Category: Birds

Muscovy Duck

Muscovy Duck

The Muscovy duck (Cairina moschata) is a large duck native to Mexico, Central, and South America. Small wild and feral breeding populations have established themselves in the United States, particularly in Florida and the lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas as well as in many other parts of North America, including southern Canada. Feral Muscovy ducks are found in New Zealand, Australia, and in parts of Europe.

They are large ducks, with the males about 76 cm (30 in) long, and weighing up to 7 kg (15 lb). Females are considerably smaller, and only grow to 3 kg (6.6 lb), roughly half the males’ size. The bird is predominantly black and white, with the back feathers being iridescent and glossy in males, while the females are more drab. The amount of white on the neck and head is variable, as well as the bill, which can be yellow, pink, black, or any mixture of these. They may have white patches or bars on the wings, which become more noticeable during flight. Both sexes have pink or red wattles around the bill, those of the male being larger and more brightly colored.

Although the Muscovy duck is a tropical bird, it adapts well to cooler climates, thriving in weather as cold as −12 °C (10 °F) and able to survive even colder conditions. In general, Barbary duck is the term used for C. moschata in a culinary context.

The domestic breed, Cairina moschata domestica, is commonly known in Spanish as the pato criollo (“creole duck”). They have been bred since pre-Columbian times by Native Americans and are heavier and less able to fly long distances than the wild subspecies. Their plumage color is also more variable. Other names for the domestic breed in Spanish are pato casero (“backyard duck”) and pato mudo (“mute duck”).

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“Titeeri” The Red wattled lapwing (Vanellus Indicus)

Lapwings

 

Red-wattled LapwingThe Red-wattled Lapwing (Vanellus indicus), (local names: Hindi: titeeri, titai, titori, Sindhi: tAteehAr, Gujarati: titodi Kashmiri: hatatut, Assamese: ‘bAlighorA’, Telugu: yennappa chitawa, Tamil: alkati) is a lapwing or large plover, a wader in the family Charadriidae. It is sometimes called the did-ye-do-it bird due to its unmistakable call.

 

Distribution

It breeds from West Asia (Iraq, SW Iran) eastwards across South Asia (Baluchistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the entire Indian subcontinent up to Kanyakumari and up to 1800m in Kashmir/Nepal), with the related species Burmese Red-wattled Lapwing further east in Southeast Asia. May migrate altitudinally in spring and autumn (e.g. in N. Baluchistan or NW Pakistan), and spreads out widely in the monsoons on creation of requisite habitats, but by and large the populations are resident.

This species is declining in its western range, but is abundant in much of South Asia, being seen at almost any wetland habitat in its range.

 

Description

Red-wattled Lapwings are large waders, about 35cm long (somewhat larger than a Rock Pigeon, with longer legs). The wings and back are light brown, but head and chest and front part of neck are black. Prominently white patch runs between these two colours, from belly and tail, flanking the neck to the sides of crown. Short tail is tipped black. A red fleshy wattle in front of each eye, black-tipped red bill, and the long legs are yellow. In flight, prominent white V-shaped wing bar.

It usually keeps in pairs or trios in well-watered open country, ploughed fields, grazing land, and margins and dry beds of tanks and puddles. It is also found in forest clearings around rain-filled depressions. It runs about in short spurts and dips forward obliquely (with unflexed legs) to pick up food in a typical plover manner. Is uncannily and ceaselessly vigilant, day or night, and is the first to detect intrusions and raise an alarm, and therefore a nuisance to hunters. Flight rather slow, with deliberate flaps, but capable of remarkable agility when defending nest or being hunted by a hawk.

Its striking appearance is supplemented by its noisy nature, with a loud and scolding did-he-do-it call, often uttered at night.

 

Nesting

Season: mainly March to August-September. Has a preference for marshes and similar freshwater wetland habitats. Lays eggs in a ground scrape or depression sometimes ringed around with a few goat droppings or pebbles. About 3-4 black-blotched buff eggs shaped a bit like a peg-top (pyriform), 42×30 mm on average. Nests are difficult to find since eggs and nest usually match the ground to perfection

 

Diet

Ants, beetles, caterpillars and other insects, snails and other invertebrates, mostly picked from the ground. Also a quantity of vegetable matter. Feeds in the day as well as night.

 

Copyright: Wikipedia. This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from Wikipedia.org … Additional information and photos added by Avianweb.

