Dumbest feeding question ever....

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by bayyjayy, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. bayyjayy

    bayyjayy Songster

    Jul 5, 2011
    Does anyone else worry that your ducks will run out of things to eat while free ranging. Don't they free range for bugs? What if they empty my yard? I doubt it is possible, but my ducks act like they are STARVING at the end of the night when I put them to bed.

    I feed them in the morning, then during the day sometimes I give them a snack....peas, or like today, a bag of salad leaves. When I walk out to put them to bed, they seriously act like they haven't eaten all day! I know they get enough in the morning, because when they are done I will go out and look, and there is still some left in their bowl. But, by the end of the day, it is gone....I see them going over and picking at it during the day.

    Has anyone ever raised crickets/bred crickets for food? Or any other kinds of bugs?

  2. animalsRawesome

    animalsRawesome Songster

    Apr 12, 2011
    Hmmm. Very interesting, I never thought about that before. I don't think that it's possible, but then again maybe, because they say guineas can get rid of a significant number of tics. IDK, but I hope someone comes along who does know.
    ETA-there is no DUMB question. I promise because I have asked ALOT of questions in my life! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2011
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Well, as winter approaches and temperatures drop there is less and less natural forage. They may need an additional feeding just as you pen them up for the night.
  4. RedfogsFlock

    RedfogsFlock Songster

    Jan 17, 2010
    Wittmann, AZ
    My ducks are the same way! I only have 2 left and they free range for part the day, & I feed them flock raiser. There can be food in ther bucket from the day before & yet they'll act as if they haven't eaten in a year!

    I think they're just glutens lol
  5. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Crowing

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    Ducks are greedy guts. They are always excited about food.

    As the forage gets thinner with winter, you will have to increase their commercial feed. Without forage, your ducks should be eating .4 to .5 pound of feed a day for each duck.

    You have to judge their condition. If they are thin you need to increase their food. If they are fat, they have great healthy appetites but are getting enough to eat.
  6. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    I have always left feed out during the day for my ducks, chickens and goose, They can eat anytime they want and still free range. I thought most people did it that way, the only time mine don't have food available is at night. They do seem to be eating more now but i think it's because nights are getting cool into upeer 30's and they are getting ready for winter. But they are lil piggies.
  7. easttxchick

    easttxchick Lone Star Call Ducks

    Aug 3, 2009
    Quote:Actually it's not dumb at all-it's just that you're a good, concerned duck owner.
    I do give my ducks access to food at all times and even when they have a bowl of food right in front of them, hold out a handful of hen scratch and they'll act like they haven't eaten in a month.

  8. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    I agree with what's been said. My first thought was a question . How much area to they get to forage in, and what kind of area is it? Pasture? Woodland? Streamside? Lawn? That would affect what's available.

    And yes, for the hemisphere I'm in right now, we're seeing cooler temperatures and shorter days, and I know the insect population is dropping quickly.

    I also leave feed available for my ducks all the time (sometimes they'll almost finish a pan of feed if I'm out for a few hours). And I think they go for different kinds of feed more or less depending on their needs for protein, calories and calcium. For example, if they're molting they'll need food to help them grow feathers (protein). In colder seasons, they need more calories to stay warm (carbohydrates).

    Glad you're paying attention!

  9. bayyjayy

    bayyjayy Songster

    Jul 5, 2011
    So, if you leave feed out ALL day, do you feed them when you put them to bed at night? How much feed are you going through? Will they eat and eat and eat until it is gone, or will they eat and then leave it, come back eat more, leave, come back? When I feed mine in the morning, they will eat and then leave and when I go out and look there is still some in there.

    ETA: We have an acre lot....they are in my back pasture. It has been raining like crazy the last few days, so I am assuming there would be a TON of worms out there.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2011
  10. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    I watch their feed consumption. When the pan is near empty (they just can't get every morsel, so I don't demand that they clean their plate), I replace it with a fresh one, unless it's been too long (which varies depending on weather but not more than 24 hours), in which case no matter how much is left in the pan I replace it with fresh. I also use the sniff test.

    They go through 50 pounds of layer mash in two or three weeks. I have nine runners.

    I also have an acre, and they forage on about a third of that. It's gardens and meadow and woods' edge.

    The runners dive into a fresh pan of food for about five minutes, then run around doing other things like hunting for worms. They'll roam around, eating greens, seeds, worms, etc. for a while. Then they trot over to the pan and eat more layer mash. If I haven't noticed it getting close to the reorder point, they have a very specific call to let me know it's time for a new pan of food. They are helpful that way.

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