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New ducklings will be here soon and i have a couple questions

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by CayugaRunner, May 21, 2016.

  1. CayugaRunner

    CayugaRunner Out Of The Brooder

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    I Have runner ducklings and cayuga ducklings that I ordered and they will be here on Wednesday. I have searched and searched and the only thing that I can find without special ordering feed is purina startena game bird starter for growth and plumage. The stores near me do not carry anything specific to starting waterfowl. is this food okay? Should I need to add brewers yeast for the niacin? These are my first ducklings I have the my brooder and heat lamp and pine bedding, feeders and waterers. I may just be overly worried and making things harder then they are. I have read and Keep going back to my copy of Storey's Guide to: raising ducks. I keep it handy and I have niacin on hand. I just want to make sure this is a good feed that I can use as nothing else is really available.

    Thanks for any advice that you can give, I am exited I have taken days off work to pick up my babies and start this journey.
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Do they carry chick starter crumble?
     
  3. CayugaRunner

    CayugaRunner Out Of The Brooder

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    They carry some, but its all medicated.
     
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Some folks may be unhappy with me about this, but if it were me (and you are not me and you must go with your gut, and be comfortable with your choice), I might go with the medicated crumbles and be sure to add the brewer's yeast.

    Here's my reasoning. Again, this is me. I respect your choice. The alternative is 30% protein. That's pretty high, you'd need to be adding nearly equal amount of chopped plain rolled oats (not instant) to the food to get the protein to the recommended levels (per Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks). And that would also reduce the vitamins and minerals by nearly half, as well.

    Many people use the medicated feed for a number of reasons, and aside from the B vitamin concern, I have not heard of noticeable problems.

    Amprolium is the med in chick feed (please verify that from the label). On the one hand, I think that if you have a choice between medicated and unmedicated, unmedicated is better because why would you medicate a condition that doesn't exist (or at most is very unlikely to, for ducklings)? On the other, as far as I know, amprolium has not been shown to be a problem for ducklings.

    So in your less-than-ideal situation, I feel that the least problematic choice would be the chick starter crumbles with brewer's yeast. And - big "and," here - according to Storey's Guide, you can start switching them over to a grower/maintenance ration after two weeks. Some folks keep theirs on starter much longer than that. But if all you can get is the medicated, I would make the switch as soon as advisable.

    By the way, I just reread that section of the book, and in addition to switching to grower after 2 weeks, Holderread strongly advises to lightly moisten the crumbles to reduce waste and risk of choking.
     
  5. CayugaRunner

    CayugaRunner Out Of The Brooder

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    I think you may be right. I remeber reading that medicated crumbles if containing amprolium isn't bad for ducklings as the medicated feeds once were. I think I found a place that sells unmedicated but its a 50 mile drive one way. Looks like I may be taking a road trip. Thanks for your advice. I shall probably going to get the unmedicated, and then adding the brewers yeast. For 9 ducklings I assume 50lbs will get us to the next stage in development.
     
  6. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The Purina will likely be too high in protein. Have you looked for any local feed stores (we lived 3 miles from one that we didn't know about for about 3 years LOL)
    You can also ask the local stores if they can order it in for you (the local feed store we didn't know about actually started bringing in our brand of dog food for us and it is about $10 cheaper than anywhere else as well!).

    There are medicated feeds that are safe for ducks, but the concern with medicated feed is that ducks just eat so much, so the concern becomes the amt of medication they are getting. You can add other things so they aren't getting as much medication.

    What are your options once they are off a starter?
     
  7. CayugaRunner

    CayugaRunner Out Of The Brooder

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    After they are off starter, they have every other stage available, with the right amounts of protein, just add niacin. I have now found a place near by that carries a non medicated chick starter crumble. However it is a very small bag, three pounds I believe that is something in the range of 11.99-13.99. I am thinking about going that way, although I am sure it will cost a good bit more to buy a few bags of this, but at least I can have peace of mind. I now, just need to figure how many bags I will need of this and how long they will be on it before I can move them to the next stage, back to Storey's guide I go, thank each and every one of you for your advice and assistance. I kind of felt like I almost waited until the last minute.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2016
  8. CayugaRunner

    CayugaRunner Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh, I might add, that our ducks as soon as they can go outside, will have the run of 1/2 an acre for all day foraging, and will go into the "duck hut" as we are calling it for the night, they will have around the clock access to fresh water and will be fed in the evening before being put away for the night. I have tons and tons of places for them to forage and I have an over abundance of slugs and snails. as well as crickets and other tasty bugs and plants.
     
  9. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Just please keep them safe. They steal our hearts, and losing them is agony. Everything wants to eat duck.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. CayugaRunner

    CayugaRunner Out Of The Brooder

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    They will actually be living in the house until fully feathered. They have a predator proof duck house almost finished for when they are adults. I live close around neighbors, the bottom two feet of my chain link fence is hardware cloth at 1/4 inch holes. Also buried 12 inches into the ground, someone is usually around my house 24 hours a day. We a recall looking forward to our new babies this week.
     

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