hi Guys. Getting 6 baby Indian Runners in a couple of weeks. Being shipped out of California (Metzer's). Any suggestions for starter feed with be greatly appreciated. I have read ducks don't need as much calcium as chickens; the only things I have found at the feed store is Meatbird grower @ 22% protein. Will this work?
baby duck starter feed
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Grower is for when they are 2 to 3 weeks old, if I recall.
I was able to find a turkey-waterfowl starter crumble. The protein was higher than what Storey's Guide recommended, so I added one part chopped oats per 4 parts crumble to get it closer to the recommended 20%. Then at 2 weeks or so I started adding grower to the crumble in increasing amounts, till they were eating just grower.
The feed store probably has chick starter. Ideally, unmedicated (just because the ducklings don't need it and many of us don't like the idea of giving unnecessary meds), though if that's all there is, that's all there is. And if chick starter is what you use, please please be sure to add niacin to their water or food.
Niacin, vitamin b3, not no-flush, not timed release, just plain niacin. You may have to call around. I found it at the local pharmacy. Some grocery stores sell it. It's in the human vitamin section. 100 to 150 mg niacin per gallon of drinking water.
An alternative would be a B complex vitamin capsule, using the amount of niacin to determine how many capsules per gallon of drinking water.
Then there's brewer's yeast - not baking yeast, not beer or wine making yeast - brewer's yeast. Folks on the forum generally write that they use a tablespoon b.y. per cup of food.
Without enough niacin (and, I suspect, some other B vitamins), ducklings can have serious neurological problems including leg problems and even seizures.
All is well, @packinpreacher - 100 to 150 mg niacin (B3) per gallon of drinking water, or a tablespoon of brewer's yeast per cup of dry food.