Duckling diet change when ducks start foraging

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Ducktown, Jun 9, 2017.

  1. Ducktown

    Ducktown Chillin' With My Peeps

    194
    103
    101
    May 8, 2017
    I have a 3 week old duckling on a chick starter diet. Now that it has grown, I'm letting it roam around the garden, and it eats enormous amounts of insects, earthworms and slugs. Should I change the diet to a bit less protein rich feed, or is it OK to continue feeding it the same way.

    She devours slugs that are larger than her bill and it takes some time to finish it off completely. I have seen her eat 6 slugs at once, then she just grabbed an occasional grasshopper and nibbled some clover. After a few hours, slugs fiesta once again. During the night and in the evening, she eats her ration of chick starter feed. During the day, outside, she doesn't really touch it.

    PS: She used to like yeast, but now, I can't make her eat it. She just shoots it out with high velocity. I guess she gets a lot of niacin in all those bugs anyway...
     
  2. shawluvsbirds

    shawluvsbirds "FAKE EILEEN" Premium Member

    4,119
    9,935
    441
    Apr 17, 2017
    Missouri
    @DwayneNLiz or @Ravynscroft I think I would still give them some feed to nibble in the evening. But. I would say just a small amount would be ok just to hold them over until they get back out. The peeps I tagged will know more than me though!
     
    Ducktown likes this.
  3. Ravynscroft

    Ravynscroft For the Love of Duck Premium Member

    31,843
    19,968
    676
    Nov 30, 2014
    Middle Tennessee
    Sounds like she is eating fine, but as she is still a baby, I would leave free choice on feed...
     
    Ducktown, DwayneNLiz and Tlmcq like this.
  4. shawluvsbirds

    shawluvsbirds "FAKE EILEEN" Premium Member

    4,119
    9,935
    441
    Apr 17, 2017
    Missouri
    Should she switch to a flock raiser instead of chic starter?
     
  5. Ravynscroft

    Ravynscroft For the Love of Duck Premium Member

    31,843
    19,968
    676
    Nov 30, 2014
    Middle Tennessee
    Depends, how much protein % is the chick starter?
     
  6. Tlmcq

    Tlmcq Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,432
    1,052
    226
    Mar 17, 2017
    Pomeroy, OH
    If she's foraging well there's no need for extra niacin. I would keep her on chick starter for 3 more weeks then flock raiser if you like...my all flock has more protein than most chick starters tho.
     
  7. Ravynscroft

    Ravynscroft For the Love of Duck Premium Member

    31,843
    19,968
    676
    Nov 30, 2014
    Middle Tennessee
    Straight chick starter is usually 24% protein, chick starter/grower is usually 18%, all flock is usually 20%...

    Personally, I haven't touched any kind of chick starter or starter/grower in years... I prefer Flock Raiser from hatch to lay, no need to change... ;)
     
    DwayneNLiz and Tlmcq like this.
  8. Tlmcq

    Tlmcq Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,432
    1,052
    226
    Mar 17, 2017
    Pomeroy, OH
    Yeah all flock around here is 22% and starter grower is 18% and so is the layer feed I use so it all just depends on where ya get it I reckon. We only have crumbles in starter/grower here so I start with it for that reason.
     
  9. Ravynscroft

    Ravynscroft For the Love of Duck Premium Member

    31,843
    19,968
    676
    Nov 30, 2014
    Middle Tennessee
    Lucky on the layer feed, ours is only 16% protein...but yeah, that's why I ask what the protein % is...
     
  10. Tlmcq

    Tlmcq Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,432
    1,052
    226
    Mar 17, 2017
    Pomeroy, OH
    We have 16 and 18 on layer..it's hearty hen by Nutrena. I like it and the Nutrena starter grower naturewise they both have the probiotic bacteria cultures already in feed. And is cheaper than the only all flock my feed store carries. I am glad they have it too as I was worried about dropping my ducks down to 16% protein but still wanted to support all the egg layers ducks and chickens. I do have 1 roo and and 3 male ducks who seem to do well on it too. They forage all day this time of year so that helps.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2017

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by