There are presently four commercial duck farms in New Zealand. One of these, in Warkworth, north of Auckland, produces 10,000 eggs and kills up to 2000 ducks a week for meat.
Like other intensively farmed animals, ducks in these farms are deprived of their most basic needs. Mother ducks cannot sit on their eggs, as the eggs are placed in incubation chambers as soon as they are laid.
Once hatched, ducklings destined for fattening are fed pellets every day and double their weight each week. They suffer pain and stress in dirty, overcrowded barns for six weeks, after which they are slaughtered. Other ducks are kept as parent birds (breeders) and “layers”.
Like their wild counterparts, farmed ducks would like to be able to fly, forage, choose a mate and live for 15 years or more. Sadly, some can barely walk because of painful leg deformities caused by high body weight (from fast weight gain) and the amount of time spent on the barn floor.
Along with not being given the opportunity to fly, farmed ducks are also denied use of water. As waterfowl they need access to water where they would naturally spend 80 per cent of their time.
Ducks have evolved to eat, swim, groom and play in the water. Without it ducks can’t keep themselves clean and find it difficult to keep warm. They may also develop eye diseases that can result in blindness.
Eating a plant-based diet is the most important thing you can do to help animals. It's a simple switch, but it makes a big difference. You'll feel great knowing that you are putting your values into action. Challenge yourself to give it a try. We bet you’ll find it tastier and easier than you ever imagined!
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