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Ducks on Rice Fields

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


Last updated: by Nataliia Chaika
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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!

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