Brewers Yeast or Niacin for duckling

ShellyH22

In the Brooder
5 Years
Mar 24, 2014
25
2
36
One of my 3 (3 week old) pekin ducklings seems to be laying more then standing. It can get around if it wants to, but seems to maybe have weak legs. It will only stand for a very short time. I am new to raising ducks and need advice on what to do.
Should I use brewers yeast or niacin? Which is less expensive? Where do I find it? How much do I give? Should all three of my ducklings have it or just the one with the weak legs?
 

Amiga

Overrun with Runners
10 Years
Jan 3, 2010
23,198
2,612
531
Southern New England
I would put a tablespoon of brewer's yeast on their food daily and let them all eat that.

Ducklings can go through times they need some extra rest since they grow so fast, that's what I feel about it. Pekins have a reputation for leg concerns also.

A poultry multivitamin once a week is something else I would do - add it to their water according to directions.
 

jenniemig

Songster
5 Years
Jan 28, 2014
675
73
138
Jacksonville, Florida
Poultry Nutri-Drench is good to use also. You can add it to their water according to labeling instructions for their age. It'd be good for all of them to have. I have read another thread where the person had trouble with their bills getting sticky from it. You can offer plain water for them to clean their faces in a few times a day, if it is a problem.

Tractor Supply is supposed to carry it. I order mine from Amazon, if I go to Tractor Supply I am liable to come home with more babies;-)
 

ShellyH22

In the Brooder
5 Years
Mar 24, 2014
25
2
36
Thank You! I know what you mean about going to the store and wanting to bring more home! I have to head there today for more bedding and will look around for the Nutri-Drench.
 

LeslieDJoyce

Crowing
7 Years
Jul 30, 2012
3,677
496
293
Sherwood, OR
My Coop
My Coop
I tried Niacin in the water ... you need to get just the right kind of niacin, and it needs to be "refreshed" at least once per day as it is a water soluble vitamin and therefore deteriorates quickly in water ... and you know how ducklings are with water ...

I think a more practical solution is adding a niacin supplement to their feed, and that can be done with either Brewer's Yeast or Nutritional Yeast. There is a brand of Brewer's Yeast which is promoted on various poultry forums ... it also contains garlic, which you may or may not want to be feeding to your birds.

However, Nutritional Yeast has a lot more niacin than Brewer's Yeast.

Here are links to the nutritional data for each type of yeast ...

Brewer's Yeast: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/custom/1323569/2

Nutritional Yeast: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/custom/1323565/2

Though the headline suggests a "custom" quantity, I've "tweaked" both of those to display the nutritional value of 1 ounce (28 grams) of each so it is easier to make a direct comparison.

You can see 28 grams of Brewer's Yeast has 9.3 mg of Niacin.

You can see 28 grams of Nutritional Yeast has 98 mg of Niacin.

So, Nutritional Yeast seems a more practical option to me. You can add less. It is what an animal nutritionist recommend I use ... sprinkled over their feed.

How much you would add depends on how much is already in the feed you are providing, but as niacin is water soluble, there is little worry about overdosing with the niacin ... I'm not so sure about the other nutrients in the yeast products, though.

Nutritional Yeast can be bought in the bulk bins of grocery stores ... I'm pretty sure Brewer's Yeast can be found there, too. Certainly both are available on the shelves, but that would likely cost more than the buying it in bulk.
 
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ShellyH22

In the Brooder
5 Years
Mar 24, 2014
25
2
36
Wow! Thank You so much for all of the helpful info!
 

TracyLovesDucks

Songster
5 Years
Mar 25, 2014
527
33
138
Northern Colorado
This is such helpful info! Thank you for comparing all of the options! Now that you mention it, it seems clear that niacin in water will break down because of its water solubility (duh, why didn't I think of that?!).

I have a 4-week old runner who at times has trembly/shaky legs. I've been told by many on this forum that he probably needs more niacin, so I have been giving niacin powder in their water (the pills have 500 mg--and I mix about 1/3 of a capsule with 1 gal water--so I felt like I had more control over giving them an appropriate dose compared to brewers yeast which is lower in niacin). But after little improvement in the shaky legs, I am now also using brewers yeast. All in all, with the water solubility of B3 and the low dose in brewers yeast, it sounds like my little guy is getting less niacin that I was originally thinking.
So it's good to know that nutritional yeast is also an option with higher niacin content than brewers yeast. So glad you posted this
 

Speceider

Songster
8 Years
Apr 4, 2011
1,169
107
161
Here is a link to a chart that details the nutritional requirements of ducks at various ages. The info on Niacin is in... but I have no clue how to translate that into useful information.

http://www.metzerfarms.com/NutritionalRequirements.cfm?CustID=2395322

I was told ducklings need 27 mg of niacin per day, and older ducks need 20. 

Pay attention to the top line on that chart. The ME controls how much they eat... all the other nutrients are based upon that value to assure they eat enough to meet their needs.

Clint
 
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