Good & bad food for ducks

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Bish, Sep 1, 2013.

  1. Bish

    Bish Out Of The Brooder

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    I am curious what are bad food for ducks?

    I have a pekin that is 2 years old. I feed him pellets, lettuce, tomato, mushrooms, fresh veges (corn, peas, carrot), grapes.
    Is any of this bad for him?
    I am aware mushrooms and grapes are bad for dogs, but are they good for ducks?

    Is he getting enough nutrition from what I am feeding him above? As that is all I feed him. [​IMG]
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    What kind of pellets and how much? If the basis of the diet is a balanced ration with some treats, I think that sounds okay.

    How is his health?

    Have you seen the sticky at the top of the Duck Forum on treats?

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Bish

    Bish Out Of The Brooder

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    I think they are just layer pellets, he has a bowl in his pen at all times full of pellets so he can graze on them when ever he wants.
    He gets pellets all day and about 4 nights a week he gets a bowl of lettuce, tomato and mushrooms and other nights a bowl of boiled peas, carrot and corn.
    His health seems fine. I just wanted to be sure he is getting enough nutrition from the pellets, salad and veges.
    He eats the occasional dog biscuit when he is on the loose with the dogs, but not very often, I hope that doesn't hurt.

    I haven't seen the sticky on treats yet, I am still new to this forum and finding my way around. [​IMG]
     
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Sounds like you are doing pretty well. If he is really a he, then layer pellets aren't the best thing, long term, too much calcium is hard on the kidneys.

    Here is the sticky link
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/256233/ducks-sticky-topics-index

    I don't think the dog biscuit will hurt. I give my ducks cat kibble especially in the wintertime for protein, and after molting as well.

    So, is he able to get out and root around in the earth so he's getting small pebbles and sand for grit? If they eat anything other than pellets, they need some grit to "chew" with.

    Mushrooms have done no apparent harm to my ducks - they don't eat all of them, but there are some little mushrooms with tiny gray caps and silver stems that they have tasted. There are poisonous ones, as we know, but I am thinking you feed the edible ones like we eat. This is just my feeling about mushrooms, not based on research, so take it for what it's worth [​IMG]
     
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  5. Bish

    Bish Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks so much for your advice.
    Yeh he is definitely a he. So I will look at getting him different pellets. I am glad you told me that. [​IMG]
    Our pet shops here in town are useless so I will have to do some research online before buying.

    Yeh I only feed him the supermarket mushrooms we eat, he LOVES them.

    I am glad the dog biscuits do no harm. He doesn't have many, but he will eat some left overs the dogs haven't eaten.
    He does get out a lot foraging through the grass, mud and dirt. He is only in his pen when I am work.

    He has straw all over the bottom of his pen through winter to get him off the cold ground, I have seen on Better Homes & Gardens that they can get arthritis?
    In spring & summer when it is warmer he sleeps on the glass, I don't have straw in there. Should I? Is it bad for him to sleep on the ground? I am just thinking of his poor little legs long term. [​IMG]
     
  6. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I like having a nice foofy bedding for the ducks, partly because I like to spoil them rotten[​IMG]

    In fact, my philosophy is that happy, loved ducks will be healthier for the most part. One standard I hold myself to is that if I would spend the night sleeping in their pen on a blanket, it is good enough. So I keep the bedding thick enough for me to be comfortable. Note: I am comfortable sleeping on a blanket on the floor, so the bedding is not that thick. A few inches.

    Okay, yes, they can get arthritis, and I have read it can be at least partly caused by infections of the foot, so you don't want to delay dealing with bumblefoot, which is, in my way of thinking, very bad infected acne of the foot. When ducks get bumbles (you may know this already) they are filled with pus which is more like chunks, not liquid. And with duck feet, cutting them is a last resort, in my opinion. Well that was a departure. What I am saying is, keep an eye on his feet, check them regularly, don't wait till he limps (do as I say, not as I do [​IMG]), and when you catch it early, it is easily treatable with Epsom salts compresses and either topical antibiotic or clear iodine. Then you further reduce the risk of arthritis.

    In the winter, I keep a few nice cushy straw-covered places for the ducks to get off the cold ground during the day, then at night they are kept above 40F on a few inches of shavings in their night pen.

    Check your security regularly, too, I do that. Predators show up out of nowhere and they go to great lengths to get at ducks. Incredible, the stories I have read, and sad events I know of right around here. It has really affected me . . . I get a little worked up about security. And there are no 100% guarantees, I understand that, we make mistakes. But I want to put a word in for you to keep that baby safe.
     
  7. Bish

    Bish Out Of The Brooder

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    What causes "infections of the foot / bumbles"?

    I definitely have high security for my boy. Plus he has a red cattle dog and a Rottweiler as a guard dog, they patrol the yard all night, no cats or foxes are getting into my yard with my 2 guard dogs. And my dogs would never hurt him, they absolutely love him. And he idolises them. [​IMG]

    He doesn't really have a separate day and night pen, he just uses the same pen day & night. It is covered over to protect him from the weather, and filled with straw on the bottom to sleep on. On one side there is a big wooden board up on the south side to protect him from the cold / wind.
     
  8. Bish

    Bish Out Of The Brooder

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    Should I be buying chicken grower crumbles instead? It has 15% protein?
     
  9. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Grower pellets ought to be good, if crumbles are the only thing available and in any case I would consider moistening the feed - you just need to make sure it doesn't mold. On the other hand, there is a method called fermented feed that a number of members use, adding water and unpasteurized apple cider vinegar to enhance the digestibility of the feed. I did it for a while, and then stopped for some mysterious reason. It involves space management in my home. I have no outbuildings, so things that I would otherwise do in the barn I need to find room for in a mid twentieth century small middle class house. Another digression, pardon me.

    Bumbles are caused by the entry of Staphylococcus aureus into a break in the skin of the foot that then gets past the immune system. So keeping the surfaces he runs around on (ideally) free of things that would scratch him up, like sharp stones, concrete, big thorns, and keeping him healthy make a difference, from what I have seen. And not letting surface water pond long enough to get icky reduces exposure to the bacteria that cause it, and other problems.
     
  10. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    How old is the drake? does he have access to foraging? Sounds like a lot of treats to me, my ducks eat a grower pellet mixed with whole corn and whole oats plus boss(so black oil sunflower seeds) and then the rest they find on their own, in winter i will offer some greens(they adore romaine lettuce) but otherwise not much else is given.

    Do you have storey's guide to ducks? it has good info duck feeding in there.
     

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