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Going to Try a Few

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by bigredfeather, Jun 20, 2011.

  1. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Songster

    Oct 1, 2008
    Yorkshire, Ohio
    My broilers are done for the Summer and I am thinking about trying my hand at some Pekins. I have done some searches in this section, but can't find what I'm looking for, so I have a few basic questions:

    -What type of feed(s) do you feed them? I'm looking for composition and protein level and when I need to switch.

    -Can they be raised in a tractor on pasture?

    -Any sicknesses or diseases to watch out for?

    -Do Pekins handle hot weather well?

    -Any other things a beginner needs to know?

    That's all I can think of right now. Please excuse me for asking such basic questions. If there is a info thread that I have missed, please direct me to it.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2011

  2. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Crowing

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    For meat?

    If you can't buy waterfowl feed, I'd put them on turkey or game bird starter for the first 2 weeks then onto a flock grower type. You have to add niacin if you are feeding food made for chickens. Niacin is usually already in turkey and game bird feed.

    It's my understanding that when they are raised for meat, they are kept under lights 24 hours per day. If you want them up and done and gone fast, you could probably keep them on turkey feed, because you don't worry about angel wing if you will butcher them.

    My experience with commercially raised duck is that it is far too fatty. You will probably get better meat if you don't push the growth so hard, but I don't think care and feeding would be too much different than raising broilers.

    They do well free ranging if you don't have predators. Ducks tend to stick together and they are easy to herd. They are less messy if they have a large area.

    Ducks are rather disease-free. Not like chickens. You just have to be aware of their niacin requirements.

    For table ducks:
    0-2 weeks 18-20% protein, free choice
    2-7 weeks 16-18% protein free choice

    My table ducks get raised with the show ducks and get the same care and the same diet, which means they don't get free choice feed after 4 weeks. They get fed 3 times a day. After 7 weeks 15-16% protein.

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