Layer mash for mature ducks (hens and drakes)?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by jtbrown, Sep 16, 2012.

  1. jtbrown

    jtbrown Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Currently I am feeding flock raiser to my ducks, chickens (laying and growing) and guineas. Once everyone is of laying age can I switch back to the cheaper locally ground layer mash? I know layena pellets are okay, so i think nutrition wise it may be okay. But ther is $5 difference in 50# bag, and that's a lot with my size flock.

    I am specifically worried about the texture of laying mash. Would ducks choke on the powder? I know I could make a crumble with water, but honestly, I don't have facilities to mix it especially when in a morning hurry before work.

    Also, I read somewhere where people were very passionate about too much calcium for drakes in layer feed. Is this true? Or can all mature ducks eat layer feed like mature roosters do?

    My local small town feed store folks already think I'm nuts as I am the only one who wants unmedicated chick starter and flock raiser. They typically have people doing "what has always worked" and i had to learn by the books and this website. I really try to research everything before I do it, as feed is expensive and I don't want to hurt my flock.

    My local feed store may think I'm crazy but I passed muster enough in this small town for them to ask me if I had extra eggs to sell, as a non-native to this area, I felt privileged. Odd how little acceptances mean so much, they are super nice people, I just don't want anyone to think they are anything but great to me from what I said above.

    Thanks for any input.
     
  2. blondiebee181

    blondiebee181 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I also have heard that layer is hard on drakes...but I only have females now and I'm planning to put all of mine on layer pellets when my ducks "come of age". I have to say good for you to have gone with un-medicated raiser. When I first got my girls I got 4 hens and 2 ducks that I raised together so I had to go Flock Raiser and was so nervous about it at first because of all the opinions about medicated versus non but I am soooo glad I went non. There were a couple peeps on here who really helped me stay strong about it and I'm glad I did. Our society relies too heavily on antibiotics for everything these days, that's how "super bugs" arise. So, I say if you can survive without meds, do it.
     
  3. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Drakes should never be fed layer feed. The calcium is much too much for their bodies. Why not just keep flock raiser and add some oyster shells.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2012
  4. Carebearsmiles

    Carebearsmiles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good question. I'm also interested in the answer here.
     
  5. DuckLady

    DuckLady Administrator Staff Member

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    I feed layer pellets with an additional feeder full of oyster shell available at all time. I never mix the 2.

    I have a flock of 3 geese, one gander, and 8 ducks. My drake recently died at the ripe old age of 9 due to an injury sustained by the gander.

    The 2 males were fine on layer and of course didn't touch the oyster shell. The females consume the oyster shell as their bodies tell them they need it.

    I found that the ducks just played in mash or crumble and wasted a lot of it. I have much less waste with pellets.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2012
  6. blondiebee181

    blondiebee181 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When I just had chickens on layer pellets they laid fine....now I have young ducks so switched everyone over to Flock Raiser and left oyster shells for the hens and guess what? They still lay fine, so I think Kevin's advice is good. I just happen to have leftover layer and an all-female flock that it won't hurt.
     
  7. blondiebee181

    blondiebee181 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yep, the problem with crumble is it does get wasted more. As soon as the ducks are a little older they will be joining the chickens on more of a feeding ration and schedule. They tend not to waste as much that way.
     
  8. pigeonguy

    pigeonguy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know people will say this is wrong but I feed my chickens at 6 PM. I go to work at 5 AM and have my dad open the door after sun up about 8 AM. They free range in a 32X150 ft run I have 30 chickens. When I get home from work around 3:30 PM I take care of what needs done around the house then go call the birds in with a bucket of mash mixed with water at 6 to 7 PM I give a hand full of meal worms at the same time. I then spend a few minutes laughing at them their funny when they eat. Them it's my bed time. It works out that on the weekend if we are going away and need them in early I grab the feed bucket fill it up and head to the coop they will run into eat I close the doors and windows and they think it's bed time. As smart as they are chickens are really stupid.
    Any way don't live on their time have them live on yours.
     
  9. pigeonguy

    pigeonguy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh ya the free ranging before feeding I think cuts feed cost. If you cant free range mix the mash tonight and give in the morning. Just set it in a cool place. If that is the case I would give 1/3 ration in the morning and 2/3 at night. I want them hungry at night to go in.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2012
  10. hfchristy

    hfchristy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our local mill had never heard of "flock raiser" so based on the description of what I needed it for, just gave me more "grower" - is there a difference?

    I haven't had much luck supplementing with oyster shell. Does it take them a while and some trial and error to know whether they need it? It looks almost the same as the grit to me.
    When I had it in a separate dish, the boys were interested in it and NOT the girls, who just stomped through it and dumped it. So I've sprinkled a little on top of the food a few times as my girls approach laying age. Just hoping that if the boys don't pick around it, the small amount won't be enough to cause any problems.
     

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