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Do I need to feed free ranging ducks?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by DunnoWhatImDoin, Apr 9, 2017.

  1. DunnoWhatImDoin

    DunnoWhatImDoin In the Brooder

    Mar 9, 2017
    My ducks free range all day in a big area, it's a young orchard. I've been giving them a small amount of layers pellets because that's what the chickens get, they get a few table scraps too but I don't like putting out much of those.

    Do I need to be feeding them more or will their free ranging be enough for them?

  2. alexkimoto12

    alexkimoto12 In the Brooder

    Apr 9, 2017
    I think that small amounts of pellets is probably good, but that depends. Are there a lot of bugs and edible grasses there, and Is there a stream or pond they drink from? We have free ranging ducks that we normally give about 1/6-1/4 the average amount of feed to. But they do have a stream with lots of little bugs that they can eat from. I personally think that if your ducks seem happy and they don't seem like they are starving or desperate for food then you should be fine.:D
  3. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Songster

    Jul 18, 2013
    My ducks and chickens both free range but I make sure they have feed available. When foraging is good and lots of food is available they eat very little of what I give them but at least know they always have the good stuff if they need it. Plus if your ducks are laying, the layer food has calcium.
    If they forage only, you don't know if their intake is balanced.
    2 people like this.
  4. Niche Flock

    Niche Flock Chirping

    Mar 22, 2017
    I've noticed a little of the layer pellets helps with consistent egg production.Even when they are foraging spring, summer and fall, I still provide a small dish one to two times a day for a certain amount of time. Food a little before bed is a good incentive to lead them back to their co-op at night.
  5. DunnoWhatImDoin

    DunnoWhatImDoin In the Brooder

    Mar 9, 2017
    Thanks, I'll carry on giving them a small amount of pellets so. They seem to like them anyway.
  6. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    Mine free range also but they all have access to feed the whole day, they are still eating quite a bit since we're still waiting on green plants and bugs to emerge from winter.
  7. Krazyquilts

    Krazyquilts Songster Premium Member

    My ducks only have feed in their pen, so when they are running around "helping" in the garden, they don't have access to it. When I decide they've run around enough or if they aren't going to be supervised, then I send them back into their pen where they fall on their food like they are starving. :rolleyes: Silly ducks.

  8. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    Poor things, one of these days your going to get a visit from animal welfare for an anonymous tip you have starved your flock. When call is traced back it leads to the pen. [​IMG]
  9. Krazyquilts

    Krazyquilts Songster Premium Member

    And when that happens, I will dramatically point out their badonka-duck butts and my feed bill receipts. :gig
    1 person likes this.
  10. swp247

    swp247 In the Brooder

    Sep 19, 2016
    I keep a pan of pellets available with a large rubber bowl of water next to it in the duck yard. They free range in the day and go back to their yard every afternoon and eat the pellets. They also eat when I put them in their duck house in evening.
    1 person likes this.

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