grower feed - layer feed question

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by jebber, Oct 21, 2013.

  1. jebber

    jebber Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 7, 2012
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    I have 5 ducks, feeding them grower feed right now (13 weeks old). They should be ready to lay come spring. They free range on a 1/2 acre right now with grower/oat mix available during the day.

    My question -

    Should I start layer feed over the winter or wait til they start laying?

    I'm almost out of grower & need to buy feed within a week. Trying to figure out what to buy to get thru the winter.

    Thanx for any help.
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Are they playing hop on top yet? When that starts, I would switch to layer. Otherwise, I would go with grower. To split the difference, you could buy grower and oyster shell, the latter of which you can offer free choice once they show signs of wanting to mate.

    My runners started doing that about a month before the first egg, and Storey's Guide recommends starting them on extra calcium a month before they lay.
     
  3. jebber

    jebber Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanx Amiga,

    No 'hop on top' yet. Is it bad to start layer feed too soon? I promise I'll pull Storeys guide this evening.

    Thanx again
     
  4. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    I would not start layer until they actually lay, to be perfectly honest, i don't even use layer as i have drakes. They just get grower and grains and free range, i keep free choice oyster shell out for the ladies.

    Ducks being seasonal layers means you likely won't even see eggs this year from them, and excessive calcium is not good for them, in Storey's guide he actually speaks of an incident where a feed was accidentally increased with it causing serious issues( i believe if i recall right, actual life loss) due to it being for young ducks.
     
  5. HollyDuckFarmer

    HollyDuckFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I usually will go thru one bag of Layer all year. I actually just have cracked my 1st bag of 2013, just bcz it was on sale and in a pretty bag. :) Of course, if the Ladies eggs are telling me they need calcium, I'd provide the layer. Normally I just use a Duck & Goose feed, not a layer.
     
  6. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    The general approach is to avoid feeding layer to non-laying ducks, unless it's four weeks before they start laying. And as Going Quackers wrote, many people do well with feeding a non-layer feed, with oyster shell on the side.

    My duck saga includes some year-round layers and some girls who don't seem to either get enough or properly metabolize calcium. So I try various ways to get the extra Ca to those who need it, and not too much to those who don't.
     
  7. jebber

    jebber Out Of The Brooder

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    great stuff! Thanx all!
     
  8. LoveToFarm

    LoveToFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello I was wondering if I could chim in? I have 7 ducks(4 anconas and 3 mallards)the anconas are 1 female and 3 boys need more females! But I was wondering they are 18 weeks and they Re doing the riding not a lot but testing the water so to speek so when should I start oyster shell or layer feed or any of that stuff for them or wilk they just wait till spring? Thanks
     
  9. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I would go ahead and start with the free choice oyster shell on the side. When mine started hop on top, four weeks later we got our first egg.
     
  10. LoveToFarm

    LoveToFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I started it today will the boys eat it? I don't have them seperated! I hope I get eggs bit its ok if they wait till spring!
     

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