Confused about duck feed

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by hefalumpmom, Nov 18, 2013.

  1. hefalumpmom

    hefalumpmom Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 10, 2012
    About a year and a half ago, I got 3 ducks and a gander. I did some reading on line at the time, and the general consensus seemed to be that they needed to be on a 18% protein food. I fed them a game bird ration that was 18%. My hen (rouan) started laying about 6 eggs per week from about April to July. She stopped, molted, and has only laid 3 eggs since. In the process I had changed to a gamebird ration that was only 16% protein (I changed without reading the label). They do also get cracked corn in their feed and free range all day. I guess I have several questions. 1) Why would she stop laying? She won't even be two years old until April. 2) They do not have "angel wing". Is there any other way to determine if they are getting the right amount of protein (and anything else they need)? and 3) My chickens are on a 16% layer ration. It would be nice to be able to only buy one type of feed that would keep everyone happy, healthy and productive. I can get a Nutrena All Flock that is 18% or a game bird breed ration that is 30%. I thought the 30% sounded high. What's the general wisdom out there? (I only give oyster shell to my chickens. The duck egg shells were very hard without them.)

    Thank you in advance for any advice!
  2. duckyfromoz

    duckyfromoz Quackaholic

    Jan 11, 2010
    Some of the larger ducks- Rouens, Muscovies Pekins, Aylesbury are all more seasonal in their laying. They will lay late winter to part way through the summer - and molting will also cause a break in laying as well.
    Do you only have one female duck ? If the other two are both males you might want to reconsider the ratio - even withe the big heavier breeds- the girls can get a really tough time from the drakes- and if she has to contend with two of them it may be causing her a bit of stress too.
  3. hefalumpmom

    hefalumpmom Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 10, 2012
    Yes, luck of the draw gave me two drakes and one hen...and it was a rough spring season. I would like to get a couple of hens this spring to change the ratio. I am glad to hear that seasonal laying is normal. I am not nearly as worried about egg production as the health of the animals. I give most of the duck eggs to a neighbor.

    Thank you for the insight :)
  4. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    yes, Seasonal laying and being over bred, molt etc all contribute to laying ceasing. As for food an all flock is a nice option, be sure to have free choice oyster shell out for her, they can nibble at it when required, it's a form of calcium for birds.

    I don't use layers here one because i have drakes and roos and the excess is not a sound idea for long term IMO and i also really don't believe in it lol, my big hens (not rooster exposed) lay lovely eggs and do well with a higher protein feed(18-20% range) and oyster shell on the side, they free range too.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013

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