Feed in morning - night - or both

ChickInDelight

Never an Empty Nest
8 Years
Apr 27, 2011
1,145
31
158
Browntown, VA
My ducks free-range on dry land all day. I am about to start housing them at night. While I realize I may have to bribe them indoors at night with food, I really don't want to feed them before bed because of the extra mess - and I don't mean spilled food. I plan to hang some sort of waterer inside their house.

How much feed do ducks really need, and how often do I have to give them their Purina?
 

FenDruadin

Crowing
10 Years
Jul 30, 2009
3,744
215
281
Charlotte, NC Area
If they are fully mature and free ranging all day, they really only need to be fed once a day. Make sure they have enough to keep them busy for about 15 minutes. You can remove the feed after that.

I do feed mine at night--it's how I've trained them to go into their house. You may have trouble getting yours in at night if you don't feed them in there. But it's definitely not a requirement, if you can manage to corral them by some other means.

Good luck!
 

dianaross77

Songster
9 Years
Oct 10, 2010
1,794
4
141
Grand Blanc, MI
I feed mine in the morning and bring the food into the house at night when I lock up the ducks. I just fill up the feeder and let them free feed all day until bed. It seems to me like I read somewhere that an adult duck eats around 1 cup of food a day. I'll have to look it up. Mine don't eat very much and they make a lot less mess with the food than the chickens do.

eta: I looked it up and my book says in heavy breed growing ducks will eat up to 8oz a day but the average is more like 4oz a day. I don't know how that translates to dry measurements. I haven't weighed my pellets.
 
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ChickInDelight

Never an Empty Nest
8 Years
Apr 27, 2011
1,145
31
158
Browntown, VA
Thanks!. Mine eat for closer to 5 minutes - 1/2 cup per duck. I suppose they need more. The Pekins just look so darn heavy!
 

zzGypsy

Songster
8 Years
Aug 8, 2011
1,981
29
141
we feed at night in the pens for two reasons, first because it makes them really easy to herd up at night, and second because that way they forage all day and I'm just topping off with feed. some days they eat a lot more than others, I'm guessing that's a measure of how the foraging went. anyway, I'd rather have them eat grass and bugs than the expensive feed, so I let them do their foraging first.

if you want to figure out what they really eat, weigh or measure some feed and put it in with them in the morning, more than they'll finish, and keep them in for the day. the next morning, weigh or measure what's left. if they're foraging, give them a bit less than that and see how much they leave. in a couple of days you should get a pretty good idea of what they're needing, just keep an eye on body condition. remember it will change seasonally as the forage conditions change as well.
 

ChickInDelight

Never an Empty Nest
8 Years
Apr 27, 2011
1,145
31
158
Browntown, VA
I measured almost a half cup feed per duck today. They ate for 15 minutes. Then, the fat Pekins went directly into a nap in the garden. At least the Mallards took a swim.


They really don't seem to be foraging much. I see much hanging out by the pool and napping. I put them in the fenced backyard (1/5 acre) when I am away from home 3 days per week, otherwise, they have open world. The chickens and Mallards fly over the fence, but the Pekins stay in the fence very contentedly.

I hardly see them foraging at all anymore. The most activity I see is them running to me for Purina. The Pekins just look huge to me. I will try to snap some pictures over the weekend so you all can see.
 

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