Duck Starter Feed ???

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by waterguy81, Apr 29, 2011.

  1. waterguy81

    waterguy81 In the Brooder

    Apr 15, 2011
    Southwest Louisiana
    I have chicks already and I just got a few ducks. I asked the feed store where I bought the ducks if they need a different food and they said Chick starter is fine.

    I have been feeding them chick starter for about a week and I read that ducks can NOT have chick starter due to Angel Wing.

    Ok which is the real story ? I went and got some Game starter feed yesterday and changed there feed just in case but I need advice to make sure before I continue this.


  2. WestKnollAmy

    WestKnollAmy The Crazy Chicken Lady

    Apr 22, 2008
    upstate SC
    I raised about 20 ducklings last year on chick starter, non medicated, and none developed angel wing. However, a friend raised a trio of calls on the same starter and all 3 got angel wings so go figure.

    Again this year I am raising ducklings on the same starter. I do have sporting bird starter that I mix in for my chicks but am still researching the results of adding it to duckling feed.
  3. destinduck

    destinduck obsessed with "ducks"

    Mar 20, 2008
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2011
  4. Bantam Queen 6

    Bantam Queen 6 In the Brooder

    Apr 17, 2010
    medicated chick feed will kill ducks. i use purina game bird starter with mine.
  5. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    I have seen a number of stories of success and failure with chick starter. I am told amprolium is not a problem for ducks, but I shy away from feeding any unnecessary medication, just as a rule of thumb.

    Another concern that has mixed reviews is the niacin issue. According to Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks, ducklings need three times the niacin chicks do.

    From reports, it appears that some ducklings do indeed suffer neurological damage from a lack of niacin. Others seem to be okay. Go figure.

    I started mine out with turkey/waterfowl crumbles and cut the protein percentage with one cup of finely chopped rolled oats (not instant) per five cups of crumbles, and sprinkled just a little chick grit on top. All eleven made it to maturity, and ten are still with us fourteen months later, in good health.

    Some say protein has nothing to do with angel wing, too. As with niacin needs, it looks to me like there is some variability in susceptibility.

    I gave vitamins with electrolytes after big events, like a swim, or their first few runs outdoors. Now I give them a vitamin boost a couple of times a month.

    I gave the ducklings some gro gel when they were about three days old.

  6. luvmydux

    luvmydux Songster

    Jan 2, 2011
    Angel wing is more commonly genetic than related to food. I fed all my birds the same thing - chick/duck starter - i had 3 calls and 10 runners. All the calls had angel wing. None of the runners did. I supposed you could change the protein and hope but its fairly easy to fix anyway.
  7. charlindabob

    charlindabob Songster

    Jan 25, 2009
    central Florida
    I would not use chick starter for ducks. I use Purina Flock Raiser and finely cut up Bok Choy (my duckings and goslings simply love it) or Kale or most any green leafy vegetable. Chick Starter is too low in niacin and like all babies, the ducklings need the best start you can give them. The guy at the feed store is wrong in my humble opinion to suggest chick starter is ok for ducks.
  8. fowlmood

    fowlmood Songster

    Jan 28, 2009
    northern Michigan
    Good question. Sounds like you might not get a good answer though. I guess everybodies ducks/situations are different. I do not use medicated started feed but I have used chick starter without any problems. Sounds like calls are more susceptible to angel wing. Maybe it's the breed not the feed. [​IMG]
  9. grammypam

    grammypam Songster

    Mar 16, 2010
    I have been feeding my ducklings 1/2 game bird starter and 1/2 plain chick starter. Do I later change that to just chick starter? And if so,when?

  10. tiffanya

    tiffanya Chirping

    Jul 10, 2010
    I would tend to agree with fowlmood. I also feed flock raiser to my chicks and ducklings Flock Raiser. It isn't medicated and has niacin for the ducklings.

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