Let's talk about laying pellets (Layena, DuMooor, etc)

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by fogbubble, Feb 5, 2010.

  1. fogbubble

    fogbubble Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 9, 2009
    Western NC
    I need some input here. I've been giving our ducks non-medicated poultry crumbles/pellets from day one and they do great on it. Of course they free-range during the day on our creek and get wild food too. I changed the feed from starter to grower to layer as they matured. I've used DuMoor and other feeds with animal protein, and Layena which is all vegetarian. Is one considered better? My thinking is that animal protein in their feed can't hurt them because it's a natural part of their diet anyway. Why do people think that birds who naturally eat bugs, salamaders, and small fish need a vegetarian diet?
    But I like the Layena for one thing: According to the bag, it has marigold extract which give the egg yolks a beautiful color. The yolks do look better on Layena and they seemed kinda' pale on some of the cheaper feed that happened to have animal protein.
    I'm raising eggs for eating, so this is very important to me. My uncle was hoping for strong-flavored, deep yellow yolks and was disappointed with with the pale, chicken-like eggs I gave him. I explained that the ducks had been on a cheaper feed and the frigid weather kept them from foraging as much.
    I guess corn would also color up those yolks, but the ducks don't like very much. Any thoughts? I can keep feeding Layena, but I'm just wondering if it's really worth a few extra dollars just because it's vegetarian.

  2. protodon

    protodon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 3, 2009
    I don't put a lot of thought into what kind of feed my layers get. I switch between the dumor layer and layena from TSC with some 24% chicken started mixed in since I usually have some juveniles on the ground at any given time and they all eat together. I think the "healthier" eggs come from supplements. I give mine corn just thrown out for them when I feed and they're have deep orange yolks. Also just by letting them free range over grass will really make their yolks much darker. Basically any plant matter you give them that is green or yellow will make their yolks look darker because of the beta-carotene in it. So like I said, corn, scraps from greens you might eat for dinner, cantaloupe rinds, etc.
  3. CityChicker

    CityChicker Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 21, 2009
    I don't know about the yolk color because that has never been important to me enough to research it. I imagine there are a number of things that affect the color though. As far as the issue of animal protein, in my opinion, ducks do better on a feed with animal protein. Just about all of the feeds formulated for them have always had something like fish meal or meat/bone meal. It is very hard to find duck feed now though. I have tried to go the route of the vegetarian feeds and I don't think my ducks do quite as well on it. I am going to start supplementing our feed this year with fish meal. For someone with just a layer flock, I really don't know that it makes that big a difference really.
  4. Sweetfolly

    Sweetfolly Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 17, 2009
    Kildare, Wisconsin
    Quote:It's crazy, isn't it? I'm sure the animal proteins in the feed aren't anything close to the type of things they would be eating "naturally" though.

    There was a discussion about feeds on here a while back, and it seemed that all the people who swore by Layena either truly thought it was healthier not to feed animal protein, or they were selling their eggs for eating and liked being able to advertise their birds as being fed an "organic" diet consisting of "no animal proteins", because some of their buyers were vegetarians.

    Personally, I'm a vegetarian and I have no problem feeding my ducks feeds containing animal proteins; in fact, they seem to like the non-vegetarian feeds better. I mix Purina Duck Grower with chicken layer pellets and throw a small handful of cracked corn in as well - which, in my opinion, does make the yolks a nicer, richer color, but be careful NOT to overdo the corn. The ducks always pick out all the Duck Grower first (I can't get the "Breeder" formula here, which is why I mix it) and then eat the layer pellets. I also have a worm composter, and the ducks get lots of worms [​IMG]
  5. TriciaHowe

    TriciaHowe Mother Hen

    Nov 11, 2008
    Trenton, FL
    My chickens and ducks eat Manna Pro egg maker pellets. They love it and have been doing very well on it [​IMG]
  6. 10ducks

    10ducks Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 22, 2009
    Dexter, Michigan
    Quote:It's not that we think animal protein in their feed is going to hurt to them. It's just that some of us are keeping ducks and chickens and raising cows on pasture because we want to get away from eating food from CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations), and because there can be health hazards for humans when animals that we eat are fed other animal products. "Mad cow disease" or bovine spongiform encephalopathy came from cattle being fed the remains of other cattle--meat and bone meal. I'm not suggesting that people will get sick from eating meat or eggs from ducks or chickens who have been fed animal protein. But if you are trying to get away from eating animals that are raised in big concentrated operations (some call them "factory farms") or chickens that live in battery cages their whole lives, then feeding your animals the by-products of other animals raised in that way might be something you'd want to avoid.

    I know that some people like to feed organic grains only, and try to avoid soy products; I've read posts from people here who would rather feed animal protein than soy protein. I think you just have to figure out what's important to you, and what feels consistent with the reason you are raising birds. There are a lot of good options out there.

    I have been feeding my laying ducks Layena along with a few handfuls of cracked corn daily this winter. I try to give them some peas and greens about once a week. Their yolks are much paler than they were in the summer when they were eating a ton of tadpoles, worms, water bugs and pond vegetation. They are still a bit brighter than store-bought chicken eggs, but not the intense orange I got in summer.

    It's always interesting to hear what other people are feeding.

    I just ordered some ducklings from Metzer for mid-March... I can't wait! I'm going to try the "Golden 300" layers and some Welsh Harlequins.
  7. TK Poultry

    TK Poultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 25, 2009
    Greencastle, Indiana
    i personally perfer the layena my birds have a healthier fuller look to them after i switched and i like that

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