Cutting formulated diets with oats

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Speceider, Jul 22, 2011.

  1. Speceider

    Speceider Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I often see the recommendation to cut the amount of protein in a diet with oats. Here's a little table I worked up showing how adding oats affects the quality of the diet. Remember that the ME controls the amount of food eaten (that's why diets are formulated to the given energy levels), higher ME levels require higher protein levels to meet amino acid requirements.

    Feed kcal/kg % protein % ARG % ISOL % LEU % LYS % METH % M+CYS % TRY % VAL MG Niacin
    Recommended 2900 22 1.1 0.63 1.26 0.9 0.4 0.7 0.23 0.78 55
    oatmeal 3120 16 0.9 0.55 1 0.54 0.2 0.44 0.2 0.75 13
    whole oats 2550 11.4 0.79 0.52 0.89 0.5 0.18 0.4 0.16 0.68 12
    wheat (hard red) 2900 14.1 0.6 0.44 0.89 0.37 0.21 0.51 0.16 0.57 48

    Mixed 75:25oatmeal 2955 20.5 1.05 0.61 1.195 0.81 0.35 0.635 0.2225 0.7725 44.5
    Mixed 60:40oatmeal 2988 19.6 1.02 0.598 1.156 0.756 0.32 0.596 0.218 0.768 38.2

    mixed 75:25oats 2812.5 19.35 1.0225 0.6025 1.1675 0.8 0.345 0.625 0.2125 0.755 44.25
    Mixed 65:35oats 2777.5 18.29 0.9915 0.5915 1.1305 0.76 0.323 0.595 0.2055 0.745 39.95
    mixed 55:45oats 2742.5 17.23 0.9605 0.5805 1.0935 0.72 0.301 0.565 0.1985 0.735 35.65

    mixed 75:25wheat 2900 20.025 0.975 0.5825 1.1675 0.7675 0.3525 0.6525 0.2125 0.7275 53.25

    This table used the recommended diet (NRC 1994) mixed with oats, oatmeal, and wheat. Notice the drop in niacin. If mixing, it's probably better to mix oatmeal, rather than whole oats, but there isn't much of a protein reduction (although the drop in methionine + cycteine is of concern) and little change in ME. That's why I do not recommend mixing and matching feeds to "lower" protein because it alters the balance, making it difficult to know what the bird is actually getting, and does it meet their needs.

    Clint
     
  2. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

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    You can always offer a whole grain free choice. Every once in a while I will pick up whole oats if they are on sale and fill a separate feed bin. The ducks nibble it here and there. since I feed game bird feed and they get minnows, duckweed, worms and other high protein, high nutrition Items regularly, I don't worry about reduced vitamin or mineral intake.
     
  3. Senna95

    Senna95 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Clint, thanks for that information. I think however, that 22% protein in feed is quite high. The feed I used to get here locally is only 16-17%. Unless you're feeding gamebird feed I guess.

    I've lateley been working with a local mill who mixes feed especially for me (Ready made feed here costs $17 per bag, plus tax). I use oats in my mix, along with barley, alfalfa, wheat, corn, soy, calcium, and a vitamin/mineral mix, along with some extra niacin. The comination I'm using comes to about 16% protein. My ducks also free-range durring the day, and I feed brewers grain (left over from the beer-brewing process) when I can get it, along with fruits and veggies I pick up from a local produce outlet. I also occasionally sprinkle their food with fishmeal.

    For my breeders I sprinkle a little extra fishmeal, and give them a (very weak) vitamin solution in their drinking water.

    I'm a firm believer that the greater variety you can feed, the better. Especially for the micronutrients. My ducks are growing well, I don't have problems with wings and legs, nor bumble-foot. My pekins have a beautiful creamy-yellowish tint to their plumage, the WH and grey/trout runners have bright green heads, and all are in good, healthy feather (though their all molting right now, so not quite so pretty).
     
  4. Speceider

    Speceider Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's for a 2900 kcal/kg diet. and gives a 13.2 ME:protein ratio, while 14 is considered optimal (Scott and Dean. 1991. Nutrition and management of ducks. Scott Publ., Ithaca, NY). Granted, that's a little more production oriented, but most commercial rations will be in the 3100 kcal/kg range, and my birds (grasnted, all wild species except for the muscovies) have done much better since I have switched to higher protein. I don't have leg problems, some angel wing in the muscovies in the extreme heat when they are almost completely inactive. I am not convinced angel wing is just nutritional, but much more complex.

    Clint
     
  5. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

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    I have no angel wing problems and no leg problems. I feed 24% protein game bird feed.
     

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