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Ducks to combat locust plague in Pakistan

China could send 100,000 ducks to Pakistan to help tackle the swarms of locusts. A chicken can eat about 70 locusts a day, but a duck can eat 3 times as many.

Poultry World recently reported on the outbreak of millions of locusts that have caused unprecedented devastation to crops and livelihoods in East Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Just 1 duck can eat over 200 locusts a day. Photo: Dighini
Just 1 duck can eat over 200 locusts a day. Photo: Dighini

Scientists are taking the opportunity to use these locusts as chicken feed, but ducks may also be a clever way of combatting the plague. Ducks are “biological weapons”, according to senior researcher with the Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Lu Lizhi, adding that ducks are fairly easy to manage as they tend to stay in groups.

Swarms of locusts to become chicken feed
Enormous swarms of locusts – about 60 million insects – have caused major devastation to crops and livelihoods in countries in East Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Scientists in Pakistan have come up with a way to turn these critters into chicken feed.

A trial involving the ducks is taking place in China before the ducks are deployed; however, in 2000, China shipped 30,000 ducks from Zhejiang province to Xinjiang to tackle an infestation of locusts.

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