Another feed question

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by needlessjunk, Feb 18, 2015.

  1. needlessjunk

    needlessjunk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay so I need a bit more help. I have been searching and reading all the past threads but still can't make up my mind what I should feed my flock. I have four 11 week old females, one egg laying female and a drake. What should I feed them? Right now they have a mix of flock raiser crumble and grower/finisher pellets (15% protein). They really do better on pellets and make a huge mess with crumble. We are having a rat problem so I really am on top of the feed mess. Should I stick with the grower/finisher by DuMor, try to find a flock raiser pellet or try layer pellets? Free choice oyster shell is offered. They get fed twice a day and free range the rest of the time in my back yard. They also get treats and the ends of the kitchen produce along with their crack (peas). I don't know why I'm having such a hard time with this. I think it's because they are all different ages and sex now I'm confused on what would be the best for everyone.
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I think it is part art as well as science, and so help me, my flock does not read the books, so I try things out and see what works, always checking in here or with the vet, reading books, etc.

    Sounds like you have a very good base to start with.

    Availability of the type of feed we want seems to be one of the biggest challenges for members of BYC. Just last week, a local feed store started carrying the type of feed I want to use. I have known about it for years and did buy some and have it shipped but that doubled the price - so at least I found out it is good feed.

    A flock raiser pellet sounds like a good thing to look for. If the crumbles are making you crazy, perhaps layer pellets for a short period of time might be worth a try - you need to feel good about it. You could - and this is labor-intensive - try to make time to have the drake by himself with you so you can feed him some non-calcium food by himself to lower the amount of calcium he's getting…..
     
  3. needlessjunk

    needlessjunk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm worried that I will get it wrong and someone will suffer. I guess the best course is to try things out. I *think* there is one feed store that may have flock raiser pellets but I know for a fact TSC does not. Right now my girls chase the new drake away from the food so I have 3-4 bowls out so he can at least eat. Putting him on his own isn't that big of a deal. I don't have too many options with feed and it's annoying to say the least. Lots of layer choices but not much else. I really do appreciate the input. I got my first egg today and that has made me question her food.
     
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Is the egg soft? Is that the concern?

    Also, I add supplements to their feed depending on what's going on. Right now I have one or two laying, and four or five in different stages of molt, so I am feeding several tablespoons of dry cat kibble for extra protein. The Runners generally have been having trouble using calcium, or maybe getting enough calcium, so I am supplementing 50 to 80 mg per duck per day with calcium citrate, dissolved in water added to their feed.

    Sometimes I sprinkle a little flaxseed meal for omega 3s, I like to make sure they get some greens at least a few times a week, and I soak wheat seeds and sprout them for fun and nutrition.
     
  5. needlessjunk

    needlessjunk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Round Rock, TX
    No concern as far as the egg goes. It was perfect but just made everything real. I will be watching out for my runners though since yours have had trouble. I'm in TX so there is still a lot for them to eat in the middle of winter. They love the clover that has taken over my lawn and I'm so glad too. They don't seem to like dog or cat food when I tried giving it to them.
     
  6. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Yes, each duck has his or her own food preferences. Glad there's no worry with soft shells. There are theories about what is going on here, but nothing definite.

    Part of it is, I think, that my Runners lay quite a bit at a time, and that chicken layer doesn't have enough calcium for those thick thick shells.
     
  7. Richb353

    Richb353 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hello,
    I've always used unmedicated Purina Layena or Dumor Layer for my flock, even when they were first hatched. Both are high in protein. Up to a month of age I would use the crumbles, after that pellets. Every once in a while I will add some scratch grains or corn to the mix. A few times last year I had a sick duck, so I added supplements to their water and the birds returned to health. Like you, I feed my flock twice a day (before and after work) and they know the routine and who feeds them (It gives the illusion that they are happy to see me when I come home from work :D, but I digress).
    Enjoy,
    Rich
     

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