Broiler duck already became the important domestic animal in Asia, China has the largest production in the world. In 2013 China had produced 694.46 million ducks. Ducks in China have two types: laying duck and broiler ducks. Beijing Baked Duck is a very well-known commercial brand for broiler duck processing industry, there are also many local brands. In China, most of ducks are raised in large intensive farms. But small farmers still probably can raise thousands or dozen thousands ducks, and use formulated ration from local feed mills.
Grains are the major energy source in duck rations, corn and broken rice are commonly used feed ingredients. Comparing to corn, broken rice has the advantage on less aflatoxin contamination. Ducks are very sensitive to aflatoxin, the maximum tolerance is 20 ppb in the ration. For maximumly reduce the aflatoxin contamination, many feed mills tried to reduce the usage of corn in their formulation and use broken rice as an alternative. But the supply of broken rice is very limited, and the price not cost- effective, many feed mills are looking for other energy sources to replace it and grain sorghum became one of options.
Grain sorghum is the cultivation of species of grasses within the genus of Sorghum. Sorghum are planted in tropical and subtropical regions, major breeds includes red sorghum, white sorghum, black sorghum, glutinous sorghum, ect. United States, Argentina, Mexico, Sudan, India are the major countries producing sorghum. Sorghum plants can be used for grains, fiber and fodder. The crude protein is about 8-11%, a little higher than corn, but in which 67% is alcohol soluble protein. Sorghum has its advantage on duck rations, not only for its less mycotoxin contamination, but also for its storage stability in tropical region. Even though sorghum was considered to have similar nutrient value with corn on poultry industry, but the knowledge of feeding ducks with sorghum is limited. However, sorghum has its disadvantage on feeding ducks for lack of xanthophyl and the negative effect on meat color of Muscovy duck.
For enhancing the nutrient value of sorghum in duck ration, it is necessary to add xanthophyll-abundant feed ingredient like corn gluten meal or DDGS. So, the combination of sorghum and DDGS will be a good option for duck ration. DDGS is a good feed ingredient for ducks for good protein and xanthophyl content. Moreover, comparing to feeding broiler chicken DDGS has its advantage on high fiber content, and the fiber in DDGS is high digestible for ducks and more efficient to be transferred into energy.
Currently the nutrient value of sorghum in duck ration is not fully known, it is necessary to understand more about low tannin American-produced sorghum on duck farming.