Foraging vs. Feed

Saigey

Songster
Jun 16, 2019
345
865
181
Alabama, USA
Hi everyone! Long time no see! I've been enjoying the warmer weather outside with my two ducks a lot, since most of our state is still on lockdown. They're both loving "helping" me work on a garden. They've been foraging, as well as eating a lot of earthworms and grass, etc.
I think (and hope) this is why they haven't really been interested in their feed lately.
They get peas once a day in the afternoon (about a cup to share between the two of them, mostly as a bribe to get them to come back in!) and a romaine lettuce leaf at night.
I also sprinkle some oats and feed in their indoor coop with grit so that they can "forage" indoors.
They also have a dish with grit and one with oyster shell (mainly for Hemmie).
They're both drinking plenty of water, playing, pooping, talking, mating, swimming, napping, etc.
Hemmie is looking very pregnant and getting wide around her fluffy little booty.
Do I need to do something to encourage them to pay more attention to their feed, since it has Brewer's yeast mixed in it for niacin?
I would hate to take away their small amount of snacks or any of their foraging time.
I worry too much. Lol. Thoughts?
 

Saigey

Songster
Jun 16, 2019
345
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181
Alabama, USA
Flock Party Rising Chick non medicated chick starter (by Manna Pro). They just finished molting, so they've been on the starter feed for the higher protein.
 

Knighstar679

Crowing
Jun 12, 2018
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Seneca Falls, NY
They should be getting lots of niacin from the bugs and weeds and grasses they are eating. That’s where wild mallards get theirs from. Bugs tend to be high in niacin.

My gang tends to not eat a lot of feed on the days when they get to forgage for lots of stuff in my lawn. I still offer it but they just aren’t interested in it because they have filled up on natural feed.
 

Isaac 0

Enabler
Jul 19, 2016
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Niacin availability in wild plants and insects is fairly low for domestic duck breeds, the problem is people compare a Pekin’s nutritional requirements to that of a Wild Mallards, Mallards (55mg per kilo) Pekins (70mg) per kilo. Niacin supplementation would be advised with heavyweight breeds, but if you have a lightweight breed they could probably get away without supplementation. Another thing to consider is just because your ducks are outside doesn’t necessarily mean they are eating insects, for example, if pesticides are being used in the play area or surrounding area.
 

MGG

🌷 Spring is in the air 🌷
Premium Feather Member
Feb 7, 2020
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@MGG Any thoughts?
Hi Saigey! Thanks for tagging me. Your ducks sound like they're having a lot of fun! Isaac gave you great advice.
Niacin availability in wild plants and insects is fairly low for domestic duck breeds, the problem is people compare a Pekin’s nutritional requirements to that of a Wild Mallards, Mallards (55mg per kilo) Pekins (70mg) per kilo. Niacin supplementation would be advised with heavyweight breeds, but if you have a lightweight breed they could probably get away without supplementation. Another thing to consider is just because your ducks are outside doesn’t necessarily mean they are eating insects, for example, if pesticides are being used in the play area or surrounding area.
 

Saigey

Songster
Jun 16, 2019
345
865
181
Alabama, USA
They should be getting lots of niacin from the bugs and weeds and grasses they are eating. That’s where wild mallards get theirs from. Bugs tend to be high in niacin.

My gang tends to not eat a lot of feed on the days when they get to forgage for lots of stuff in my lawn. I still offer it but they just aren’t interested in it because they have filled up on natural feed.

Thanks! That's a relief. They are bantam and not quite a year old yet, so this is our first real opportunity for long foraging outings. I didn't want to change their feed and start any digestive problems.
 

Saigey

Songster
Jun 16, 2019
345
865
181
Alabama, USA
Niacin availability in wild plants and insects is fairly low for domestic duck breeds, the problem is people compare a Pekin’s nutritional requirements to that of a Wild Mallards, Mallards (55mg per kilo) Pekins (70mg) per kilo. Niacin supplementation would be advised with heavyweight breeds, but if you have a lightweight breed they could probably get away without supplementation. Another thing to consider is just because your ducks are outside doesn’t necessarily mean they are eating insects, for example, if pesticides are being used in the play area or surrounding area.

My two are tiny little Australian Spotteds, in between a call and a female mallard, size wise. I'm hyper vigilant about pesticides where they play. I've been using their used Aspen bedding as mulch for our yard, and it has made the soil nice and soft (finally!). Since the ground is no longer impenetrable, I've been digging lots of holes and planting a lot, and they are expert earthworm and bug eaters. They do still eat some of their feed, just not nearly as much as they were eating. They won't be a year old until August, and since I'm not working right now, they're getting their first multiple hour long play sessions. We have lots of predators out here, so I stay with them while they're playing.
 

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Saigey

Songster
Jun 16, 2019
345
865
181
Alabama, USA
Hi Saigey! Thanks for tagging me. Your ducks sound like they're having a lot of fun! Isaac gave you great advice.

Hiya! I've missed you and everyone else! The ducks are loving all of the play time. Hemmie is looking very pregnant, and Downey is loving the slide on their inflatable pool! 😂
 

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