Feeding chickens and ducks

Tlmcq

Songster
Mar 17, 2017
1,496
1,204
236
Pomeroy, OH
I have chickens that are 16 weeks and ducks about 14 weeks. Am getting ready to switch off chick starter. Was wondering if anyone has experience or info with feeding both together as they share run and eat each other's food...They love to share lol. I wanna know if layer feed is OK for putting both of them on and if the male's will be OK with this too or if an all flock will be best? My ducks are both males and females so girls will be laying too.
 

triplepurpose

Crowing
12 Years
Oct 13, 2008
1,018
265
289
ducks have slightly different nutritional requirements than chickens. for one they require a bit more niacin, but there may be other things as well, so you should look into it. That said, ducks normally do fine, esp once grown, on a base of poultry ration. Though it also depends a lot on what ELSE they get to eat (hint: snails should be a decent source of niacin)--our ducks were free roaming almost 24/7, so i was less concerned about shortfalls in the poultry ration.

Whether to feed layer or an all flock ration is kind of a judgment call, or in some cases depends on what you can find. For example, the only affordable chicken feed we can get is layer, so thats what we use for a mixed flock of hens, roos, and adolescents (also ducks, in past). But again, we don't feed ONLY layer, they eat greens, veggies, scraps, bugs, and all sorts of other things too so the actual dose of calcium isn't as high as it would be if they ate only layer. If we could get a mixed flock type ration for a similar price, we would feed that, but we can't get it at all, much less for the same price. If you have a significant number of males or other non-layers, I would recommend going with the all flock if you can and providing a good supply of some good calcium source free-choice in a separate container (this is recommended even if you feed layer). If nothing else, it just seems more efficient: you'll get a little more nutrition for your money, because only the birds who need the extra calcium will eat it, and the ones who don't won't be working out their kidneys to poop the excess right back out.

Hope that helps...
 

Tlmcq

Songster
Mar 17, 2017
1,496
1,204
236
Pomeroy, OH
They've been on extra niacin since day 1. Thanks. They forage and get added veggies, seeds, herbs. Just not sure what to do for my layers other than oyster shell and maybe all flock instead of layer feed. All but duck starter is readily available in my area
 

triplepurpose

Crowing
12 Years
Oct 13, 2008
1,018
265
289
thats good! Well, like i said my first choice if the flock is very mixed would be the "all flock" (or whatever trade name it goes by). thats what its intended for, after all. Having oystershell available free choice is always a good idea whatever else you are feeding (it even recommends this in the fine print on some layer feed bags, its not just my opinion).

Hopefully others chime in too, but good luck!
 

Tlmcq

Songster
Mar 17, 2017
1,496
1,204
236
Pomeroy, OH
Oh yes definitely free choice oyster shell :) thanx. I just wanna make sure my girls are getting nutritional support needed for egg production chickens and ducks and my guys a rooster and 3 drakes are getting proper diet at same time
 

DrPatrickBiggs

Chirping
Aug 20, 2015
168
41
73
ducks have slightly different nutritional requirements than chickens. for one they require a bit more niacin, but there may be other things as well, so you should look into it. That said, ducks normally do fine, esp once grown, on a base of poultry ration. Though it also depends a lot on what ELSE they get to eat (hint: snails should be a decent source of niacin)--our ducks were free roaming almost 24/7, so i was less concerned about shortfalls in the poultry ration.

Whether to feed layer or an all flock ration is kind of a judgment call, or in some cases depends on what you can find. For example, the only affordable chicken feed we can get is layer, so thats what we use for a mixed flock of hens, roos, and adolescents (also ducks, in past). But again, we don't feed ONLY layer, they eat greens, veggies, scraps, bugs, and all sorts of other things too so the actual dose of calcium isn't as high as it would be if they ate only layer. If we could get a mixed flock type ration for a similar price, we would feed that, but we can't get it at all, much less for the same price. If you have a significant number of males or other non-layers, I would recommend going with the all flock if you can and providing a good supply of some good calcium source free-choice in a separate container (this is recommended even if you feed layer). If nothing else, it just seems more efficient: you'll get a little more nutrition for your money, because only the birds who need the extra calcium will eat it, and the ones who don't won't be working out their kidneys to poop the excess right back out.

Hope that helps...

Great question! When the birds start laying eggs, then you can switch them over to Purina Layena. If they are not laying eggs, then they should be on Flock Raiser. If you aren’t able to feed them a separate diet, then you can continue to feed them all Flock Raiser. Put out a separate feeder with some oyster shell in it to provide the hens that are laying a supply of calcium. The birds that aren’t laying should stay out of the oyster shell. When all of the birds are laying then you can switch them over to a layer feed. If the ducks stop laying eggs before the chickens, then you can go back to Flock Raiser and oyster shell. If you have male birds, then you may want to go with the Flock Raiser and oyster shell year-round since those guys don’t need the extra calcium in layer feed, and it is not good for their kidneys to have all of the extra calcium in their feed.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom