Owning female ducks...

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by PetesMom, Apr 2, 2012.

  1. PetesMom

    PetesMom Songster

    Mar 28, 2012
    Columbia County, NY
    So as you all know I am very new to ducks lol With owning females should they start eating a "layer" feed at some point or stay on the Finisher/Grower? Even with the males...will they eat the Finisher/Grower the rest of their lives? I got kind of confused as the only "Layer" feeds say for poultry?

  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Drakes need just a regular maintenance feed, often called grower feed. The calcium in layer feed is too much for their internal organs (kidneys, I believe).

    When young ducks (girls) begin playing "hop on top" they are some weeks away from laying. At least, that is the conclusion I draw from my experience with our Runners. So at that point, I began setting free choice oyster shell next to their grower feed. Glad I did, it took another month or two for everyone to get laying. Once we were all laying, we switched to layer feed.

    If we had drakes, I would have kept up with grower/maintenance feed and oyster for the girls. The rumor is they know they need it, and the drakes leave it alone.

    I have also been advised that sufficient vitamin D helps proper calcium processing in ducks.
  3. PetesMom

    PetesMom Songster

    Mar 28, 2012
    Columbia County, NY
    Thank you so much, so the "chicken" layer is what you are talking about for the girls? I hope the drakes don't eat their feed once I start putting it in there...as they are being housed together
  4. Marty1876

    Marty1876 Hi Everyone!

    I give my ducks game bird grower until they start to lay, at which time I switch to a layer formula that is safe for all birds. When several are laying, I switch. I don't neccessarily wait for everybody. I let my drakes eat what the females eat, and I have no trouble. Its simpler for me, as I will not seperate out my males just to feed different. Just be sure whatever your feeding is not specifically for chicken hens only, as some may contain medications unsuitable for waterfowl.
  5. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Crowing

    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    I do free choice oyster shell and a grower... I have drakes and you hear mixed opinions on drakes having access to a layer feed. Works for my ladies. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2012
  6. satay

    satay oz-e-chick

    Sep 2, 2008
    Esk Qld Australia
    I feed layer pellets to the drakes as well as the hens. Never had an issue.

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