Duckling diet change when ducks start foraging

Ducktown

Songster
May 8, 2017
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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...
 

shawluvsbirds

🦆Lord luv a Duck!
Premium Feather Member
Apr 17, 2017
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@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!
 

Tlmcq

Songster
Mar 17, 2017
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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.
 

Ravynscroft

For the Love of Duck
Premium Feather Member
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Nov 30, 2014
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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.
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... ;)
 

Tlmcq

Songster
Mar 17, 2017
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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.
 

Tlmcq

Songster
Mar 17, 2017
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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.
 
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