Beekeeping

Mandarin Duck

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Mandarin Duck is the most beautiful representative of the duck family. According to the Chinese will take a pair of Mandarin bring happiness to the newlyweds. It is a symbol of loyalty, because females and males choose their lifelong partner, everywhere they fly in pairs and even care about each other. You can meet Mandarinok in the wild, and many farmers breed them on the backyard as decorative birds.

Where lives Mandarin Duck

In China, Mandarin symbolize loyalty and happiness in marriage

Tangerine lives in the wild environment, but to meet her is not as easy as we would like. Habitat - East Asia, in Russia they can be found in the Sakhalin, Astrakhan regions or in the Khabarovsk Territory. They are also successfully bred in the UK and the USA. Most often the bird settles near the mountain rivers in the taiga. Forests prefer deciduous or mixed. Nests are hard to find, because the Mandarin duck makes them in places that people rarely wander into (groves littered with fallen trees and branches).

Interesting! Especially revered Mandarin ducks in China. In this country, Mandarin figures are often presented for weddings, and even the ceremonies themselves are often held in rooms decorated with Mandarin images.

These birds are ideally suited for life in the forest. They know where to hide, master a new terrain well, and easily fly between twigs and boughs of even the thickest trees, bending around any obstacles.

Description Mandarin Duck

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Mandarin's nest is on a tree in the hollow

Mandarin ducks grow in length to 50 cm. The average weight of a bird is 500-800g. The head is small. The beak is red in males and gray in females. The eyes are large, very dark. The back is flat, short. The wingspan is 70 cm. They easily gain height and can fly quite quickly, even between trees. The tail is small, but noticeable. The legs are red, they have sharp claws that make it easy to climb trees and hold on to the branches.

These birds, like other duck species, can make sounds. But they are different from simple quacking and are more like whistles. But Mandarin duck ducks dive rarely, just to get food. Much more they love to slide on the water, slightly raising the tail.

Male plumage

Mandarin ducks love to slide on the water, slightly raising the tail

The main thing that attracts the attention of birds is the plumage of males. Drakes are very beautiful and bright, like toy ones. The top of the head is red. The area that is closer to the forehead has purple feathers with a green tint. At the beak, on the cheeks feathers red. The area above the eyes is white. There is a tuft of feathers and sideburns.

Interesting! Twice a year drakes molt and at this time they are very similar to females.

The body is also bright. The back is usually black, the belly is white. The chest is purple with a blue tinge, and in the place where the rib cage passes into the sides, there are two white stripes. Wings pale yellow or light orange. At the same time on each wing there is one broad feather, bent upwards. On the tail feathers are white and black.

Female plumage

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Photo of female mandarin duck

Females are not as remarkable as males. Their head is just gray, feathers in the area of ​​the crown are laid magnificently. There are white markings near the beak and eyes. The sides and neck are gray with a white speck. The belly is pure white and the back is gray. The wings are brown-gray.

What eat Mandarin ducks

Most of the diet of wild Mandarinok is aquatic vegetation and small inhabitants of water bodies and rivers in which they settle. Frogs, snails, small fish - a delicacy and favorite food. If there are grass grasses in the forest, they will be happy to eat them too. It is nutritious and healthy food. They can also use these ducks acorns, which are mined on the ground or simply tore the seeds of plants from trees.

Closer to winter, when the cold weather comes, Mandarin oranges move closer to the fields where buckwheat, rice or similar cereals grow. But, far from the main place of life, these birds never fly away, so if there are no fields nearby, the bird will live in the same place, gathering food where it is necessary.

Breeding features

The most successful experiment to date - white mandarin

Mandarin duck nest breeds are usually built in secluded places, for example, in tree hollows. In general, the height for these birds is quite natural. Nests can be located at a height of up to 6 meters, and the bird itself likes to sit on the branches rather than on the ground. Nests are insulated with their own fluff or similar, soft material.

Important! Mandarin ducks never mate with other breeds. This is due to structural changes in the chromosomes. And yet scientists are trying to get hybrid species. The most successful experiment to date - white mandarin.

Masonry usually consists of about 8 cream-colored eggs, but the number of testicles can reach up to 14 pieces. The female incubates them for 28 days without getting up, and drake extracts food for her.

The young are born strong. From an early age, Mandarin decks easily descend from the trees to learn how to swim. At first they do not fly yet, but only plan on underdeveloped wings, gently landing on the ground. But by the 40th day they fully master the skill of flying. They usually go out to the pond in the evening and in the morning with their mother-duck.

Keeping Mandarin Duck at Home

Mandarin Duck needs a pond

Very often, young breeders are interested in, is it possible to breed Mandarin duck at home? In fact, in China they were bred as decorative from ancient times. The ancient canvases often depicted these beautiful birds, so the breed is often called the Chinese duck. In captivity, the bird can live up to 25 years, if you provide it with good conditions.

Important! Mandarin Duck needs a pond. Water procedures are useful for her, and it is beneficial for the breeder, because the bird always finds a lot of food in the ponds and eats less in the house.

They are settled like other ducks in poultry houses, only in this case, it is desirable to make a high room so that females can climb higher, so they will be more comfortable hatching eggs (if required). The house can be made without heating, but it doesn’t hurt to insulate. When breeding Mandarinka ducks it is very important to provide spacious walking with a high fence, and better covered and access to the reservoir. If there is no one nearby, then they simply make small bets or a pool.

Photo of mandarin duck with ducklings

The ration is composed mainly of oatmeal, barley, wheat bran, you can also buy feed. It is important to include both silage in winter, and in summer to let them go for walks, so that they themselves can extract useful herbs and small animals. Mineral supplements are desirable throughout the year, but they can be given only in winter, when there are few vitamins.

Interesting! The health of individuals is good, but if Mandarin Duck has become lethargic, it must be shown to the vet. Treatment may be necessary because it can get sick with an unhealthy diet or lifestyle.

Separately, it is worth noting that even in nature, these birds breed without problems, in captivity they rarely incubate a full time on eggs, so the incubator does not hurt. And if there is none, you can simply lay eggs on the ducks of other breeds. In addition, these captive birds are often under stress, so the female may not allow the male to come near. To solve this problem will only help create the most comfortable conditions for the birds, reducing stress.

As the bird incubates the eggs in the hollows, it is necessary to have access to trees or something like that - secluded places at high altitude. Pond and quality food also play a significant role. In general, for these birds, it is desirable to minimize the time of communication with a person and to ensure peace and quiet, then there will be no problems with breeding.

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