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New to ducks and chickens, what to feed to both.

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by jdywntr, Oct 1, 2010.

  1. jdywntr

    jdywntr Songster

    Oct 31, 2009
    Somerville, AL
    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.

  2. IcarusSomnio

    IcarusSomnio Songster

    Apr 27, 2010
    Vernon County, MO
    I fed my ducklings and chicks Flock Raiser and they both did extremely well on it [​IMG] Mine didn't have the extra protein though!

    Honestly, I just give my guys the same what the chickens get. I started with non-medicated chick started, then moved onto Flock Raiser when I started only shopping at the local feed place. Now everyone gets 50% layer crumbles 50% cleaned, cracked corn. I mix it evenly and re-bag it (I have a bunch of feed bags). My ducks are fat, my chickens are sassy, and everyones just pleased as pie. They free range in my backyard, and do get quite the cropfull of bugs every day. I generally feed in mid-to late afternoon, gives them more time to forage first.

    Ducks are tougher than what we give them credit for. I haven't had a SINGLE death or health problem since I started keeping them, compared to chicks where some just mysteriously fad away. My Pekins had an excellent molt too, and my young Mallard ducklings feathered out beautifully. [​IMG]
  3. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    To make it easy. Get a grower/developer feed with 16-17% protein and unmedicated. That will be fine for both types of birds. Nobody makes a true duck mix, and they are all short on niacin. That is no problem either since you can buy niacin at Walmart and mix 100mg per 1 gallon of drinking water. Make sure your babies have this for their first 10 days of life, after that weekly until 3 months old, and after that once or twice per month. It does not hurt to add vitamins and electrolytes to their water while they are still tiny. I would not buy a layer feed mix because it does contain calcium which is not good for male ducks. Just offer oyster shell on the side when they ducks are old enough. BTW all I can get here is the Purina grower developer mix. My ducks are thriving just fine. Also just because it is a brand name it does not mean that all of them are mixed equally. Turns out the are using several mills throughout the US, which means slight variations are possible.

    PS Good the you refused an exchange on the bad feed. Last thing you want to get is mold from old food, which is deadly for ducks.
  4. SilverPhoenix

    SilverPhoenix Bantam Fanatic

    Dec 15, 2009
    Penn Valley, CA
    I feed my mixed flock (adult chickens, young chicks, ducks, guinea fowl, chukar, and quail) Flock Raiser and they all have done wonderfully on it. I haven't had any issues with it at all! I fed it to all of those birds raising them as well and, like I said, they do great. [​IMG] All of my birds are healthy and happy!
  5. kellypepperk

    kellypepperk Songster

    May 30, 2012
    Delaware County, NY
    So far this seems to help me the most...
    Our ducks and chickens are 12 weeks old and still on DuMor starter/grower (has a pix of a chick and a duckling on the bag). We want to do the best for all of them and still keep it easy on us. They'll get a snack of cracked corn, but not sure how much to allocate for them. We let them forage during the day and bring back to the coop with feed. We do like to give a small snack in the morning, maybe that's when we can introduce the cracked corn?
    We have 32 chickens and 9 ducks.
    Any input would be helpful!
  6. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Crowing Premium Member

    Dec 22, 2009
    Have you had any leg issues with them? Ducks usually need more Niacin than what is in many Chick starters.
  7. jdywntr

    jdywntr Songster

    Oct 31, 2009
    Somerville, AL
    Hee hee hee. I have been surfing BYC tonight and this thread was highlighted and I realized it was one of my first posts. LOL

    What I did then was feed Dumor starter and then switch to finisher (don't remember the age). I then switched all of my birds to Nutrena All Flock, which I loved because it was lower protein than Flock Raiser and still didn't have the added calcium because I believe that males don't need the calcium. Problem was Nutrena was hard to come by and the only feed store near me that sold it p***ed me off and I refused to return. After that, I switched to Flock Raiser. I raised ducklings from hatch on it with not problems. I did add niacin to their water but that was it.

    Now, almost 2 years later and in a new state, I am feeding TSC Dumor to my ducks, chickens, goslings. I like the fact that they have the grower which is lower in protein (good for ducklings and goslings). I also like the variety and the other things I can get there. Ultimately, TSC is the only feed store that sells unmedicated feed. (the old timers here insisted I should just feed my ducklings cracked corn because that was what so and so had done) I am actually cutting my feed with scratch to lower the protein but I have 4 month old ducks, 5-7 week old goslings and 4 month old chickens together so I'm between a rock and a hard place with protein.

    Again, I raised muscovy on flock raiser with no problems regarding the 20% protein so I would rather have older birds on a higher protein than restrict growing birds.

    So, Kellypepperk, I would go by what the bag says regarding age and switch to Dumor finisher (with the pic of the grown duck and chicken) Switch slowly over the course of a week or so. The biggest thing with corn is that some birds will pick it out and eat just corn not feed. Usually chickens do this since ducks scoop their feed. Corn can lead to fat birds if they eat too much of it ( hence corn fed ) many people "finish" their birds on it. They feed just corn prior to slaughter to fatten them up.

    Good luck and [​IMG]

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