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Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Graceful Acres, Apr 9, 2012.
At what age are they considered grown?
Good question. I have been wondering that, myself.
I do know that ducks can start laying eggs around 5 months old. My little guys will soon be month-olds. And, man! They have grown!
Quote:How much do you feed them ?
I don't know if anyone still checks this thread, but I found it searching for feeding ducks.
I have 15 ducklings that are about 7 weeks old right now.
8 pekins, 4 fawn & white runners, 2 Swedish, & 1 Khaki Campbell.
I started leaving food out 24/7 and they were making a mess with the flock raiser crumble.
I started fermenting it in an 18 gallon Rubbermaid tub & there's much less waste.
I fill up a trough of it for them in the morning and it's gone by bed time.
Around 5am they are all out there being super loud looking for food.
The problem is, they are going through a bag of flock raiser ($18) in a week, and the older they get the shorter it lasts (bought 2 bags not even 2 weeks ago and already need to get more).
At this rate I can't be paying $100/mon on duck feed when I'm not even getting eggs. I supplement with table scraps, but there is no grass. We live in the sandhills so there is very little grass as it is. We keep trying to plant it, but the chickens scratch it all up before it grows.
How can I get my feed bill down???? (Obviously lower the number of ducks, but no one seems to want to buy any right now & they're not big enough to eat yet....)
Actually any of us who live where the weather gets cold has had pretty steep feed bills this year, I have 35 in my flock 14 ducks 18 chickens and 2 geese and am going trough a 50lb Flock raiser crumble in about a week the only reason it's lasting that long is because I also mix Whole oats and 7 way scratch into my Fermented feed. I have been buying greens from the grocery store to supplement their diet too. It's become an expensive hobby for me. When I started out 10yrs ago FR was less than 10.00 a 50lb bag. I don't eat mine so they have to live till they are of an old age so I am feeding a long time I now have 2 that will be 10 this july and 1 that just turned 10. I'm committed to this and hopefully will be able to continue. So saying all of that, you might try adding the whole oats, I read an article about feeding whole oats as only means of diet to chickens in Back Yard Poultry a couple yrs ago and although I wouldn't feed it solely it has helped stretch the FR a bit. I use around 15% whole oats 10% 7way scratch the rest FR then after that's mixed together I put into my buckets for fermenting, Living in the mountains here in NC we don't have much grass and like you the little we had the chickens have taken care of so I also started growing fodder. Losts of good threads here on BYc about growing fodder so you also might think about starting some for your flock. Foraging will be back soon since the weather will be warming and feed bill shouuld be helped as the ducks and the rest begin eating all those yummy bugs and worms that come with warmer weather.
I feed my ducks twice a day; first thing in the morning about about an hour before dusk. I don't use a feeder, rather sometimes just grab a handful of food and let them eat out of my hand. The other half of the time I will fling the pellets into the pasture. I figure this will reinforce their foraging behavior. My plan is to get them used to being fed at a certain place and time, so that no matter where they wander on the property during the day (which includes a small pond), they will be in their pasture/pen at evening feeding time. I think the hand feeding will benefit the rest of my family, especially the young nieces and nephews when they come to visit.
I hope this thread is still followed.
I have two ducks, 1 Pekin 1 cherry valley, the latter being 6 weeks younger. I'm a bit concerned the Pekin is getting overweight, but I want to fatten the other up as she was neglected. I feed them a little in the morning and a little at night, grower pellets, as they forage most of the day. How can I stop her getting too big/ put her on a diet!? And should I? They are pets, not for meat etc.
Cut out treats. when you say forage what are they foraging on? I keep food out during day light hrs because my flock grazers all during the day. I also have layers who need to eat to lay strong eggs and remain healthy. If your ducks are getting exercise by foraging try letting them eat when they want too sometimes with holding feed can make them gorge .
My Pekin females were huge. I couldn't believe how big they were. Our male, who we still have, is big and beautiful. But, I wouldn't call them overweight. They are constantly in motion, they run, jump (looks funny), walk, and talk.
My ducks have the full run of my backyard. I put in two 6oz drinking cups of food in their pan the morning and then when we say good night. They hunt all day, eating the insects and trimming my grass. Up until a few days ago, they would clean out the pan by morning and night. Now, though, there is still crumble in the pan at wake up and good night. We visit them all day long, giving them tomatoes, grapes and lettuce. We haven't changed the treat serving sizes, so I am thinking they are finding plenty of things to forage during the day. They are big, but active, silly and enjoying life. They eat when they are hungry, and when they do, it is small bites as they pass by.
All I did was watch them. I gauged how much I gave them in crumble based on their eating habits. My ducks seem to like having the pan, but they do not gorge, nor do they hang around it. It's almost as if knowing it is always there is important to them, but doesn't require all their attention.
Pekins arejust large not necessarily over weight although any of our breeds we keep can get that way .