refuse to eat brewer's yeast

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by HSerChickLady, May 23, 2012.

  1. HSerChickLady

    HSerChickLady Songster

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    My ducklings have started refusing to eat their Brewer's Yeast. They're only 4 weeks old and are only eating the pellets in their dish. They're also refusing the last bit of crumbles i've been mixing in as i transition them to all grower ration. I tried leaving the dish in there in hopes they'd eat what was left but no luck they chose to go without instead. They pick every last pellet out and leave the rest.

    I got some electrolyte mix this morning that has 22.5 mg of niacin per gallon of water and another that has 25 mg of niacin per gallon of water. I'm currently putting 3 gallons of water in their coop each day. Is this remotely enough? Is it safe to be giving the electrolytes? I thought i'd read that giving the electrolytes would overdose them on other vitamins? I can't find any suitable niacin at the local drug stores-everything is time release or no flush versions.

    The only other thought i had was maybe i was mixing in too much brewer's yeast and they maybe don't like that much? I've been doing 2 tbsp per cup of feed. 2 tbsp was giving them 10 mg of niacin. So 3 cups of feed got 6 tbsp of brewer's yeast mixed in it.
     
  2. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Crowing

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    Wow, I think you are going overboard with the care of your ducks!

    I have been raising ducks for years and have never heard of giving them brewers yeast or crumbles! I just feed them chick starter (not medicated), with dry rice mixed in.

    They get to spend most days outdoors in a large grassed run. When I switch to adult diet I just do it in one day. Never had any digestive problems.

    i have never had any illnesses or deformed birds..in fact I have never had any die.

    I think you are worrying way too much. Why are they having electrolytes? I thought that was for dehydrated animals or sick ones?

    When my birds get to be adult I just feed dry un hulled rice and a little chicken layers pellets, but, only once a day. My ducks have total free range of a large pond and surrounding fields, so the find most of their own food. I just use the rice and chicken layers pellets to coax them into the safe run for the night.

    I get lots of eggs, and my ducks are very fat! They also go broody a lot and then rear their own ducklings (good for me and a the duckling are so messy in the garden).
     
  3. HSerChickLady

    HSerChickLady Songster

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    The advice i got on here and in the book Storey's Guide to Ducks was that they needed supplemental niacin to prevent deformities-brewer's yeast was the easiest way to do this. I am unable to aquire a true duck feed locally so am ammending chicken feed for them. The crumbles are what's left of their starter crumbles-i didn't want to throw them out. Now they're on grower pellets with just a few of the starter crumbles mixed in.

    I don't have the option of free-ranging my ducks, not do they have a pond to feed in. That's why i've been so particular in meeting their needs.

    The electrolytes are for dehydrated and stressed birds normally. But they are the only other form of duck safe niacin i am able to get my hands on besides the brewer's yeast i've been ordering for them.
     
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

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    My ducks get picky sometimes, too. And "picky" just means "I don't know why they are changing what they eat and not eating what I give them." I generally trust the ducks though (except when it comes to knowing how many peas are enough), so it may be that they are beginning to mature and their systems are losing the taste for the yeast. I would reduce the amount, and it may be that the crumbles are beginning to get stale. My ducks stop eating feed that is still technically fine (no mold, still nutritious), but a little stale.

    Regarding the electrolyte mix, sounds like it is a vitamin/electrolyte combination. You can probably add that to their water one to three times a week and still provide them with sufficient niacin, as there is a little bit in chick feed.

    How are they doing? Bright eyes, good balance, energetic, easy breathing, interested in their surroundings? Sounds like you all are fine, and I appreciate the way you try to avoid trouble!
     
  5. HSerChickLady

    HSerChickLady Songster

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    Thanks! I try to give them the best that i can and hope it pays off in the long run.

    They seam to be doing fine. I had a couple of the larger one's (a cayuga and a swedish) who seamed to have a little bit of leg trouble but once we got them into their coop and out of their stock tank brooder they seam to be strengthening up nicely-seamed to be lack of muscle from not having enough room. They are bright eyed, full of curiosity for sure. The only time they seam uncoordinated is when they panic and stampeed over each other. lol! This is my first batch of ducks so i'm not totally sure what their breathing should look like but they don't seam to be laboring any unless it's a hot day and giving them a pan of water to splash in seams to do the trick for that. It'll be nice once we get their permanent run built and they have a pool to splash in. Our weather went from freezing at night last week to upper 70's and 90%+ humidity this week which is a big jump in temps for everyone.
     
  6. Wynette

    Wynette Crowing

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    I don't know much yet about ducks, but for chickens, it's hard on their organs to be put on electrolytes for more than 2-3 days, even if they have been compromised due to injury. It's an "emergency" treatment, so to speak. I would not personally use it as part of a regular regimen, but again, I'm new to ducklings - I know way more about chickens! [​IMG]

    Also, the whole niacin thing, from what I am learning, is sort of "old school" - many folks on here do not use it and have never had issues. I am one of them, but my ducklings are only 6 weeks old now and I only have 4, so don't go by what I have to say for sure - just wanted to throw that out there. I view added niacin, personally, like the electrolyte thing. Use it as a treatment, rather than as a regular part of your regimen. If you see a leg issue, then give it then, but if not, do not give. Again, just my opinion, but it's always good to have more than one, eh?

    Also - it's wonderful to see peeps so concerned about their stock!
     
  7. i didn't use Brewers Yeast until my ducks were nearly grown, didn't know about it. But my girls were experiencing leg problems, temporary lameness. It vanished when i started adding the Brewers Yeast. i have 10 ducks and i sprinkle two heaping tablespoons on top of 3 pounds of peas and veggies every day. One time i ran out of the yeast and didn't get to the store for a week. Starting experiencing lame ducks again, which promptly vanished upon adding the yeast again. So i will never again let them go without it. They also get access to Flockraiser all day, lettuce at least every other day, and additional fruits and veggies as i have them. i will also give them mashed hard boiled eggs on occasion. They have a free-range area, but it's pretty devoid of any greenery, so i feel the supplemental stuff is really needed.
     
  8. HSerChickLady

    HSerChickLady Songster

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    Thanks, i guess we'll see how it goes. Maybe if i just do a few days a week they'll be more apt to eat it. I know a lot of people don't use any supplemental niacin. My mom never has and she's rarely had any issues. I need to start giving them more treats and maybe they'll get some extra niacin that way too.
     
  9. HSerChickLady

    HSerChickLady Songster

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    That's a lot less than i've been using so maybe if i just cut back it'll help? Maybe i'm just putting too much in there?
     
  10. That's possible. Two tablespoons a day seems to be plenty for 10 full grown ducks. And, they love peas so much they literally fly into the pan when i set it down, then gobble it up within a minute. The peas and veggies are damp, so the yeast kinda sticks. i sprinkle the yeast on top then give the pan a shake to distribute it. Have you tried peas with your ducks yet? They are a big fav around here. i used to do just peas but now mix it up by doing 2 pounds of peas then one pound of corn, or one pound of the mixed veggies - adds a little bit of variety. Although the carrots in the mixed vegetables get left for last. i buy frozen and then defrost them. You have to be careful of canned veggies as they often times have added sugar and salt.
     

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