Ducks on pond....how much to feed?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Jstkiddn, Sep 2, 2009.

  1. Jstkiddn

    Jstkiddn Out Of The Brooder

    20
    0
    22
    Aug 30, 2008
    We have 13 ducks on our farm pond. Pond is approx. 100' x 80' and was stocked with fish about 20 years ago. Very established pond with lots of "stuff" living in it. Ducks also free range over as much of the acreage as they wish, but never get too far away from the pond.

    How much food do you think they are getting on their own? How much (and what) do they need to be fed in addition to what they are eating on the pond?
     
  2. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    11,199
    45
    311
    Oct 2, 2008
    Colorado
    I would just leave a feeder out and see if they even bother to touch it. Even if they are getting all they need now, they might need some help in the winter.
     
  3. Squirtchy2009

    Squirtchy2009 Chillin' With My Peeps

    139
    0
    109
    Aug 28, 2009
    Essex
    Just leave them a bit out every now and again and if come up and eat it give them some more, just make sure they dont starve [​IMG]
     
  4. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,703
    44
    228
    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    What kind of ducks do you have? Some are better foragers than others. The trouble with leaving food out for them is that there are so many other things that will enjoy their food too. But if you can get into a routine, taking it out at the same time every day, they will learn to come up for it at that time, and then you can remove it after twenty minutes or so. Whatever they eat in that amount of time is plenty to keep them healthy, in addition to whatever they are finding in & around the pond.
     
  5. Jstkiddn

    Jstkiddn Out Of The Brooder

    20
    0
    22
    Aug 30, 2008
    Rouens, blue swedish and some sort of cross that looks similar to the rouens....sort of the duck version of a sexlink chicken? You could tell the drakes from the hens as ducklings by their color. They are my daughter's ducks. She knows the name of the breed but she's at school right now. I'd probably recognize it if I saw it.

    Right now I feed them each evening when I go to the barn to feed the horses. They run after my car. Hilarious! But, they won't run after just ANY car. Only a black SUV and only in the evening. [​IMG][​IMG] Smart ducks. So getting them to come up isn't a problem.

    I've been giving them a couple of big scoops of corn chops. They eat it all up like they haven't seen food in a month. Which is why I'm wondering if they are hungry. I'm obviously no duck expert but these look REALLY, REALLY fat. But can you see a thin duck under all the feathers? They sure don't look like they've missed any meals, but act like they are famished.
     
  6. greyhorsewoman

    greyhorsewoman Chillin' With My Peeps

    853
    0
    149
    Mar 3, 2008
    Endless Mts, NE PA
    We have about 20 ducks on our pond now (and 2 geese). We still throw out a can or two or layer/scratch mix every morning and evening. They clean it up quickly and then go back to their swimming & foraging. If some seem to be hanging around for more, I'll throw a bit more out. This also serves an additional purpose ~~ we get to see them pretty regularly and if we DO need to gather them up for any reason it's pretty easy.
     
  7. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    11,199
    45
    311
    Oct 2, 2008
    Colorado
    They eat it all up like they haven't seen food in a month

    Ducks ALWAYS eat like they haven't eaten in a month...LOL

    That is not going to help you determine if they are getting enough food...sorry [​IMG]
     
  8. Jstkiddn

    Jstkiddn Out Of The Brooder

    20
    0
    22
    Aug 30, 2008
    Quote:Ducks ALWAYS eat like they haven't eaten in a month...LOL

    That is not going to help you determine if they are getting enough food...sorry [​IMG]

    Well, that's good to know. I was starting to worry about the little buggers. But I wondered if they were just being...um...dramatic. So fat they look like little butterball turkeys but eat like they are starved.

    One more question: I know their food will be greatly reduced in the winter, but do they get anything at all by foraging during the winter? Or will they be relying totally on me for food? We live in Arkansas, btw. Fairly mild winters but we do get some cold temps.
     
  9. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    11,199
    45
    311
    Oct 2, 2008
    Colorado
    Not sure. Even here in Colorado, my ducks seem to find things to munch on while roaming the back yard in Winter.
     
  10. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,703
    44
    228
    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    I think they will still find things to eat. Even under snow, there is sleeping vegetation and hibernating bugs and overwintering egg cases. But it will be greatly reduced, depending on just how cold it is.

    A lot of folks don't know this, but the reason birds migrate has nothing to do with temps, and everything to do with food. Most birds don't get cold easily, but if the weather is cold, the bugs and vegetation die back, of course, and they can't survive it.

    So, anyway, the point is that they will probably find *some* things to eat (especially in the water--there are always fish and algae), but they will certainly rely much more on you.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by