Is it normal....

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by tjrod2013, May 24, 2016.

  1. tjrod2013

    tjrod2013 Out Of The Brooder

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    My three week old ducklings free range all the time, and I have noticed that they prefer to graze and eat bugs and grass rather than their feed. I change their food once a day, but doesn't seem like as much is being eaten like when they were confined to their brooder all the time. Is this normal with ducks who free range? They are still growing like weeds, and seem very healthy. They've even trained me to come when called lol
     
  2. dotknott

    dotknott Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This tends to be why a lot of people allow ducks to free range! FREE FOOD! :)

    You shouldn't need to change the food daily unless it's wet or has gotten wet. That said, If you're feeding a lot at once that isn't being eaten, check it often to be sure it's not molding.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2016
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  3. tjrod2013

    tjrod2013 Out Of The Brooder

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    Yes, my husband mentioned that I shouldn't need to buy food for them with all the bug and weed eating going on, but it just makes me feel more comfortable knowing I'm offering complete nutrition for them. Ok. I feel better about this. Thanks!
     
  4. dotknott

    dotknott Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I mean, if they were wild ducks they aren't likely to be hanging out eating a bunch of processed soy and corn.

    Bugs have a lot of protein (and are the main source of niacin in the wild,) and they'll also eat a decent amount of plant matter as well as natural grit while foraging.

    I don't know of any issues with letting them do this at 3 weeks, but I wouldn't let mine free range that young if only because of the amount of hawks we have that could easily scoop up a young duckling. As if the hawks weren't bad enough, there's a pair of Barred Owls that have taken up residence in the back wood.

    If predatation isn't a concern, then by all means LET THEM BE FREE!
     
  5. tjrod2013

    tjrod2013 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have seen hawks in the area, but I also have a 100lb dog in the yard keeping watch over the ducklings. I live in a big city, so not much else has access to my yard, besides cats, but they stay away because of the dog. I was so nervous letting the dog and 'lings share the yard freely, but he's been nothing but great with them.
     
  6. dotknott

    dotknott Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm a bit jealous. I've got two big dogs with high prey drives.. Dogs and ducks sharing a yard would mean dogs have a duck lunch.
     
  7. tjrod2013

    tjrod2013 Out Of The Brooder

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    My boy is raw fed lol. He's eaten plenty of duck in his lifetime, but as far as he's concerned, food comes from the freezer, not our feathered friends hahaha
     

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