HELP!!!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by BackyardAnita, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. BackyardAnita

    BackyardAnita Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 2 hens, 3 female ducks, and one drake.
    I have them all together in a coop. Are drakes suppost to eat different feed then the ducks and hens, what kind of feed should i buy for the drake and how do i keep the drake from eating the layer feed?
    Am i suppost to have a different coop for the drake? Because i think the drake would get lonely.
    Maybe i can have a feeding time 2-4 times a day where i feed the females and then feed the drake and put them all back together in the coop, would that work?

    sorry for all the questions, answer as many as you can please!
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    There are those that say the long term feeding of layer feed to the males - drakes and roosters - is damaging to them. I'm not one of those people.

    Since you are housing chickens and waterfowl together a better alternative for you may be to look for a flockraiser type feed; a feed for all types of poultry, young and old. Then just offer oyster shell on the side, in a seperate container, for the hens that need the calcium.
     
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    P.S. Be sure and offer your waterfowl a good source of niacin, as they require more of it than chickens do. Some folks use brewers yeast to accomplish this. The simplest solution I have found is to give my waterfowl a treat of green peas a couple of times a week. They adore green peas and it's as simple as tossing a couple handfuls in their pool.
     
  4. ducksinarow

    ducksinarow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just feed mine layer. I am having problems keeping the shells thick. I am more worried about my hens than my drakes. Drakes are easily replaced anyway. So far I have not seen any effect on the drakes. The eggs are much thicker than when I just offered calcuim along side. My free range daily also. So they eat other stuff beside just layer pellets.
     
  5. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    This is one of the most difficult management questions I have come across. I am also dealing with a soft-shelled egg layer and though no one else is laying and we now have a drake - so I thought just maintenance feed with free choice oyster shell would be sufficient.

    Nope. Romy needs loads of calcium. And in fact she is still laying soft eggs (had one today after a two week hiatus) in spite of calcium supplements and switching back to layer feed.

    So Bean has to eat layer, and I do try to give him extra treats to reduce the percent calcium in his diet.

    Some folks do fine with an all-flock feed with free choice oyster shell or ground cleaned eggshells. But some don't. Wish I had a perfect solution, but once again, what I have read in the books doesn't play out in my flock.
     
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    But some hens can have internal malfunctions in the egg factory that will cause soft-shelled eggs no matter how much calcium they ingest. Just like some humans don't absorb vitamins and supplements as well as the next person.
    I have a call duck hen, eats the same thing as my other duck hens, has the same free choice feeding of oyster shell as the other duck hens, only lays soft-shelled eggs. It just happens and calcium isn't the answer.
     
  7. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Absolutely. Ducks are more individual than is sometimes apparently assumed. A couple of my runners are not at all cold-hardy, at least one is scared spitless of the dark, they don't cuddle up together when they are cold . . . .
     

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