Best time to travel to Thailand

Ducks on Rice Fields in Thailand

In Thailand, ducks are used to rid rice farms of unwanted pests in exchange for free food

Best time: September–January

In Thailand, thousands of ducks are let loose in rice paddies as a regular way to clean them up. This process helps both rice farmers and duck owners. The breeder saves money because it costs less to feed the ducks, and the ducks help rice farmers eliminate pests on their farms so that they can use fewer chemicals and pesticides.

The British Khaki Campbell ducks are set free as part of a local tradition called "ped lai thoong." Locals have stuck to this tradition for a long time and don't intend to stop. In about a week, the ducks can clean up a 70-hectare farm. The duck-cleaning rids rice stubble of many pests, like cherry and apple snails, weeds, and other small pests on the farms, while giving water birds a lot of food. The ducks also walk on the rice straw, which makes the ground flatter and easier to plow.

The cleaning process is pretty simple: 20-day-old ducks are released into the paddies, where they stay for about five months. After that, they are brought back to the duck farm, at which they remain for up to three years, laying eggs. One of the most common places to witness this win-win deal is the Nakhon Province of Thailand. So remember to book your accommodation in advance and have an amazing time!

Practical info

When is the best time to witness ducks in action in Thailand?

The ideal time to witness Thailand's ducks in paddy fields is between September and January due to favorable weather conditions. It is during these months that ducks are released into the rice paddies to reduce pests like snails and eat leftover rice grains after harvesting. This practice benefits both farmers and duck breeders while promoting eco-friendly farming in the long run. Tourists could plan their visit during these months to witness this traditional win-win deal. Show more

What are Nakhon Province's tourist attractions, and where is it situated in Thailand?

Nakhon Province is located in central Thailand and is famous for its rich history and contribution to the developed civilization of Thailand. Tourists may indulge in the beautiful Buddhist temples, museums, and activities such as visiting elephant conservation centers and hot springs in Nakhon Sawan, the capital city. This province’s natural beauty and conservation efforts make it a popular destination for locals and foreigners seeking to experience Thailand's heritage and culture. Show more

How do ducks aid in pesticide-free farming in Thailand?

The British Khaki Campbell ducks help reduce the need for harmful pesticides and chemical fertilizers by eating pests and worms that harm the rice plants. A reduced need for chemicals results in lower expenses for farmers and promotes eco-friendly, chemical-free farming. Additionally, the ducks' droppings serve as natural fertilizer for rice plants, increasing their yield. This process creates a sustainable ecosystem, contributing to the preservation of Thailand's natural resources while benefiting farmers and duck breeders alike. Show more

Why are British Khaki Campbell ducks preferred for rice paddy cleaning in Thailand?

British Khaki Campbell ducks are preferred because of their excellent foraging skills and high egg-laying productivity. These ducks eat snails, insects, and small pests, reducing the need for pesticides and herbicides, making it a practical and eco-friendly solution to reduce pests. Furthermore, their manure is natural fertilizer for the rice plants, promoting sustainable farming, and increasing the yield. This process contributes to the promotion of sustainable agriculture and the reduction of environmental hazards in Thailand. Show more

Is participation in "ped lai thoong" a recurring event for locals?

Ped lai thoong participation is a recurring event for locals as it is a traditional practice, and so is an essential part of Thailand's way of life. Farmers and duck breeders have been following this practice for generations and promote it as part of the region's culture and heritage. By participating in this tradition annually, locals keep their cultural roots alive while supporting sustainable farming that promotes eco-friendly practices. Hence, it remains an integral part of the Thai people’s heritage and identity. Show more

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Last updated: by Nataliia Chaika