New to chicks and ducks what to feed both


10 Years
Oct 31, 2009
Somerville, AL
I posted this on the duck forum but wanted to check with the chick folks too.

Okay, I have been reading and reading and still I can't decide. I currently have 5- 1 month old chicks of various breeds. On 10/13, I will be getting 10 runner ducklings from Metzer Farms. I am planning on keeping only 5 of the ducklings but...... we'll see.

My question is what would be the best feed to give to all? I am NOT keeping them together. The chicken coop and run will be finished this weekend and the "peepers" will be moving outside shortly. I then have a bit of time to construct the duck house and run.

To make it a bit easier for me, I thought I would feed them all the same feed. I have read Storey's guides for raising chickens and ducks. My concern is nutritional content. My local feed store recommended feeding the ducklings chick starter (non-medicated) I would need to add niacin but from everything I read the nutritional requirements for the ducks will not be met. My only other options at the feed store are waterfowl starter but nothing specifically for ducks after that and Flock Raiser by Purina.

I actually bought a bag of Flock Raiser, took it home, opened it up and it was TEEMING with bugs. I promptly returned it and they offered a replacement but I declined. I figure that they don't sell enough of it, so it has been sitting for a while. They don't keep there feed in the store but in the warehouse so unless you ask, you don't know what's available.

After that incident, I started looking into other brands (nobody else locally, Mid-Pinellas county Florida, sells flock raiser). I found a new local feed store that sells Nutrena. But looking into it, it doesn't seem like it would be very good for the ducks. There is a TSC about 45 minutes away, which I would drive to, and they have DuMor. Since this is made for chicks and ducklings in both a starter and a grower formula, I thought I would go with that. I have read negatives about EVERY brand. I want to do what is best for my new flock regardless.

Any ideas, suggestions would be appreciated.
I fed all of my young ducks and chickens Purina flock raiser from TSC, never found any bugs. Once they began laying, I started feeding them all Layena. I have always have great results. I even prefer the Flock Raiser for the chicks over chick starter, because all I can find is medicated, which I personally am not a big fan of. So, this is my experience, we will see what others suggest!
If you have a local TSC or farm supply a basic 24% feed will be sufficient to start.I don't feed any of my bird's medicated feed ever anymore especialy water fowl.If you plan to free range the duck's you can cut the grower or starter feed % on them earlier.I just let 2 hen's naturaly brood 11 chicks and only gave them 15% finisher feed as the girls had them foraging naturaly and they all did Super.
I had a hard time finding flockraiser here so I feed my mixed age/species flock gamebird feed and keep oyster shell out free choice for the laying hens. It's worked well here, everybody seems happy and healthy and the hens are laying nice hard shelled eggs.
For the 2 of you who don't use medicated feed on your baby chicks do you vaccinate them? I was planning with any future chicks to do just one bag of medicated then I am going to Kent 27% feed since I have a mixed flock of ages and ducks.
I have never vaccinated my chickens. Before I really began looking in to this, I fed all of my chicks medicated feed, they were never sick. Now, I have stopped giving medicated feed, and nobody has gotten sick either. It seems very unnatural and unhealthy do give them medication for something they don't have. There are better and more natural ways to go about preventing disease. I just feel better about feeding them unmedicated food, but some people still choose to, there is no right or wrong answer.
I don't, but I do keep Corid on hand in case I ever have a cocci outbreak. Many of my chicks are raised "on the ground" by broody hens and I haven't had a problem with them or with the brooder babies. I did have a hen that I had to treat for cocci last year though. She was in the middle of an exceptionaly hard molt at the time, but perked right back up again after a few days on Corid and some tlc.

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