Duck experts...feed questions..

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by NYRIR, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. NYRIR

    NYRIR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have several ages of ducks together. I have been feeding the ducklings (when in the brooder) 20 % unmedicated feed.After that I have switched everyone to the layer pellets.I tried having 2 separate bowls ,one for 20 % and one for the layer pellets but no one was eating the 20 %.I just started adding a small amount of scratch in with the layer pellets and they get free choice oyster shell.I also clip grass and feed lots of tomatoes/lettuce/some fruits.I am confused on the proper amount of protein for ducks.I have one Cayuga from last year when I first got ducks who has a slipped wing.From what I gathered for info on that,it can be caused by 1.heredity 2. too much protein ( they had I think 24 % and then 20% for a lot longer than these this year) and 3. Brooder too hot. I would really appreciate some suggestions on feeding ducks from beginning to full grown. I have not yet had problems (besides the slipped wing and one runner from this year seems weaker than the other). Also, I keep hearing about niacin...exactly how much do you add to the feed? And is this good for all ages year round?
    I appreciate any responses [​IMG]
     
  2. NYRIR

    NYRIR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Anyone out there?? [​IMG] Or do you all have a life? [​IMG]
     
  3. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

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    Some of us are forced to earn a living against our will [​IMG]

    I feed high protein game bird feed since I have ducks and quail. I have not had any cases of angel wing. While protein often gets the blame for angel wing, ducks in the wild eat a very high protein diet, so that as the cause does not make any sense. The most likely cause is high carbohydrate content combined with genetics that make some birds susceptible to deformity.

    "When a young bird eats calorie-dense, nutritionally poor foods — like bread — the growth of its feathers outpaces the development of its wing bones. Gravity pulls the heavy feathers down, and the growing bones twist outward, resulting in a syndrome known as “Angel Wing.” Bandages and physical therapy can correct the condition in young birds, but it is incurable in adults, and affected birds lose the ability to fly.

    Parks and Recreation Horticulture Supervisor, Steve Nittolo, has spent several months working on ways to improve water quality in city park ponds. “It all goes back to the public dumping bread into park ponds believing they are helping feed the wild ducks, when instead they are really harming them,” Nittolo said."
    http://www.spokanecity.org/services/articles/?ArticleID=1850
     
  4. NYRIR

    NYRIR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:So you don't believe that it was the high protein? I was thinking of feeding them the 20 % with some scratch in it like 2 x a week plus their usual treats of grass,fruits/veggies.I would have to try and find the pelleted 20 %...not sure TSC carries that...
    Any other suggestions?
    And what about the niacin?
     
  5. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I hope it's okay for a non-expert to chime in:)

    I have ten runners and followed the Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks suggestions. We started out at 20% protein turkey/waterfowl starter crumbles, then at about three weeks shifted slowly to grower feed at more like 18%, then after six weeks moved slowly over to 16%, till they started laying, then back up around 18% or so.

    I think Wifezilla's pointing out something worth thinking about. Mine had no slipped wing/angel wing problems, and seemed to grow up healthy.

    As for niacin, from what I read, you can say that in general ducklings need much more niacin than chicks (about three times more), yet in a number of cases ducklings did okay without extra niacin, but in a number of other cases, there was serious neurological damage due to niacin deficiency. It seems variable in the population.

    Niacin at 100 to 150 mg per gallon of water is suggested by Storey's Guide for treating niacin deficiency, to be given through the sixth, even up to the tenth week.

    Bugs' bodies contain niacin, so where ducklings are outdoors and have sufficient area to forage, they can get some niacin needs met through their diet.

    I hope this helps.
     
  6. NYRIR

    NYRIR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Sure I like non-experts too [​IMG]
    So 16 % layer with scratch a couple times a week and their normal treats...is that sufficient to your knowledge?I had followed Storey's Guide for the ducklings this time which is why I changed the protein much earlier because I had thought the "slipped wing" was from the protein...maybe my brooder temp was too high... [​IMG] Anyway,she is now 1 1/2 years old and is fine otherwise.Here's a pic of Claire...

    [​IMG]

    Also...for how many weeks do you give the ducklings the niacin...I can't get game Bird feed around here...
     
  7. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I'd go with niacin for at least six weeks. At that point, most people start getting their little ones outdoors. But in some cases, the pickin's are slim for bugs and if so I'd keep up the niacin for the full ten weeks. This is based on intution, by the way, not hard research.

    Something else I did ("what I did for love, what I did for love . . . .") was bring in slugs I'd found in the garden. Free niacin!
     
  8. NYRIR

    NYRIR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Amiga...good to know...I'd say you DO fall into the "expert" category! [​IMG]
    It's the NON flushing stuff,right?
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2011
  9. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

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    I buy brewer's yeast as an extra niacin source. It is easy to find and cheap.
     
  10. NYRIR

    NYRIR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Just regular ol brewers yeast? How much do you add?
     

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