Ducklings and grit???

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by hwyaden ty, Apr 15, 2016.

  1. hwyaden ty

    hwyaden ty Out Of The Brooder

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    I am so confused with all the different things I have read so hoping someone can give me a clear answer.

    When do ducklings need grit?

    I have 3 ducklings 15-16 days old. They are still in the brooder on crumbs but looking at slowly introducing the grower pellets at 3-4 weeks old. Do they need grit to help them digest this? I will be putting the outside when the weather warms (we are in the UK) and I'm confident they will be ok without heat, so will they still need the grit when outside?

    What type of grit do I need? I read oyster shell has too much calcium for ducklings? Where do I buy it from?

    Thanks! :barnie
     
  2. Orca5094

    Orca5094 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Grit is only needed if you are giving them food other than their pellets (like greens, fruits, etc) to help them digest it. When they are outside (or at least taken out for awhile each day and allowed to forage) they will find their own grit and there is no need to provide any. I start taking my ducklings outside daily for short foraging sessions starting from about 3 days old, so I have never needed to provide grit for my ducks.
     
  3. hwyaden ty

    hwyaden ty Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 29, 2016
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    Thanks for your reply. I was going to start introducing some greens as I wouldn't want them to get bored of just crumbs/pellets! Have been wanting them to have short foraging session outside but was worried it would be too cold for them so have been waiting for a warmer day (which never seems to come here in the UK!!). Maybe I'm being a bit too over protective. My partner laughs at me for giving them luke warm baths cos I'm worried they will get too cold :lol:
     
  4. msurber

    msurber Out Of The Brooder

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    I have 4 mallards 1 male and 3 females. I also have two african geese the ducklings are probably 3-4 months old. The male adult goose has taken to watching them and caring for them is this unusual?
     
  5. dotknott

    dotknott Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wouldn't be too concerned with boredom with crumbs/pellets, but I would be concerned about them not learning that leafy greens in a bowl = a food source. I have 2 adults that were never given anything but crumb, and while they're EXCELLENT foragers, they NEVER touch greens in a bowl. I've only noticed this behavior with these two, and I've never seen this with other ducks in the past.

    It means that all of my kitchen scraps go right in the compost bin instead of giving the duck safe stuff to the cool because they just ignore it.

    So.
    If you're just feeding crumb/pellet - No need for Grit.
    If you're offering veg with the crumb/pellet, but the ducks forage - No need for Grit.
    If you're offering veg with the crumb/pellet and the ducks don't forage - Provide grit free choice

    Hope this helps!
     
  6. hwyaden ty

    hwyaden ty Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 29, 2016
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    Thanks - yes much clearer other than one question - what is a grit free veg choice?
    I just took them out for a little while to forage. They were a little anxious, staying close and following me around but they seem to enjoy trying to eat everything bless them. So going to take them out eat day for short burst and build up gradually to them moving outside. I do worry about boredom both with food and being cooped up in the brooder. I know it's not too much longer for them but I'd be bored! :)
     
  7. hwyaden ty

    hwyaden ty Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 29, 2016
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    Hey not sure if you meant to post on this thread? I'm not sure if it's unusual as I'm new to all this, but sound adorable! Like a big bro watching out for them! :D
     
  8. dotknott

    dotknott Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't think I said "grit free veg choice" but some more clarification is in order.

    Free choice simply means un-rationed.

    So when feeding crumble you have a feed station of crumble. You either ration, or feed free choice. So Grit, free choice would be in addition to your crumble (free choice) in a second feed station (a bowl or trough) where you provide grit un-rationed.


    I hope that clears it up and gives you some better guidelines on what to provide the ducklings for optimum growth and development.
     

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