Increasing Ducks Self Sufficiency

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by KentuckyHomesteader, May 22, 2011.

  1. KentuckyHomesteader

    KentuckyHomesteader Out Of The Brooder

    15
    0
    22
    May 22, 2011
    Hey all! Im new here, Ive already posted in the new member section. I do ducks for self sufficiency. Im wanting to bring the ducks off the grid by not buying commercial feeds.

    Right now, I have a patch of field corn big enough to feed them over the winter. I have a freshly plowed spot for sunflowers, I just need to sow them if this rain will stop. My birds also free range constantly and I do have very rich range. I have two earthworm farms to feed them this winter. I also sprout wheat and alfalfa in the winter for them. Any ideas on increasing their alternative feedings?

    I have Muscovy ducks too. 4 adults and 15 newly hatched babies (from a duck hen), so I dont worry about not having replacements for them!
     
  2. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

    5,532
    181
    273
    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    I suggest some sort of legume for protein. Field peas, pigeon peas, something along that line.
     
  3. KentuckyHomesteader

    KentuckyHomesteader Out Of The Brooder

    15
    0
    22
    May 22, 2011
    Quote:Even with free range?
     
  4. Denninmi

    Denninmi Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,867
    13
    171
    Jul 26, 2009
    Well, I'm neither an agricultural economist nor a farmer, but in my limited knowledge of the subject, some of the crops that have the highest yield and the highest calories per acre are potatoes, soy, corn, sorghum, wheat, oats, dry beans, sweet potatoes, beets, particularly sugar beets and mangels, and possibly winter squash. There are, of course, pros and cons to growing each in and of themselves, and its yet another issue as to which of those would be appropriate feed for ducks, although my own personal flock of ducks has eaten all of the above at some point, albeit some such as potatoes and sweet potatoes only in the form of table scraps and peelings from the kitchen. They do love beet greens, but I haven't tried feeding them the beet roots.

    You would need the equipment and facilities to grow, harvest, process, and feed the crops to the birds.

    If you can do it, congrats. I love the concept. I'm in the 'burbs on a couple of acres, and I plant an enormous garden, have fruit and nut trees, berries, and a few hives as well as birds for eggs, and I do generate a lot of their food from the garden in season. If I didn't have to go to that pesky job, I could actually do a lot more, but I have to support my vices and hobbies as well as pay the bills.
     
  5. DurhamDuck

    DurhamDuck Chillin' With My Peeps

    413
    12
    121
    Mar 26, 2011
    Durham, Connecticut
    Quote:Boiled potatoes, cooled and smashed a bit. This is better for them then corn- more nutrients than corn.
     
  6. Duckles

    Duckles Chillin' With My Peeps

    222
    2
    101
    Feb 17, 2011
    West Mass
    [​IMG]

    I love the topic of this thread! Keep the great ideas coming...
     
  7. Denninmi

    Denninmi Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,867
    13
    171
    Jul 26, 2009
    Quote:I planted about 100 lbs of seed potatoes 2 weeks ago. I have another 30-40 lbs I'm going to plant this week for a later crop. I hope I get a good yield from them, because I was planning on feeding excess to my birds over the winter to help with the feed bill.

    I also have 50 Jerusalem artichokes started, they're just coming up. Those are incredibly productive as well, and I assume they could be fed to poultry and waterfowl. I've had trouble growing those recently, used to have them spread like weeds and I actually fought them and got rid of them. Then, a couple of years ago, decided to give them another shot, and, wouldn't you know it, voles keep eating the tubers on me. Stupid voles.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by