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Perfect Homemade Duck Feed - Page 2

post #11 of 20
Originally Posted by Brendalyn View Post

I'm in North Central texas. The weather here fluxuates so often. We can have snow one day then 60 degrees and sunny the next. We have 3 ducks and 2 geese that free range on about half an acre. I make my own supplimental food for them and they are shiney, great weight, healthy and happy and they do lay (not now because of the temps). I mix oats, barley, sunflower seeds, lentils, corn, flaxseeds, chia seeds, dried egg shells ground down, and from time to time I add food grade DE and kelp. I also cut up our fruit and veggy scraps into small piece (no avocados as I read it is bad for them so I don't want to take the chance). All is good for them. The lady I got them from was just giving them chicken scratch. From the time I got them till now I noticed a huge difference in their health and appearance.

People regularly ask about home-mixed feeds here.  Nice to read your experience!

Please PM me, or use @Amiga in the message if you would like to hear from me soon.


Find my first little duck book, Carmella, Where Is Your Quack? at Amazon or


Please PM me, or use @Amiga in the message if you would like to hear from me soon.


Find my first little duck book, Carmella, Where Is Your Quack? at Amazon or

post #12 of 20

We've been switching from soy based organic feed to making our own using Garden Betty's spread sheet for calculating percentages of protein, cost, etc.  Very helpful tool and I recommend it for anyone wanting to make their own feed.


So after reading about a million posts and threads and websites it seems like if your birds will be confined totally, then there needs to be a perfect homemade feed.  If they can free range, as ours can, it seems reasonable to relax on the perfection and shoot for diversity and approximate protein.


My feed recipe right now is this:


2 parts each:

Boss  (.36/#)

Whole Oats   (.12/#)

Hard whole wheat (only because I had a 50# bag and we're now gluten free. Cost?)


1 part each:

safflower seeds (?)

organic cracked corn (.42/#)

brown lentils (.75/#)


The BOSS and the whole oats will be the mainstays of the recipe with the other things changing as available, price, etc. 


This is a 16.9% protein feed for .41 per pound compared to the soy organic which was .52 per pound. 


We do ferment this which boosts the nutrients.  Also there is kelp meal free choice along with grit and oyster shell free choice.  The commercial feed was 16.6% so we're in the ballpark.


We have 7 Ancona ducks and 5 guinea birds and they love their food, except no one loves the lentils.  They do get eaten but it's not their favorite ting for sure.  Next batch I'll try grinding them up instead of feeding whole since these are the protein boost for the recipe at 26%.


So, this is what they've been getting fermented along with the commercial feed.  As of today the commercial stuff is gone so we'll see how it goes!

post #13 of 20

Thanks for some great info.  Can you tell me how are you fermenting this?

Edited by mzmolly65 - 4/23/16 at 9:14pm
post #14 of 20

I found this info on chia seeds for chickens.  I suspect they would have  similar  benefits  for  ducks.


Grrr. It won't add the link



Ah there we go

Edited by mzmolly65 - 4/23/16 at 9:13pm
post #15 of 20

BOSS is Black Oil Sunflower Seeds.  17 dollars for a 50# bag at our local grain mill.


We mix all the dry seeds/grains in a 5 gallon bucket and cover with water, stirring every day (unless we forget, ha).  Add more water as the mixture soaks and swells.  Takes about 4 days to get fermenting and the seeds get nice and soft.  When you have a bucket fermenting you can use some of that liquid to kick-start the next bucket. 


I do grind it into a coarse cereal texture or the birds pick out the lentils and oats.  We'll be swapping out lentils for field peas since they really don't like lentils.

post #16 of 20

Awesome  thanks  so  much


One more question (sorry) but how many are you mixing for and how long will this last.  I'm only going to be feeding four and don't want it going mouldy if I mix too much

post #17 of 20

We have 6 Ancona ducks and 5 guinea hens.


It won't go moldy unless something is really, really wrong which I haven't seen yet in a year of doing this.  Last summer the bucket was kept outside and I just kept adding more feed and water.  Some feed was dried on the bucket up by the rim and that did get moldy because it was exposed to air.  But the longer you leave it the more it ferments, not molds.


Now I alternate a couple buckets so they are always clean when I start.  Just make sure the feed is plenty wet all the time and it'll be fine.  It's really hard to mess this up. 


Fermentation is an ancient way to preserve food AND increase the nutritional content.  The B vitamins alone increase not to mention the lysine and methionine which are the two hardest amino acids to come by.  Vitamin A is the problem in winter but some kale greens or others can supply that.  I may add some fish protein in winter as the pea proteins aren't as high quality as animal/fish protein, according to a farmer friend of ours, but now when the ducks are out in the river and the guineas are eating bugs we don't worry about it.  Like I said in the initial post, I'd worry about it a lot more if they didn't free range.


Really, don't stress about doing this.  It's very easy and so much healthier for the birds (and people, too!)  And you can certainly ferment any commercial feed that you purchase, too.

post #18 of 20

Thanks, super excited to treat my new Khakis to some really good feed.  Since I'm only feeding 4 and have lots of 3 gallon pails I think those will work perfect.


ETA: I live near the ocean and always see the wild ducks eating seaweed.  I'm thinking I could harvest some off the beach for mine instead of buying kelp.

Edited by mzmolly65 - 4/24/16 at 4:30am
post #19 of 20

Found some good information on fermenting here in these FAQ's


They are manufacturing organic poultry feed near me but it's expensive.   


ETA:  I found a bulk dealer who's selling it for $25.99 for a 40# bag.  Works out to $0.65/day to feed all 4 birds and easier than buying all the separate things to make my own.  I think I'll take the easy way out and just buy the premixed.  I love that it's not a pelleted formula and lots of whole grains in it.

Edited by mzmolly65 - 4/24/16 at 9:23am
post #20 of 20

I looked into their feed but the shipping to Wisconsin doubled the price but it looks like they have some good stuff and it is definitely easier to get it premixed.


Here is an article that is really interesting with good info on the bump in nutrients with fermenting.  It's a bit dry but worth the reading.


Post back here with an update as to how your birds are enjoying the feed!  Once you start doing it you'll be wondering why everyone isn't doing it.

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