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Photo Journal: Pretty predators

In this photo, recently hatched rice duck chicks roughly 10-centimeters tall run playfully around the hatchery of Tsumura Honten in the city of Matsubara, Osaka Prefecture. June is the peak season for orders for the chicks that will be dispatched to protect rice fields that use little or no pesticides. Tsumura Honten will ship out approximately 4,500 birds to farmers nationwide by the end of July. Rice ducks are especially bred so that adults do not exceed 30 centimeters long. This allows the small birds to easily move between rice plants to eat unwanted pests. (Mainichi)

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