Alternatives to Brewer's Yeast?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by jmc, Nov 13, 2009.

  1. jmc

    jmc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2008
    South Central MA
    Holderread mentions other things as supplements for Biotin-deficient feeds (which results in more severe foot crack, etc. problems than a 'mere' Pantothenic Acid-deficient feed).

    He mentions Meat meal, Bone meal, etc.

    Well heck, bone meal is a heck of alot cheaper than brewer's yeast.

    If holderread himself advises that as a good source of Biotin (and other things), I assume we can say it is a fine alternative to BY, even if it is not the exact same thing.

    And for that matter, if duck feeds are so often lacking in Niacin, and people give them Niacin pills in the water,

    WHY CAN'T ONE DO THE SAME AND SUPPLEMENT LACKING BIOTIN, PANTOTHENIC ACID AND RIBOFLAVIN (AND MAYBE VIT. A ALSO) WITH A VITAMIN SUPPLEMENT PILL?

    A heck of alot cheaper than brewers yeast, which contains only very small amounts of those things. It seems that, whereas you need a lot of Brewer's yeast, having a B-complex pill (or whatever) which is obviously WAY more rich in the vitamins we are looking for than BY, you could get by with buying and using a much smaller volume, as the vitamin pill supplement is concentrated.

    But I guess one would have to do a lot of guess work about dosage, etc. But maybe feed companies which try to make a 'one size fits all' product end up doing alot of that or similar stuff!

    I don't know, geez. But I can't believe we duck owners are CONDEMNED to leave our birds without these nutrients unless we spend a fortune on BY.

    There are alternatives and Holderread says so!

    See Holderread in his section on FOOT PROBLEMS (esp. cracking, bumble) and the lack of the nutrients which gives rise to them.
     
  2. Willowbrook

    Willowbrook Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 7, 2008
    western PA
    By your post, I assume you cannot find an appropriate feed for your ducks?

    Have you checked out game bird food? I use a product made by Kalmbach Feeds and it is called Duck, Goose, Chicken & Game bird Starter Grower Pellet. I like it because it is a 21% protein.
    Even though it's called a "starter" food, I feed this food to all of my ducks, peafowl, geese, guineas and chickens throughout their entire lives.
    I can honestly say that I've never had a problem with any issues with my birds that required supplementation.

    Under the list of ingredients, the fourth is bone meal and further down is Niacin and d-Biotin.

    Maybe you could find a similar product in your area? Often times people do not to think and ask about game bird food. Just a thought...
     
  3. jmc

    jmc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2008
    South Central MA
    Quote:Thank you!

    Yes I also use a feed formulated for ducks chickens, etc. However, most of the niacin in feed is not available to ducks. There are few feeds out there that really fully satisfy the nutritional needs of waterfowl 100%.

    St. Francis of Assisi, eh. Well, he was a friar and I am a monk. I ask his prayers for sister duckies.

    God love you
     
  4. Willowbrook

    Willowbrook Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 7, 2008
    western PA
    Yes I also use a feed formulated for ducks chickens, etc. However, most of the niacin in feed is not available to ducks. There are few feeds out there that really fully satisfy the nutritional needs of waterfowl 100%.

    I tend to agree with you about many manufactured foods.

    In fairness, I forgot to mention that all of my birds are free-range birds (shelter at night) and have the choices and options of what they choose to eat when they are not eating their daily rations.

    I believe that no one knows better about their nutritional needs other than the bird who has a choice.​
     
  5. One of the recommendations Holderread makes when a deficient diet is suspected to be contributing to foot problems is alfalfa. It is a common component of commercial feeds, but additional amount could apparently be helpful. It is a great source of the vitamin A, biotin, pantothenic acid, and riboflavin.
    I took a tip from Wifezilla and soak an alfalfa cube in hot water in a metal bowl. It makes it easy for the ducks to slurp up! I have read that an old herbal remedy for pregnant women the middle east is to drink alfalfa tea because of it's high nutrient content. It's great for the ducks on those days when the grass is blanketed in snow and probably would be relished by any duck confined to a pen.
     
  6. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

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    Oct 2, 2008
    Colorado
    I wish I could get this....
    http://www.spicerbirdfarm.com/spicerfeed.html

    The alfalfa cube in warm water is something I give as a treat on cold mornings. Be careful though...I went to buy another bag of cubes and they were all brown and old. The cubes should be green. NOT dark brown.
     
  7. goosedragon

    goosedragon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2009
    Central NC
    Quote:Are you sure they were old? I have run across brown Alfalfa cubes that used molasses (spelled wrong) as part of the formulation. Horses like sweet feed my ducks and geese, not so much.
     
  8. I was reading somewhere lately a recommendation to add a little molasses to ?something?* offered to ducks to make them like it better. I mostly remember wondering if that could possibly mean ducks have a sweet tooth? I wouldn't guess so.
    *Please forgive my menopausing memory
     
  9. goosedragon

    goosedragon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2009
    Central NC
    Quote:If you are in areas where lots of poultry are raised by small holders you may be able to buy vitamin and mineral supplement concentrate in 50 pound bags. I am in a area where there were a lot of meat bird factory farms and it was mostly sold in bulk to be mixed into either the feed or to the closed system water systems that these places have. I bought it once and it lasted me the whole season but you really need a place to store it at reasonable temperatures (Some of my storage sheds got to 140 F in the heat of our NC summers) Vitamins tend to break down fast above 90F. the other problem is that you have to dose it out by weight to get proper dosages. There was a good waterfowl feed avaiblle so I switched to that....
     
  10. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

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    Oct 2, 2008
    Colorado
    There was no molasses in it. It was just OLD. Even the clerk working there admitted it looked pretty bad to him.
     

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