- May 1, 2016
Do I need to add anything to her diet? Calcium? She is eating all flock and a big selection of fresh greens and mealworms as well as any bugs she can catch.
I remember reading in Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks that extra calcium should be made available a month before they start laying. I was absolutely confounded! How the heck was I supposed to know a month in advance????!!!!
Well. Now I know that when they started playing hop on top was about a month before the first egg.
Anyway, they need some catch-up on the calcium. If things aren't normal within a week, I would also boost by adding 100 mg of Calcium citrate per duck per day sprinkled in their food - for about 4 days.
I am not a vet or vet tech - I am just making suggestions based on what has worked for me. I know when I was new to ducks, I got anxious when people kindly suggested I use "some" of this or "a bit" of that. After one has done something a number of times, "some" and "a bit" make sense. But like with recipes, the first few times, I want to know how many cups, how many teaspoons, and how long in the oven....
My Runners were not very interested in crushed oyster shell until I made a little shelf-bowl for them. I cut out an empty vinegar bottle (one gallon plastic) so that one side was high, like a big tongue or a lip - and the rest I cut down so that it would hold an inch or two of oyster shell. I will try to get a photo... anyway I mounted it so it sits five inches above the floor of the night pen. And they chow down on it, now. Crazy. Just elevating it off the floor, now they all seem to love it.
The bowl on the floor always got pooped in pretty quickly. And I'd clean it out, rinse it off, or replace it, and they'd just poop in it again.
Would love to see a photo of your clever container. I'm always drawn to "repurposing" type ideas instead of always buying new stuff.
Also, the hop-on-top is very helpful too! I've been reading and rereading Story's Guide and it is such a great resource, but as a very new duck mom I have found it to be a little vague on particulars, or at least more vague than my nervous self would prefer lol. Yesterday I read somewhere here in the Duck forum that 1 tb of Brewers Yeast per cup of feed is a good ratio. Now that was a lot more help than "add some Brewers Yeast to their feed" lol, especially since I have only six ducklings, not a whole hatchery full.