Feeding a mixed flock cracked corn

HollowOfWisps

Previously AstroDuck
Premium Feather Member
Aug 28, 2020
1,393
2,731
296
Iowa
I agree on not feeding corn you are only doing yourself and your flock a disfavor. Adding anything to poultry feed is taking away critical nutrients that will only end up causing health problems down the road. It might save you money in the short run, but in the long run you will end up paying for vets, medications/treatment for health issues and possible loss of livestock. However, I think your issues come from elsewhere with the bullying and eye issues. A couple questions.

-How big is your coop/run?

-Do your birds free range or have a fenced area? If so how big is it?

-Do your ducks have water deep enough to dunk their entire head and are they offered at least a kiddie pool to bathe and preen?

Chickens and ducks will generally stick with their own and if kept in especially close quarters bullying is almost guaranteed.
 

ChickenLeg

Crowing
9 Years
Feb 15, 2012
1,688
2,162
327
Shoot I cut my layer feed with about 10-20% cracked corn during the winter months. I dont add supplemental lighting so they tend not to lay well during the winter months anyways, but if you are still wanting the most amount of eggs possible then cutting with corn isnt the best idea. I personally like using cracked corn because it helps warm them up a bit and I dont mind fatten them up a bit during the cold. If you dont want to cut with pure corn, a scratch grain mix is higher in protein and about the same price as cracked corn at my local feed store. I've never had any bad effects by cuttin my layer feed with cracked corn or scratch grains, but I have had issues reintroducing hurt chickens. It sounds like the duck needs to be seperated until it heals some more before you reintroduce it. Im also with others, seperating the main bullies for a while might help too 👍
 

Plchickens

In the Brooder
Oct 17, 2021
13
12
28
Yeah, I'd cut out the corn. And I'd separate the bullies - or the worse of the offending EEs - once your ready to reintroduce your poor duckie. That'll knock the bully down a rung or two on the social ladder. If it persists, though, you might need to keep your duckies separate.
That sounds like a good plan. I have already figured out how I would separate them in the coop just in case. Thank you for all of your help!
 

Aunt Angus

Crossing the Road
Jul 16, 2018
6,324
16,195
832
Nevada County, CA
This is something I worry about in my flock. My ducks and hens cohabitate fine, but my rooster can be a real piece of work. My ducks don't like him and will gang up to run him off. So far, all has been peaceful, but I worry about something like what you've experienced - a sudden change in behavior. The ducks just can't move as fast (except my Runner who does everything at 100 mph) and aren't equipped with pointy beaks or easily employable claws. They'd be like, well, sitting ducks.
 

Plchickens

In the Brooder
Oct 17, 2021
13
12
28
I agree on not feeding corn you are only doing yourself and your flock a disfavor. Adding anything to poultry feed is taking away critical nutrients that will only end up causing health problems down the road. It might save you money in the short run, but in the long run you will end up paying for vets, medications/treatment for health issues and possible loss of livestock. However, I think your issues come from elsewhere with the bullying and eye issues. A couple questions.

-How big is your coop/run?

-Do your birds free range or have a fenced area? If so how big is it?

-Do your ducks have water deep enough to dunk their entire head and are they offered at least a kiddie pool to bathe and preen?

Chickens and ducks will generally stick with their own and if kept in especially close quarters bullying is almost guaranteed.
So my coop is about 6x10 (coop including the run) and then we put an 8x10 addition which is basically an open pen. I do keep them in the coop/pen. I haven’t let them free range yet as we have had a red tailed hawk nesting right above the coop for the past two years. I keep a kiddie pool that I fill daily for the ducks. And I make sure they get in there at least once a day to clean up. I am not sure where the eye thing came from with Pickles (my Pekin). Her legs didn’t develop quite right so she doesn’t move as fast as the other two ducks and she is definitely at a disadvantage when it comes to defending herself. I wonder if the infection just gave them a reason to pick on her?
 

Plchickens

In the Brooder
Oct 17, 2021
13
12
28
Shoot I cut my layer feed with about 10-20% cracked corn during the winter months. I dont add supplemental lighting so they tend not to lay well during the winter months anyways, but if you are still wanting the most amount of eggs possible then cutting with corn isnt the best idea. I personally like using cracked corn because it helps warm them up a bit and I dont mind fatten them up a bit during the cold. If you dont want to cut with pure corn, a scratch grain mix is higher in protein and about the same price as cracked corn at my local feed store. I've never had any bad effects by cuttin my layer feed with cracked corn or scratch grains, but I have had issues reintroducing hurt chickens. It sounds like the duck needs to be seperated until it heals some more before you reintroduce it. Im also with others, seperating the main bullies for a while might help too 👍
That’s good to know too! I live in MN and it gets real cold here in the winter. My ISA browns have never really had a problem laying during the winter. They are the best chickens! Super friendly, calm and reliable when it comes to laying eggs.
 

Plchickens

In the Brooder
Oct 17, 2021
13
12
28
This is something I worry about in my flock. My ducks and hens cohabitate fine, but my rooster can be a real piece of work. My ducks don't like him and will gang up to run him off. So far, all has been peaceful, but I worry about something like what you've experienced - a sudden change in behavior. The ducks just can't move as fast (except my Runner who does everything at 100 mph) and aren't equipped with pointy beaks or easily employable claws. They'd be like, well, sitting ducks.
For sure! Pickles, the duck that was attacked, legs didn’t develop correctly. So she is already at a disadvantage. She gets around just fine but a lot slower. She is kind of my favorite so I keep a close eye on her.
 

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