Moved ducklings to outdoor pen. Switching from Start & Grow to Flock Raiser?

MeTxLady

Chirping
5 Years
Jan 23, 2015
65
18
91
Our five mallards are now 4 weeks old and wow I'm amazed at the growth rate. Everyone said they grow fast but it's hard to realize just how fast until you see it. I see changes daily! So, yesterday we moved them outdoors to their new pen which is 10x6 with a smaller chicken coop inside it so I can lock them up more securely at night and give them a dryer place to stay with a heat lamp. I've been feeding the Start & Grow along with Durvet Vitamins and Electrolytes (for niacin) until now and they are all doing very well. It has been raining here all year and their pen is muddy muddy muddy (with some grass). They are loving it though. I am wondering if changing over to Flock Raiser would benefit me and them. I know with the Start & Grow if it gets wet - as is inevitable with ducks, it spoils after a few hours (is that correct time or is it longer?) so wondering if the Flock Raiser spoils as easily? Also, is it okay to have an area for food and water where they are on hardware cloth or is that bad for their feet? I wish I could make their entire floor hardware cloth aside from their sleeping area - they poop and are so very messy I'm going to have a hard time keeping them and the pen clean even with daily swims. Lastly, since they are digging in the mud with their beaks and they poop in that is that going to cause problems?
 

Debs Flock

Crossing the Road
Apr 28, 2015
8,071
15,301
862
Jefferson County, MO
From what I recall reading, their protein intake should be reduced every couple of weeks or so. That's the primary difference that I've seen between foods is the protein percentage. I'd say going to Flock Raiser now is good, but try to switch gradually (mix new & old food). I'm no help with regard to spoilage, though.

I've seen lots of pictures of ducks on hardware cloth for access to food & water so it's a safe bet that it doesn't bother their feet. Mine walk on gravel daily without trouble and don't seem to be bothered by it at all.

Ducklings are like toddlers when it comes to putting stuff in their mouth. Thankfully, I guess their instincts kick in, for the most part so they don't swallow what isn't good for them. I've seen my kids pick up twigs, duck poop, pieces of carpet, etc. and not swallow it. The playing in the mud should be fine and is probably inevitable.
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Good luck & have fun with your babies!
 

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