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Brahma Chicken

Often referred to as the “King of All Poultry,” the Brahma chicken is appreciated for its great size, strength, and vigor. By 1901 some individual birds were documented to have reached the incredible weights of 13-14 pounds for hens and 17 to 18.25 pounds for cocks – though 10 pound hens and 12 pounds cocks were the rule. This breed, together with the Cochin, fueled what became known as “Hen Fever” – a national obsession for poultry that hit both America and England around 1850.

World renowned rooster Shadda and his mate

Brahmas are large chickens with feathers on shanks and toes, pea comb, smooth fitting plumage with dense down in all sections, and broad, wide head with skull projecting over the eyes – termed “beetle brow.” They come in three color varieties – the Light, the Dark, and the Buff. Both the Light and the Dark Brahma were accepted to the American Standard of Perfection in its first printing in 1874. Though from the beginning some buff specimens were produced periodically, it was not until 1924 that the Buff Brahma was accepted as standardized as well.

Few breeds have as much controversy as to their origins as does the Brahma chicken. While many varied claims were originally accepted as fact by early authors, the truth of the matter is that this breed was developed in America from very large fowls imported from China via the port of Shanghai. It also seems clear that Chittigong fowls from India (now Bangladesh) were used to a very small degree and stamped head and comb characteristics onto the breed – differentiating it from the Shanghai breed (now known as the Cochin). In those early days it should be remembered there were no written standards, no poultry associations, and no registries. Since what became known as the Brahma chicken was being presented under at least twelve names, there was much confusion. The credit for shortening the name to Brahma goes to T.B. Miner, publisher of The Northern Farmer, who in 1853 or 1854 did so for very practical reasons – saving space on the printed page!

In December 1852, to promote his stock, Mr. George Burnham shipped nine of his finest as a gift to H.M.G. Majesty Queen Victoria of England – making sure the gift was much publicized. Prices jumped from $12-15 per pair to $100-150. Burnham’s stock proved of quality and formed the basis for the Dark Brahma variety – which was developed in England and later shipped back to America. Dark Brahmas tended to be about one pound lighter in weight than the Light Brahma.

From the beginning Brahmas have been recognized not only for their unusual appearance and size, but also for their practical qualities. First and foremost Brahmas are found to be extremely hardy chickens. They are also good egg-layers for their size. Considered a superior winter-layer, they produce the bulk of their eggs from October to May. The eggs of the Brahma are large and uniformly medium brown in color. The hens tend to go broody in early summer and will sit devotedly on their nests. But because of the size of the hen, trampling of the chicks must be guarded against for the first few days after hatch.

The Brahma was generally considered the leading meat breed for the period of time from the mid-1850’s through about 1930 – some 70 plus years. As broilers, Brahma chicks were killed quite young, about 8-10 weeks of age. They made a most profitable roaster at 8 months, later than many breeds, but it was found that virgin cockerels were still tender as roasters at 12-13 months – making them competitive against capons. As a family fowl they were unequaled, and a large Brahma could feed a moderate-sized family. Brahmas thrive best on dry, well-drained soils and moist, cool climates. The feathering of their shanks and toes is a negative where the ground is damp and muddy – the mud clinging to the feathers and frostbite then being possible for their toes. The breed is easy to contain, not being able to fly low fences very easily. They also stand confinement extremely well – having calm and docile personalities. Like the Cochins, Brahmas are not wide ranging fowl or as active in scratching as the Mediterranean breeds. The Brahma is an ideal fowl for northern climates. It was popularly known as the least susceptible chicken to cold and exposure – owing this strength to its pea comb and tight feathering with down through all sections. It is not an ideal fowl for southern climates.

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Ostrich farming in Pakistan

Ostrich farm in Pakistan

An ostrich is a “ratite” – a flightless bird from the same family as the emu, cassowary, rhea, and kiwi. The mature ostrich stands six to nine feet tall and weighs in at between 90 and 160 kilogram. No longer has an odd sight in Pakistan ostrich become widely known for its low-fat, iron-packed red meat as well as its Omega rich, moisturizing oil, fine leather, soft fluffy feathers and exquisite large white eggs.
Today, dedicated producers tend birds 100 countries world over, with the majority in South Africa, Australia and the United States.

Through producer efforts, the ostrich industry is making headway as consumers become more familiar with ostrich products.
In the last few years, ostrich farming has progressed dramatically and the world ostrich industry has achieved some economic stability.

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