Duck feed

poultry for me

In the Brooder
9 Years
Oct 23, 2010
I am looking into getting a few ducks, but I have a question about feed. I want my ducks to lay all year long. So, is it OK if I feed them chicken layer pellets all the time, even if I have a drake in with the hens? I read that its bad for the drakes to have layer pellets all of the time. I have chickens, so I would like to just buy all of the birds the same feed. What should I do? Do I give the ducks separate feed half of the year, or do I feed every bird the same thing all year? Any advice is appreciated.
This is also a question I'm trying to work on. Unfortunately I think it works the other way- as they continue laying, you have to give them layer rations, but giving them layer rations doesn't make them lay eggs if it's not time. Light is a bigger influence. If they get 16 hrs of light a day plus adequate nutrition and don't get stressed then you should get the maximum eggs that that duck can produce (at that particular stage of its life). I also think some ducks breeds are year round and some are seasonal layers. But maybe that's the light issue again.
I agree. Give them layer feed once they start laying. Otherwise, the extra calcium could cause other issues. Light is a huge factor. Some duck breeds are more seasonal layers than others.
The only way you can feed the drakes a different diet is to keep them separated from the ducks. Most people just put the food out and everybody eats the same.

In order to get eggs all year, you are probably going to have to keep the ducks under lights. Plus keep a breed that is intended to be a heavy layer.

Calcium is critical for the ducks when they are laying, but you can provide calcium by keeping oyster shell available.
Yes. It is fine to give them layer pellets year round. I do. You are much better off giving them this money and convieniencewise. I would not keep both in the same enclosure for health reasons though.
I plan on having 3 Kaki Campbells (1 drake & 2 ducks in their own cage) and give them layer rations only when they start laying. I also plan on giving them 13-14 hours of light each day through the winter.
Thank you guys so much. This really helps. Now I know for sure that I can have ducks!!!!
I have Anconas and they lay nearly year round. They get 16% layer pellets with free choice oyster shell and grit. They also free-range on bugs and grass.
I was going to do something similar. I looked into it and they really only need the extra calcium when they lay and should be taken off of it when they stop. I didn't want the hassle of switching feed so I found one that does not have added calcium and used to leave oyster shells down. The ducks and chickens NEVER touched the oyster shell, I still have 1/2 a small bag from 6 months ago. They are getting enough calcium in something that they are eating in the yard since half the time I have to crack the chicken eggs twice before they open.

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