Blue Seal Feed and general feeding questions for Ducks

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Tahai, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. Tahai

    Tahai Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hello, Blue Seal Feed users!

    Tons of noob [​IMG] questions coming at you.

    After speaking with various feed stores in the area, I've decided to use the Blue Seal program. I'll start with Chick n Game starter, go to Grower-cal pellets, then on to Layer pellets (http://www.blueseal.com/poultry/feeds.php#gc). I will have 10 Welsh Harlequins, pastured in a 40x40 mobile electric poultry fence, moved weekly, so they will have plenty of good forage. Having decided all this, I still have a couple of questions the feed store couldn't answer.

    The Grower-cal and the Layer - do they have enough calcium, or will I still need to supplement with oyster shell?

    Do these feeds have enough niacin for ducks, or will I need to supplement?

    If I need to supplement Niacin, what is the most effective, least expensive source?

    How much feed should I plan to give each duck when they will be spending at least 12 hours foraging in good pasture?

    How much feed should I plan to give each duck during the winter when they will be confined to a small yard and the coop most of the time?

    Do ducks on pasture need supplemental grit (clay/clay loam rocky soil)?

    What inexpensive fruits/veggies provide the most nutrition for winter feeding?

    I plan to have the drinking water on an external water porch accessible from the duck house at all times. Will I need to have the food on the porch also, or can I keep the feed inside the duck house? (not really clear on the mechanics of duck mastication)

    What type of feed container works best? Should it have high sides to keep the feed in, or should it be low, large, and wide to prevent fighting?

    When is the best time to feed the ducks their feed ration? In the morning when I let them out? In the evening when I lock them up? Or should I split the feed both morning and night?

    What is the best type of waterer for drinking only? (swim time will be in the pasture only)

    How much water will 10 ducks need to make it approximately 12 hours at night?


    OK, I think that's all for now. I know there are a lot of questions here, so if you only feel like answering a couple of them, I understand! I appreciate all your hard-earned advice and experience [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Thanks ever so much,

    Tahai
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2012
  2. stonykill

    stonykill Overrun With Chickens

    4,797
    236
    288
    Sep 16, 2010
    Canaan Ny
    Quote:I'll try to hit them all. Whoo.....

    I use Blue Seal Feed exclusively. I don't suppliment niacin, and have never had an issue.

    I feed the ducks when they are let out in the am. During the winter months I give them a little more in the afternoon. They never finish off the afternoon meal.

    I don't provide water in the coop at night for the ducks. Never have. They are fine at night without it, and it keeps the sloppy mess down in the coop.

    My Pekins have a small pond in their run for drinking and swimming, but ducks need to keep their nasal passages clear, so I would suggest a pail or bucket of some type, so they can submerse their head for drinking.

    I use large plastic spinach containers (plastic) to feed our 11 Pekins. I fill each with 1 large coffee can of feed. Game bird crumbles/coarse cracked corn, mixed 50/50.

    My girls and boys are confined to a run, but forage like crazy in that run. I don't supply additional grit, they find it on their own.
     
  3. learycow

    learycow Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,454
    296
    236
    Apr 1, 2011
    Southern Maine
    Hello and welcome!

    I feed blue seal and have been for years. I only feed the layer pellets though. In my area, the only chick starter I can get through blue seal is medicated. If you don't already know, DO NOT feed medicated feed to your ducks! It can be fatal!
    So my babies get Poulin grain to start with. I feed that until they are 4 months old, then switch to layer pellets.
    I do not feed mine extra grit. They free range during the day and go into a large penned in area at night. I do supplement all of my layers with calcium (oyster shells). I found that if you don't, they tend to lay a lot of soft shelled eggs. But I only give them oyster shells once every 2 weeks or so ( I mix about a pint to a quart into their grain). Keep in mind that this is for 50+ layers.

    Mine also have a pond during the day. In their night pen, I have a shallow 50 gallon sheep trough that I keep full. I put a water heater in it in the winter which prevents it from freezing. I do have to fill it daily, but you shouldn't have to if you only have 12 birds!

    I keep their feeder ( a 50 pound hanging feeder, same as you would use for chickens) in their coop. I keep it filled so they can eat as much grain and as often as they want. They definitely eat less grain in the spring/ summer when there's a lot for them to forage outside. I the winter, I go through more grain but they still forage outside. It's just harder for them to find food when there's snow on the ground!

    As for fruits and veggies, I only feed scraps in the winter. I have a large family and we eat a lot of fresh fruits and veggies, so the ducks get the leftovers. You can also feed them frozen food. If you or your friends clean out your freezer, give tHe ducks the freezer-burnt veggies. They love them! And fruit, blueberries, raspberries. They'll eat pretty much anything!
    In the summer, I go to a local veggie farm and get bags of their "non-sellable" veggies. It's pretty much peppers and tomatoes and corn that has a spot on them, are a little soft, or just oddly shaped. Nothing wrong with them, they just can't sell them to the grocery stores. So they become duck food!
     
  4. Tahai

    Tahai Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you both, for your input [​IMG]
     
  5. kurtjackieprovost

    kurtjackieprovost Out Of The Brooder

    42
    0
    24
    Apr 22, 2011
    Quote:I'll try to hit them all. Whoo.....

    I use Blue Seal Feed exclusively. I don't suppliment niacin, and have never had an issue.

    I feed the ducks when they are let out in the am. During the winter months I give them a little more in the afternoon. They never finish off the afternoon meal.

    I don't provide water in the coop at night for the ducks. Never have. They are fine at night without it, and it keeps the sloppy mess down in the coop.

    My Pekins have a small pond in their run for drinking and swimming, but ducks need to keep their nasal passages clear, so I would suggest a pail or bucket of some type, so they can submerse their head for drinking.

    I use large plastic spinach containers (plastic) to feed our 11 Pekins. I fill each with 1 large coffee can of feed. Game bird crumbles/coarse cracked corn, mixed 50/50.

    My girls and boys are confined to a run, but forage like crazy in that run. I don't supply additional grit, they find it on their own.

    I second the above post, however with my 6 ducks/ 3 are still laying, I have not used the cracked corn and have fed them straight layer pellets.

    I also had no problems due to niacin as I supplemented the first six weeks with brewers yeast. I leave oyster shell in a separate dish and refill as necessary.
     
  6. stonykill

    stonykill Overrun With Chickens

    4,797
    236
    288
    Sep 16, 2010
    Canaan Ny
    Quote:I'll try to hit them all. Whoo.....

    I use Blue Seal Feed exclusively. I don't suppliment niacin, and have never had an issue.

    I feed the ducks when they are let out in the am. During the winter months I give them a little more in the afternoon. They never finish off the afternoon meal.

    I don't provide water in the coop at night for the ducks. Never have. They are fine at night without it, and it keeps the sloppy mess down in the coop.

    My Pekins have a small pond in their run for drinking and swimming, but ducks need to keep their nasal passages clear, so I would suggest a pail or bucket of some type, so they can submerse their head for drinking.

    I use large plastic spinach containers (plastic) to feed our 11 Pekins. I fill each with 1 large coffee can of feed. Game bird crumbles/coarse cracked corn, mixed 50/50.

    My girls and boys are confined to a run, but forage like crazy in that run. I don't supply additional grit, they find it on their own.

    I second the above post, however with my 6 ducks/ 3 are still laying, I have not used the cracked corn and have fed them straight layer pellets.

    I also had no problems due to niacin as I supplemented the first six weeks with brewers yeast. I leave oyster shell in a separate dish and refill as necessary.

    To attest to Blue Seals feed, one of my girls already started laying again. 4 days straight. No one else around me has duck laying.
     

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