Do outsdie ducklings rasied by mom need niacin supplement too?


10 Years
Apr 25, 2009
Merritt Island, FL

I have a Muscovy hen with two ducklings that hatched out 3 weeks ago. They have been outside with mom in their pen since day 1. They are eating unmedicated chick starter and anything else they find (lots of flies -they are really good at catching them!). There is grass in their pen, along with some weeds and I have seen them eating grass. I am not sure what they eat naturally that gives them niacin. Do they need it supplemented if they live outside like this? I am supplementing Sunny, my inside pekin baby, but it is because she lives inside (although she goes outside everyday to forage and play in her tub). I haven't been supplementing the muscovy ducklings. Then I thought about it today and wondered should I be supplementing them? I know what niacin is for (leg problems, etc) but where does it come from naturally?

"The terms niacin, nicotinamide, and vitamin B3 are often used interchangeably to refer to any member of this family of compounds, since they have the same biochemical activity
niacin deficiency in humans is called pellagra it tends to occur in areas where people eat maize (corn, the only grain low in niacin) as a staple food."

Listed on the site (posted what ducks, or bugs, might eat):

"Niacin is found in variety of foods including liver, chicken, beef, fish, cereal, peanuts and legumes and is also synthesized from tryptophan, which is found in meat, dairy and eggs.

Fruits and vegetables:
leaf vegetables
sweet potatoes

whole grain products
saltbush seeds

brewer's yeast"
I've never supplemented any of my ducklings (brooder or mom raised) with niacin. I've never had a leg problem, except hatch-related issues, but never had a problem with my Muscovy ducklings.

I will sometimes add a little Avia Charge 2000 to the water if i have chicks, but that's the only time i use vitamins. They've all done very well on their own so far.
I noticed on that list avocados were listed, I know they are poisonous to my cockatiel, I assume they would be for ducks too.
I don't think they do if they are outside. Momma duck shows them the ropes and what to eat and waht not to eat. I had 2 ducklings inside for a few day and the rest were outside with there mom and the ducklings outside were almost twice the size of mine inside, more lively, and active. I would say if they have room to forage around and food avaible you don't need to suppliment anything.
mostly plants, unprocessed grains work pretty well too. once I can get my birds outside and grazing I forget about Niacin supplements.
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