barn climate (dust and gaseous ammonia content) and quality of drinking water were examined. In summary it can be stated that concerning health evaluation (eye infection/ plugged nostrils) the ducks with access to round drinkers mostly performed better than the animals with access solely to nipple drinkers. In this study the total bacteria count as well as the number of Enterobacteriaceae in CFU/ml was generally higher in the round drinkers compared to the nipple drinkers (average total germ count in CFU/ml: nipple drinker 10 950;round drinker 3 955 846), no negative effect on the health of Pekin ducks could be detected in this study. Sufficient hygiene of the offered drinking systems is essential for the wellbeing of the ducks.

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