Niacin/Grit added to food


In the Brooder
9 Years
Jul 18, 2010
I feed my ducks Dumor poultry layer feed. I've read that niacin needs to be added. How much and how do I add it? It there anything I can buy from my local feed store to add to it? Or should I just buy them from the grocery store?

Is there anything else I should add to their diet? Like grit, calcium, oyster shell etc.?

Also would it be a good idea to add a flock block?

This is for laying hens.
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How old are your ducks?

Ducklings need three times the niacin chicks do, from what I read. Some sprinkle brewer's yeast on top of their ducklings' feed, some add 100 to 150 mg per gallon of water to their drinking water. The latter is the recommendation from Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks for ducklings that show signs of niacin deficiency. But some give it just to be sure.

Also from what I have read here on the forum, it seems to me that some ducklings are much more sensitive to nutrient deficiencies. And we have no way to know up front.

Bugs and fish contain niacin as well.

I started giving my ducklings just a little chick grit from their first week. I would sprinkle a teaspoon on their food in the morning. I give them a little grit in the winter if there is snow cover, otherwise they get grit from foraging outside.

Free choice oyster shell was offered when the ducks started playing "hop on top," which meant they were getting ready to start laying within a month or so.
Niacin is mostly a concern for ducklings as they develop. Many of us feed our adults poultry layer and have no problems. It is always a good idea to have and occasionally use poultry vitamins (with electrolytes and probiotics is nice) as a supplement.
Offer the oyster shell in a separate dish - they can use it as needed, and your drakes won't be eating it mixed into the feed. I'd offer the grit separately as well, just to make sure they can choose what they want.

Drakes shouldn't eat the calcium mixed into the feed because the extra calcium wrecks their kidneys. (Layer feed seems to be fine for them though)

Niacin is available in natural foods like greens and bugs. You'll make friends of them, boost nutrition, and give them more fun by offering a variety of treats by hand, in addition to their feed. I do add poultry vitamins (powder from the feed store) to the newly hatched ducks' water, but once they're a few days old and ready to forage or try things like peas, it's nice to stimulate their instinct to try new foods by offering leafy green treats. I think it sets them up to be good foragers. I also give them worms (every convenience store sells bait around here) peas, cabbage, kale, etc.

Dunno about the flock block- - not sure how it'd work for their bills - would it even occur to them to nibble it? I know the mice would figure it out though
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