Integrating ducklings into the adult flock

janastasio

Songster
11 Years
Mar 17, 2008
232
3
129
New Hampshire
We have 16 8 week old ducklings that I put out into our coop 2 weeks ago at the age of 6 weeks. All just about fully feathered in other than their wing feathers that are still progressing. I have them penned separately with one of those portable metal dog yards. They are a bit cramped for space and I have to clean out their wet shavings daily. I want to integrate them into my adult flock at this time but have the issue of different food. My adult ducks (and 4 chickens) eat purina layena layer pellets. I have been feeding my ducklings purina duck grower. Can I combine my feeds 50/50? I'm concerned about this for both ducklings and the older birds. I know it is recommended they be on grower for 16 weeks but I don't have a pen big enough to keep them separate for that amount of time. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
-Jaime
 

Wifezilla

Positively Ducky
11 Years
Oct 2, 2008
11,199
137
311
Colorado
Your situation is why I don't use layer feed. Along with their game bird feed I just buy a bag of oyster shells and put out a bowl. The laying ducks just take what they need. The "teenagers" and the drakes ignore it and they all eat out of the same feeder.
 
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janastasio

Songster
11 Years
Mar 17, 2008
232
3
129
New Hampshire
So you use gamebird pellets and suppliment separately with the oyster shells? Is there not any calcium in gamebird feed? And what is the protein levels on this? I currently use the layer pellets and supply oyster shells separately for them to take as wanted. I'm open to changing things to incorporate these young ones into the older ones. Thanks for your help.
-Jaime
 

chickboss

Songster
9 Years
Mar 23, 2010
1,297
16
151
I believe, though I haven't read the label for awhile, that gamebird feed is at 28%. I am really considering switching my chickens over to gamebird feed, and possibly the ducks as well. Wifezilla has some interesting ideas on protien and Angle Wing which is the main concern with high protien levels. After watching what my ducks gravitate to in terms of feed, I am beginning to re-evaluate some things. Still debating with myself though. My grower is 17% which is just 1% higher than most layers that are at 16%. I would not hesitate to just feed the grower and put out oyster shell for the older ducks to take as needed like Wifezilla sugested. Hope this was helpful.
 

Bleenie

Wyan-DO's
10 Years
Jul 14, 2009
5,014
78
268
The Beautiful Pacific NW ,WA
All of my ducks eat the same feed right now (except the tiny babies). I have some older ducklings and adult ducks that free range together and go int seperate pens at night. I also have 5 bantam cochins that live with th adult Muscovies. I buy "All Purpose Poultry" feed, it's sold by Del's Feed Supply. (i am assuming it's their duck feed since i know they carry game bird but have never seen/heard of "duck pellets/crumble" etc. there)They're all over here but i'm not sure if you have them where you are.

I can't remember the protien percentage but i can check tomorrow. they all do very well on it, the babies had some icky poo for about a week after i switched them but that was about it. they're all growing well and are very fat, happy duckies
 

Wifezilla

Positively Ducky
11 Years
Oct 2, 2008
11,199
137
311
Colorado
There is some calcium in regular feed, but there is extra calcium in layer rations. This is great for laying hens, but not so great for drakes and youngsters.

I am a bit of a radical on the feed front and feed 24% protein game bird feed along with greens. My ducks get all kinds of veggies in their water bucket every day. Today it was some leaf lettuce and bok choy trimmings along with some clover clumps.
 

janastasio

Songster
11 Years
Mar 17, 2008
232
3
129
New Hampshire
Omabird, what do you pay for the Mazuri maintenance? I went to my feed store today and it is $36.97 for a 50lb bag of the waterfowl maintenance!!!!!
!!!!! I have 40 ducks right now and they eat about 100lbs of food a week. I'm going through 50lbs of layer pellets and 50lbs of duck grower. I ended up buying the grower and I'm going to put everyone on that. Its not much more protein and the laying females can get the oystershells as they feel they need it. The mazuri stuff looked great.... I cant afford $70+ a week in duck food, not including cost of shavings and hay! I will consider the mazuri breeder food prior to hatching again though!
 

ChickInDelight

Never an Empty Nest
8 Years
Apr 27, 2011
1,145
31
158
Browntown, VA
I love Purina Flockraiser. It smells SO good. My Mallard duck eggs have incredibly thick shells. Everyone seems to like Flockraiser bertter than Layena.
 

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