Am I feeding my ducks the right food?

duck rookie

In the Brooder
7 Years
Jul 30, 2012
33
0
22
Thanks so much.. I will be heading to the feed store tomorrow. You guys helped a lot!!
 

newfoundland

Songster
9 Years
Jul 1, 2010
976
74
151
Could anyone reccommend the best home made diet for laying ducks and hens. I have been feeding my flocks on layers pellets supplemented with vegetables but would prefer to feed them a much more varied diet. I am quite happy to continue using layers pellets as part of their diet. Grateful for all or any suggestions.
 

CelticOaksFarm

Family owned, family run
10 Years
Sep 7, 2009
12,307
250
323
Florida - Space Coast
unless you want to go to the expense of dozens of ingredients stick with your layer feed. They need the calcium included in it. To produce a blend at home that is complete would require a large expense on your part. You can offer them BOSS, Oats, and Millet if wanting to give extras, but dont make it a large part of their diet.
 

njduck

Chirping
8 Years
Jul 15, 2011
204
2
91
I have multiple species and varying age groups. I have alot of different feed going on and multiple pens. Everything from 1 day old to 3 weeks gets starter/grower. Everything from 3 weeks to ???(they gow in a breeding pen or get sold) is on grower/finisher. In my breeding pens, everything gets layer pellets. This is for chickens, ducks, and turkeys. The quail get layer crumble. My adults in the breeding pen only hang around 2 to 3 years and then they are gone, except a very select few. I use to use oyster shell and I am a believer in it. However I have to regulate it alot. My hen ducks make it a competition to see who can eat the most. Then when they get to much they stop laying on me. I have yet to have any health issues related to food. I feed anywhere from 100 to 150 pounds a day and have anywhere from 150 to 400 birds at a time. Mine are not pets and do not have a life expectancy of more then 2 or 3 years. however my sons pet chicken just died after 8 or 9 years. she free ranged and got corn in the morning at feed time.
 

destinduck

obsessed with "ducks"
11 Years
Mar 20, 2008
2,627
65
231
n.w.FLORIDA
I agree with CelticOaksFarm. Chicken layer pellets are also what I mainly feed. And the beauty of this is just about everyone carries them no matter where you are. Also I have had the best success raising ducklings on either mazuri waterfowl starter or flockraiser. In that order. As for the calcium problem for drakes in layer feed it is talked about all the time on here. I personally dont know of anybody thats had a calcium problem with a drake. Would anyone on here want to share a story of what personally happened to their own drake or drakes problem because of a calcium overload? Edited to say I keep my birds as pets and am looking for a long life for them.
 
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Miss Lydia

My Best Bud
Premium member
10 Years
Oct 3, 2009
103,670
101,617
1,842
Mountains of Western N.C.
I like Celtics idea too, I feed Purna Flock Raiser and just started adding other grains with help from Celtic about what grains are the best, and it is working out great, so far I feed the FR and add a cup of mixed grains [Whole oats, barley, and wheat and a 7 way scratch ] top dress the FR with this then mix it in, I do this to 3 goat trough feeders that I got a TSC and they actually like the mixed grains better than the flock raiser, they eat it all but leave the FR for last. The only reason I don't feed Layer is because all my flock including youngsters eat from the same troughs and I don't want the babies eating layer. I just put out bowls of Oyster shell for the egg layers.
 

jak2002003

Crowing
10 Years
Oct 24, 2009
3,102
1,181
376
Thailand
I used to work in the pet food industry for many years I became very concerned to these so called 'top range expert foods'.

I will tell you the truth - these foods are very cleverly marketed to SELL them at a PREMIUM price. These foods are designed to attract people to buy them with claims like - complete, aid digestion, reduce waste, improve growth, healthy feathers / fur, dental health (cats and dogs), etc etc.

These foods are animal 'convenience' foods. They are far from natural and if you take time to look at the ingredients on each brand and bag you will see that they are virtually the same - even for different species of animal! The ingredients used in these foods as substandard food stuffs 'unfit for human consumption' and are often the waste from large scale industrial food producers.

They have to add many chemicall additives, minerals and preservatives to these foods to restore their nutritional value - which has been lost in the high heat baking process.

If you look at the rise in pet allergies you will see it corresponds to the rise in feeding these packaged foods. Many people are now changing their pets diet to more natural (my dog now eats mostly raw meat and bones and her skin allergy and bad teeth have gone). My chickens are fed brown rice mixed in with the 'normal' layers pellets and lots of veg, free ranging for insects too.

Try to do a search for the actual ingredients in the Purina Flock Raiser and you can't get them - Why?! All I can find is
Guaranteed Analysis: Protein, not less than 20.0%, Lysine, not less than 0.95%, Methionine, not less than 0.35%, Fat, not less than 3.5%, Fiber, not more than 5.0%, Calcium, not less than 0.8%, Calcium, not more than 1.3%, Phosphorus, not less than 0.7%, Salt, not less than 0.35%, Salt, not more than 0.85%, Vitamin A 7000 IU/lb, Vitamin E 14.0 IU/lb
Notice it does not say actual ingredients or what they are. Where is the protein form? Where is the Methionine, lysine, etc from? I suspect they are getting the Methionine from eggs - as this in the most common source in the pet food industry. These will be waste eggs from factory farms. Any protein from animals will be from the scrapings off the slaughter house floor, and vegetable proteins will be from vegetable refuse left over from processing vegetables for human consumption - ie, dead, yellow, mould slimy leaved and tough stalks all ground up.

I bet this Purina Flock raiser food is more expensive than the traditional layers pellets or chick starter you can buy in the feed store too. Also how can it be suitable for 'all ages and stages'? That just does not make sense.
 

CelticOaksFarm

Family owned, family run
10 Years
Sep 7, 2009
12,307
250
323
Florida - Space Coast
Jack sorry but pet foods are far different from livestock feeds. The brand mentioned here (Mazuri) is actually a zoological feed, there is a lot to be said for the research put into the high end waterfowl feed that Mazuri produces.
 

jak2002003

Crowing
10 Years
Oct 24, 2009
3,102
1,181
376
Thailand
I feed Purina Flock raiser, it's for all flocks and all stages of life, and put out Oyster shell on the side for my egg layers.
I was replying to this post. Really how can one feed be for all stages of life?!

Livestock food is ever worse than pet food!

Many people hate battery farmed chickens and keep free range flocks on their own property to get the free range eggs - they correctly hate the conditions the factory farmed hens are kept in. They don't realise they are feeding their chickens sub standard bye products form factory farmed chickens and other animals.
 
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