HELP!!! DH just came home with 5 ducks. What do I feed them????

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by dipence71, May 16, 2009.

  1. dipence71

    dipence71 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2009
    Murrayville, IL
    All I have is Med. Chick feed for my chicks...can they eat this or will it harm them ??????DH says the med chick feed id ok but I think I read somewhere not to feed ducks med. chick feed???? They will eventually cohabitate with my BO chickens>>Is this ok????

    AAHHHH I guess my hubby caught my "bird" fever LOL!!!!!

    What am I suppose to do with ducks????
  2. old mill poultry

    old mill poultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 10, 2009
    You can either give them game starter or give them egg layer poultry food. My feed store told me no to medicated or chick starter.
  3. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    I raise all my call ducklings on medicated chick starter. As long as the only medication in is Amprol/amprollium they'll be fine.
  4. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

    Mar 20, 2008
    NW Kentucky
    Nope medicated chick starter will kill them. You need a duck/goose starter. If that is not available get an organic or unmedicated chick starter and mix it equally with turkey/wild game bird starter. They can have lettuce and spinach cut into 1/4" pieces each day...on their food.

    They need a heat lamp but not as warm as chicks require just a bit lower.

    Here is the care sheet I receive with my ducklings. This man is an expert in waterfowl. Hope it helps.

    A Dozen Suggestions for Starting Your Ducklings and Goslings

    l. Expect your hatchlings to arrive 12-36 hours after shipment. Notify your post office of the expected shipment of day-olds, and ask to be called upon their arrival. It's advisable to pick up your birds at the post office.

    2. Upon the birds' arrival, be sure to keep them warm until they are placed in the brooding area. Open the shipping box only in a warm environment. Check the underside of the box lid for order content information.

    3. As you take the birds from the box and place them in the pre-warmed brooding area, immediately dip each of their bills in the waterer to make sure that they drink promptly. Initially give lukewarm water with 1 tsp. honey or corn syrup per quart and chopped greens (described in #6). Do not give feed for as least an hour after giving birds water and greens. Thereafter, we recommend adding a water-soluble vitamin mix formulated for baby poultry to the water for the first 5 to 7 days. Because waterfowl drink more than twice as much water as chickens, use vitamin mixes at 1/2 the recommended rate for baby chicks. Never use REN-O SAL on ducks and geese.

    4. ONLY use waterers that the birds can drink from easily BUT WHICH THEY CANNOT GET INTO AND GET SOAKED!

    5. Supply the birds with fresh feed that has been formulated specifically for young poultry. In the order of preference, we recommend starting hatchlings on one of these feeds: duck starter or broiler starter (we highly recommend Purina's Flock Raiser ration when a duck/goose starter is unavailable). By themselves, chick starter is low in niacin, and turkey and gamebird starters are excessively high in protein (forcing young waterfowl to grow too fast). However, using a mix of 1 part chick starter and 1 part turkey of gamebird starter normally makes a good ration for baby waterfowl. Use only fresh feed and NEVER give laying rations to young waterfowl. In our experience, so-called "all purpose" or "triple duty" feeds normally are unsatisfactory if used as the sole ration for waterfowl during the first 8 weeks. We highly recommend the additional information on feeding and nutrition covered in Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks, The Book of Geese and Wing Disorders in Waterfowl.

    6. Green feed (lettuce, spinach, tender young grass, etc.) chopped to 1/4-inch lengths and sprinkled in the water and on the feed helps get goslings as well as ducklings to eat quickly, and off to a fast start.

    7. The correct brooding temperature is 90-92o F the first 3 days and 85-90o F for days 4 to7. Thereafter, drop the brooding temperature approximately 5o F per week. Birds must always be able to get away from the heat source to avoid the damaging effects of overheating.

    8. Allow a minimum of 1/2 square foot of floor space for each duckling the first week, 1 square foot the second week, and 2 square feet to 4 weeks of age. Double these figures for goslings.

    9. Do not start waterfowl on smooth floors (such as newspaper) which can cause spraddled legs. Wire mesh floor is ideal. If bedding is used, cover it with burlap or coarse cloth for the first day to prevent the birds from eating the litter while they learn what feed is.

    10. Make sure the brooding area is draft-free and provides protection from predators, including rats, cats and dogs.

    11. After arriving at their new home, your baby waterfowl need warmth, drinking water, fresh food and rest. Check on them regularly to make sure they are comfortable, but avoid handling them the first several days.

    12. And most of all, enjoy your new charges. Ducklings and goslings are exceptionally hardy and fast growing, and watching their adolescent antics is entertaining. Happy duck and goose raising!
    Last edited: May 16, 2009
  5. chickenlittle32

    chickenlittle32 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2009
    Rayne Louisiana
    No they aren't supposed to eat medicated food. Get them some turkey starter. (I use that for all my younguns) lol Fresh water of course. Be aware, they love playing in the water.
    My DH is attracted to the ducks, geese, turkeys...chickens not as much.

    Cant wait to see pics of the babies!!!
  6. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    MEDICATED chick starter WILL NOT kill them. Ducklings can and will die from coccidiosis just as quickly as chicks. In the old days the meds they used in chick starter would kill ducklings, but amprol won't hurt them one bit and can keep them from dying from cocci. I've fed medicated starter to my call ducklings ever since I started raising them 7 years ago and haven't killed one yet. It's an outdated belief that needs to to be put to rest.
  7. pascopol

    pascopol Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 6, 2009
    Tampa Bay
    Quote:Correct, starter medicated with Amplorium is OK for ducks.

    Feeding any young poultry with layer crumble (excess calcium needed by egg layers to built eggs hell) is BAD!

    Arsenic medicated feeds are poisonus for ducks, I am not sure if they still use this stuff.

    That's what the common misconception of feeding waterfowl is coming from.

    Never take any advice from feed store employees unless you positively know they raised poultry themselfs.

    Most likely they know much less than you do.
  8. AHappychick

    AHappychick Wanna-be Farmer

    Dec 16, 2008
    invest i a hanging waterer with a nipple, you will be so glad you did. The avian mister advertised here on BYC is very easy to make and you can get the nipple from most farm supply companies. Also I housed mine on nice welded rubber coated hardware cloth (in my bunny hutch) , this too makes a huge difference expecially if you have a pull out tray for collecting poop.
  9. dipence71

    dipence71 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2009
    Murrayville, IL
    Thank you all I ran back to town and got different feed. Now when I checked them again one of them has all the "fur" pulled out along its neck on one side. What causes this ??
    I haven't seen the others pecking at it but??

    Can you use the same type bedding as for chickens or is it better to have no bedding?

    Sorry serious newbie here and didn't have time to do any research before they got here.....[​IMG]:idunno:barnie:eek:

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by