How much to feed my 5 Khaki Campbell Free Range Ducks?


Jul 9, 2022
I have 5 Khaki Campbell ducks almost 9 weeks old. They 100% free range all day then come back to the coop at night to get their food. We are right beside a little river and they hop in there range up to 1/4 mile downstream.
When they come home at night they demand food loudly! I have been feeding them 1/2 ration (16OZ) figuring that they are foraging all day. When I feed them they devour their food as if they are starving! Yet they will sit in the yard for 2 hours quacking and napping while waiting for food, not foraging.
What's the deal? Are these ducks getting plenty of food? Are they not getting enough? We are in the height of summer, I would figure they should be able to get 100% of calorie needs from foraging.

I agree at 9 weeks they should have access to food 24/7. When free ranging there are too many factors that play into how much nutrition your ducks are actually receiving. My ducks free range all day as well. They have access to 30 acres all fields containing specifically selected foraging grasses, grains, legumes along with an orchard, berries and 3 large gardens (the smallest being 40'x60'). My smallest adult duck weighs 2lbs. and has never eaten less than 6oz. of feed a day. Largely due to their selective breeding modern domesticated ducks in most cases will not be able to get 100% (or even close to) of their daily nutritional needs simply from foraging. Even domesticated mallards nutritional needs cannot be compared to that of a wild mallard. Feeding growing ducklings only 3.2oz. per duckling is not enough feed even with free ranging.
Thanks for the feedback all.

Based on your feedback, while they are still growing, I have decided to give them a full 6-7oz per duck per day. Half around noon, half before bed. I had food available all day when they started free ranging and that created two problems: 1) they would just laze about all day eating their feed and napping instead of foraging. I want them to forage for a more balanced diet, exposure to microbiota, less need for feed, etc. 2) it was difficult to get them back to their coop at night -- they would want to sleep in random places such as the woodshed and with the predators around here they would be eaten.

So I hope this 50/50 strat works well. I will post their weights in a few weeks and that should tell us how well they have done.
Hi all, sorry for the delay in reporting back. I weighed my last drake today. 4.5 pounds. Online it says that 4.5 pounds is about max weight for a khaki campbell, so It seems the feeding regiment did not stunt duck growth. The other drake I weighed after butchering and the carcass weight was 3.2 pounds. (by the way, you gotta gotta gotta do the 14 day dry age in fridge process to have really good duck)
So, I did switch to giving a full 6-7oz of food per duck per day based on recommendations in this thread. The ducks rarely finished their food. Fast forward some weeks and VT has been in a serious drought. The river level is the lowest that I have ever seen it. The ducks seem to love it. They were out in the river eating all day and in the evening when I would give them their food, they only ate a little bit of it and then the turkeys cleaned up the leftovers each morning.
So in conclusion I would say, from my experience, go ahead and give the ducks their full amount of feed (6-7oz per duck per day for khaki campbell) and if they don't eat it all, then you can probably assume that they are getting plenty of food from forage. You can just gauge how much food they need based on how much they leave untouched each night.
I should add that my situation may be a bit unique as these ducks have access to a very clean and healthy river all day long and they do almost all of their foraging in this river. Without access to clean water for ducks to forage in, then the situation may be different.

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