Are they thin? Are they growing normally?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by petjem, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. petjem

    petjem Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is their growth normal? We've had them for 6 weeks. This is how " big" they were when we brought them home.
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    And this is how they look today, 6 weeks after. Is their growth normal? Do you think they are thin? Should we feed them more? They fill their beaks up with food and dip it in their water and make soup till they empty their food bowl. Do all ducks/muscovies do that?


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    Last edited: Sep 10, 2012
  2. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    What are you feeding and how much? Have you added vitamins to their water?
     
  3. petjem

    petjem Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I feed them a blend of grinded wheat, corn, barley and oat that I can find here at the local feedstore. The guy who runs it suggested that. They also graze a lot. Note that we can't find Purina or any other known brand for poultry even in the whole country. Everyone here orders his own blends at the feedstores and they have them made having what they want them to have. I feed them twice or three times daily depending on how much they are let out to graze. I don't really know how much each of them eats as they carry their food in their beaks in dip it in their water. [​IMG]

    I do add vitamins either in their food or in their water once a week.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2012
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Looks like you have a drake and a duck, the yellow one looks leaner but it maybe because she is a duck, but her feathering doesn't look as good as the other one either. I think I would give them the vits more than once a week till they are at least 12 weeks old. maybe 3X a week then cut back to 1X a week. they are growing fast at this age and need alot of nutrients . And this is just me but I keep food out at all times during the day and take it up at night. They sure are pretty. I say drake and duck but looking at the legs of the Chocolate barred it looks like a drake. do you know the sex of them when you bought them?
     
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  5. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Think about some kind of fish (like unsalted sardines in water, not oil), or worms as a small part of their diet. Also, some ground buckwheat might be good to add, as well as some ground flaxseed. One of the feeds I used had cracked field peas in it. I don't remember if the peas need to be heated before giving them to ducks . . . . Powdered kelp is also good to put in their feed (not too much, as it contains iodine, but they do need some). Are they getting just a tiny sprinkling of salt? They need some sodium in their diet. Any kind of greens are good for them, too, but not much spinach because that can interfere with calcium absorption.

    Apple cider vinegar is a nice tonic, add a few tablespoons in a gallon of water.

    You can attract bugs by placing some damp cardboard on the ground and a day or so later, lifting it so the ducks can have some protein snacks like worms or slugs or bugs.
     
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  6. petjem

    petjem Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've read some posts of some other members about theis muscovy ducklings developing "angel wings" and the truth is that it made me all worried about feeding them too much protein and doing them harm instead of good. [​IMG] They do catch a lot of insects themselves when they are let free to graze like huge locusts that I've seen them killing and other bugs. You did give me a good idea to lift some big stones that we've got in the garden and let them feed on the worms that live under them! I'll also increase the vitamin intake to 3 times a week! Thanks everyone! [​IMG]

    p.s. about the apple cider vinegar... won't it hurt their eyes if I add it in their water? cuz they put their heads in it...
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2012
  7. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    I put apple cider vinegar in my flocks water and they wash their faces and it doesn't seem to bother them at all. Since your ducks are foraging in the day time I don't think you have to worry as much about angel wing especially if they are catching bugs and getting their protein naturally. Just keep an eye on them and that way you can catch it early if it did happen. just got this thought you might like to read it. http://communitychickens.blogspot.com/2012/09/11-uses-for-vinegar-around-coop.html#.UE8qPI2ua2Y
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2012
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  8. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think that they look okay. The white does seem to be a little behind in feather development. My only concern would be protein level. Grains are not nutritionally complete and vary in protein level ( corn-7.5%, barley 11.5, oats 11, wheat 11-13.5 depending on type) At this age they should be getting around 16% protein. If they are able to graze and forage and find enough bugs, I wouldn't change anything but if they do not have access to a large area to graze, I'd add something. A fish protein or worms as suggested. Hard-boiled eggs (my ducks never liked them though) you can also give milk (mixed with feed but picked up often to avoid spoiling. A high quality dry cat food is high in protein but has a high fat content too. Cat food need be only about 10% of their diet. That may be the most economical way of adding protein unless you have a way of getting lots of bugs. To attract more bugs you can put a light outside at dusk about 18" from the ground. That will attract alot of moths etc.
     
  9. petjem

    petjem Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When I went back home from work at noon I did what you guys told me! I lifted some stones that we've got in the garden near the tap and the hose where the soil gets much water and there were lots or worms hidden under them. The ducklings LOVED it! They could not believe their eyes! They were running and swallowing worms in a race who would get the most of them! Hahaha! The yellow duckling was half the size of the brown one when we got them, possibly from a different clutch. ;) I'll start adding some apple cider vinegar in their drinking water from tomorrow! Thanks for all your help, its been precious so far as I knew nothing at all about how to properly raise ducklings before I found this forum! [​IMG]
     
  10. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Please keep us updated on how you and the duckies are doing! And if we forget, and give you some "standard" advice from this part of the world that doesn't work where you are, please be patient and remind us.[​IMG]
     

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