Feeding in cold temps and egg question

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by TattooQ27, Dec 19, 2009.

  1. TattooQ27

    TattooQ27 Chillin' With My Peeps

    A bit of background:

    We have a Pekin drake, an Ancona duck, a Blue Swedish duck and a Welsh Harlequin duck. We have been feeding them the 16% layer crumbles since the ducks started laying eggs about 2 months ago. When the temps started dipping below freezing, we changed their food to a 50/50 mix of the layer crumbles and cracked corn. We generally get 3-4 eggs every 24 hours and they seem to be decent quality. We have 2 heat lamps in their stall and use the deep litter method for bedding. They have access to their waterer and also to a heated bucket so they can clean their nostrils. They are all right around 9 months old.

    We recently had to buy a bag of the layer pellets because our TSC was out of the crumbles and yesterday we noticed that our Blue Swede duck is losing weight, nothing significant but it is noticable. We are trying to figure out how to deal with it but aren't sure and could use some opinions. We were thinking that perhaps we should change the feed back to the higher protein feed for the winter or maybe just that she doesn't like the pellets and we need to switch back to the crumbles. Any ideas?

    Also, we have zero interest in hatching ducklings with the temps as low as they are so right now we are just tossing the eggs into the woods but we were toying with the idea of giving some of them away to someone who might want to try to hatch them out (if we could find anyone who would want to do a test run with mutt duck eggs). Our problem is that we aren't sure how to care for the eggs before we have enough to ship them out. In the cold temps (20's by day, single digits at night) is there any crucial time frame for getting the eggs inside or are they ok to stay outside? We generally collect the eggs around 7pm every night. When we do collect them, should we bring the ones we want to give away inside or will the abrupt temperature change hurt them in any way?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Rocky Meadows

    Rocky Meadows Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 19, 2009
    Lawton Michigan
    Hello I run a preservation center. We raise Heritage and Rare Breed Poultry. I would love to have the eggs. I live in Michigan so it gets pretty cold here. I collect eggs everyday and then store them to get enough to fill my incubators. I generaly keep them at about 50 degrees. And have great sucess. As far as feed issue I don't use cracked corn anymore not enough nutrients. I buy the scratch feed as it tends to help keep them warmer. I am no expect but I have been doing this for around 20 years with great sucess. Hope this helps.
     
  3. TattooQ27

    TattooQ27 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:It helps a lot actually and we can switch to the scratch feed without any problems. I honestly don't know anything about chicken feed so I don't know what is safe to use for the ducks and what isn't (basically what is medicated and what isn't). You are welcome to as many eggs as you would like, I haven't shipped them before but I am reasonably certain I could get them to you safely. We would like to see if one of our ducks will hatch them in the spring since all 3 ducks take turns sitting on the nest but until then they are just being wasted.
     
  4. Rocky Meadows

    Rocky Meadows Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 19, 2009
    Lawton Michigan
    Click on my website link to get more info about me. Shipping etc. Could you send me a photo of the ducks please. They need an egg swap on here so those who have eggs and don't want them can share them with those who do.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2009
  5. TattooQ27

    TattooQ27 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I haven't posted any pictures before so I have no idea if this will work. I did look at your site, you have some really pretty chickens! I can't have chickens here but if I ever move somewhere I am allowed to have them, I might have to beg you to sell me some :eek:)



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  6. Rocky Meadows

    Rocky Meadows Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 19, 2009
    Lawton Michigan
    Awesome ducks! I will do one better, you get some place and I will give you some.
     
  7. Kansaseq

    Kansaseq Prairie Wolf Farm Asylum

    Feb 12, 2009
    NE Kansas
    Quote:Why don't you eat the ones you don't give away? Or at least cook them and feed them back to the birds? Seems like a waste to throw them away--duck eggs are yummy!
     
  8. deanna&rich

    deanna&rich Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 2, 2009
    chimacum, WA
    No need to throw the eggs into the woods, unless you want to encourage predators to come by every day and hang out waiting for delicious eggs (or give them ideas for more sinister activities).

    If you don't like the eggs, and don't want to scramble and feed them to the birds (excellent protein source), then perhaps you have a local food bank, or animal shelter, or church soup-kitchen, who could really use those high-quality protein foods.
     

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