Shocking duck-race training in West Sumatra

Young female ducks are thrown into the air by their owners during a training session on April 24 ahead of the duck-race season in West Sumatra which lasts a month.

The female ducks cannot fully fly as they are aged between 4 - 6 months and have not laid any eggs. The men hold their birds' feet together and repeatedly stroke their back before launching them off into the air.

Between training sessions the female birds are kept in small metal containers which are ostensibly dark inside as no opening is visible. The container is then strapped to the back of a moped during transportation to and from each session.

The ducks undergo training to build up their 'landing muscles' by being thrown into the air and forced to land on a hard tarmacked road. The training session usually lasts for three months and is used to build up their stamina to fly as far as 1200 meters.

Gold coins and goats are offered as prizes which attract people to take part in the race. However they are limited to use one duck per two races.

The rules of the race are such that the winner is not the duck that crosses the finish line but that comes the closest to the finish line without crossing.

An interview with local Mr. Irdon reveals that the ducks undergo three months of training prior to the month of the actual duck-races. Mr Idon explains that the ducks are fed honey, vitamins and eggs as part of their conditioning. The goal is to develop the ducks durability which can see them fly as far as 1200 meters. Mr Idon also explains that the 'clever' ducks are one that can control their flight.

The footage shows various men throwing ducks into the air and then watching them land in ponds. The men are laughing and smiling while many of them smoke cigarettes right next to the female waterfowl.

While landing on tarmac the footage shows one duck's legs unable to withstand the weight of the landing and its body scrapes along the ground.

Towards the end of the film there are images of the ducks being put into small metal containers and covered with a lid, strapped to a moped and driven off.