Feeding Pekin Ducklings

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by kjkchicks, Mar 24, 2012.

  1. kjkchicks

    kjkchicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 5, 2012
    Hi,
    I am getting two crested pekin ducklings today and I have a few questions. I have 3.5 week old chicks so I have a big bag of 22% chick starter crumble. Is this ok to feed my ducklings with? Also, I have been reading a lot about Ducks or ducklings needing more in their diet than chicks do, such as Niacin and other vitamins. Is this true, and what can I add to their diet of starter crumble if this is the case? If I am feeding them other things such as veggies to get these vitamins, should I be supplying them with grit as well?

    Any other tips on raising ducklings would be appreciated...my chicks are doing well and are almost ready to go outside, but I have never raised ducklings before!
    Thanks!!
     
  2. littlequail21

    littlequail21 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 12, 2011
    ducklings i find i really no different then Chicks, They are ALOT more smellier and dirtier. 22% should be ok, i use 20% make sure its Unmediated, ducks and geese eat more then chicks do, over dosing themselves. as for adding more stuff to there diet. i wouldn't? i never heard of adding more vitamins and such to a already store bought diet.make sure they have water at all times, since ducks will eat, then drink, eat, then drink (washing down the feed) i raise them like chicks they seem to do great.
     
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    [​IMG]
    Congratulations on your ducklings!

    The starter crumble is fine from what I am told. Many prefer unmedicated starter (not sure which yours is), but many think that amprolium is okay for ducklings. I don't have a firm opinion about that.

    What I have seen from the forum is that some ducks - not all - are sensitive to the low levels of niacin in chick starter. To be on the safe side, I would add some niacin - 100 mg per gallon of water - to their feed for the first two months. This is recommended by Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks for ducklings that have a niacin deficiency. I simply would not wait to see if they get sick, but would provide the missing niacin from the git go.

    Before you feed them veggies or other food than the crumbles, they need to get a little chick grit. I sprinkled about a teaspoon of grit on a six inch wide food dish once a day for eleven ducklings. After their first week, I started giving them tiny chopped up bits of lettuce, and tiny peas . . . not very many, as I have read about ducklings eating till they throw up. Not pretty.

    Vegetables are good for ducks. There is a sticky about treats that has been helpful to me, since some treats are for adult ducks, and some are okay for ducklings.

    Niacin is not so much in vegetables as it is in bugs, slugs, worms and such.

    Regarding protein, some of us think too much can cause angel wing, some disagree. But if you want to reduce the protein percentage, Storey's Guide includes mention of chopping up rolled oats (not instant) very fine and adding that to the crumbles. From 22% to 20% you'd only need one part chopped up oats to 6 parts crumbles. And the oats provide some fiber.

    I agree, keeping water for drinking at all times is important with ducklings - they could choke on their food. They need water to wash it down.

    The brooder does not have to get extremely messy. Duck forum members have come up with a number of ways to catch the splash that ducklings make. They still process their food, LOL, so of course there is cleanup!

    They grow very, very rapidly. It feels to me like you can almost watch them change! Really, after a few days it is startling to see how much taller and longer they are.

    Please search the forum and ask questions. There are very helpful people on the forum, and a wide range of opinion and experience.
     
  4. kjkchicks

    kjkchicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you so much for all the info!! They are the cutest little things and they already know my voice and come and climb all over me haha. I ended up finding 22% Duck and Goose starter. (contains added selenium 0.3mg/kg, , .95% calcium, .75%phosphorus, .17% sodium, and vitamins A, D, and E) But it doesn't say anything about having Niacin in it. Do you think I should still provide Niacin even though I've got Duck starter? I'm just nervous that if I do give them Niacin I will make them sick..
     
  5. OldGuy43

    OldGuy43 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Just don't make the same mistake OldGal did. She once taught a duckling to sit on her shoulder and give her kisses. The problem came when he became a full-grown, ~12 pound gander and still wanted to do that. [​IMG]
     
  6. kjkchicks

    kjkchicks Out Of The Brooder

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    hahaha oh no! Thanks for the heads up! That's really cute, but that would be a pretty heavy shoulderweight
     
  7. OldGuy43

    OldGuy43 Chillin' With My Peeps

    That's really a true story. It was funny to see him trying to fit both of his huge webbed feet on her shoulder.
     
  8. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    To be sure, you could contact the manufacturer. But it would seem that a duck and goose starter would be fine. I used a turkey/waterfowl starter and everyone turned out fine!
     

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