Do ducks need grit?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by dadof4, Apr 14, 2009.

  1. dadof4

    dadof4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 8 campbell hens that are about 8 or nine weeks old. The are in a pen on grass. They have been eating a 20% poultry starter since I got them home(hatchery). Can I start giving them some scratch grain and if so do they need grit?
     
  2. nettie

    nettie Enslaved by Indoor Ducks

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    Nov 20, 2008
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    You def need to start getting them on some lower protien layer feed now(about 16%). I usually reccomend starting to add the layer feed at 4 weeks old. You'll have to gradually switch it, but def. start doing that now. I usually add half scratch half feed.

    As for grit, if they can pick at sand or small pebbles in the yard you probably won't need it, but if not, buy a small bag... I think i spent 5 dollars on mine. You can either mix it in the food or put it in a seperate dish. I'm sure you could tos it on the ground too, they'll know what to do with it.
     
  3. dadof4

    dadof4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you.
     
  4. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

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    I switch from chick food to game bird feed. I do not go down on protein level, but I also give my birds fresh greens everyday (plus they forage).
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2009
  5. dadof4

    dadof4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What % protein gamebird?
     
  6. kwack

    kwack Out Of The Brooder

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    Two questions...
    1) Nettie..... Doesn't the higher calcium in the layer cause organ issues unless thay are actually laying?
    2) Wifezilla.... Doesn't the higher protein cause metabolic bone disease and crystal formation in the joints, leading to slipped tendons and swollen hocks?

    kwack
     
  7. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

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    Doesn't the higher protein cause metabolic bone disease and crystal formation in the joints, leading to slipped tendons and swollen hocks?

    No. It doesn't cause kidney problems in people either. High carbohydrates are a much bigger risk to your bird's health.

    In the wild, ducks eat a lot of greens and a lot of invertebrates. Baby ducks eat mosquito larva, fish and frog eggs, insects, worms grubs, etc... What they DON'T have access to is corn, soy and wheat. They may get these products in the wild during fall, but it isn't around when mama ducks are laying eggs and it isn't around when baby ducks are developing.

    I have got the greens part taken care of. My baby ducks get them several times a day plus they get freerange time. I don't yet have a better source of protein than the feed I buy at the store though my eventual goal is find a more "evolutionary diet" for my ducks.​
     

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