Spoiled ducks! Rejecting duck feed, demanding corn...

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Ducktown, Oct 25, 2017.

  1. Ducktown

    Ducktown Songster

    May 8, 2017
    I have free roaming gang of 5 ducks. I was feeding them duck feed, but then, I stopped completely, because they only nibbled a few times and then my dogs ate it. For some reason, dogs love the stuff - even whole corn kernels and grain!
    Well, after I stopped giving them their duck feed, they still protested from time to time, and they wanted something to eat. If I gave them their feed, they just made a few bites and walk away or quacked some more. If I gave them whole corn kernels, they attacked the stuff and ate as much as they could, before eating some grass, jumping into the pool to play and later on, rest for a few hours.

    Now with colder weather with morning temperatures just slightly above freezing, I tried giving them their feed again, because they may have more difficulties foraging. Well, they didn't touch their feed and wanted their corn after they foraged for like half a day. I have noticed they eat more corn now and since they are still foraging a lot, I doubt there's an issue, they must get their proteins and refuse to eat protein rich feed, right?

    Will they accept their feed when they need to? When they were ducklings, they were bad at foraging and they ate as much feed as I could get them, I rarely even gave them corn, I rather added wheat or oat grain and oatmeal to their duck feed. At that point, I had to lower the protein content, because there were zillions of slugs and they had more than enough - I was actually worried about angel wings. They eat a lot of greens, though. After eating corn, they start grazing grass, cloves and other greens they find near. I'm also sure, there are quite a lot of worms still available to them. I guess, I'll just have to wait and see if they are spoiled and want to eat candies (corn or other grains), or is it just that they have enough nutrients from their foraging and only need to fill their crops with something high on energy. Since it's getting colder, they may like corn better.
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    If you eliminate the corn/grain, they'll eat the feed. They won't starve themselves. You want to provide a complete nutrition, not corn.
  3. Ducktown

    Ducktown Songster

    May 8, 2017
    I know and I try to do that, but they just won't eat. Even if I refuse to give them corn for a day or two, they don't feel like eating their feed. Since the weather is cool in the morning, I give them corn to keep them warm, beside that, they search for food during most of the day anyway.
    I did make some progress by placing their feed tray on top of their bucket filled with water. That somehow made them eat almost all their feed, if there wasn't something else that ate it. I know dogs did not.

    They are not showing any kind of deficiency and are happy and healthy. I'll see if I can trick them into eating corn only in the evening to keep them warm and go for the feed during the day and in the morning. If not, I'll just grind the corn and mix it with their feed.
    It is also strange how they started grazing grass at one point. Before that, they only ate greens when I chopped and threw them into their pond. After eating grains, they always go for greens as well. Like I mentioned, 80% of the time, they are scouting for bugs, it's just that I'm not sure how much they can catch.
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    It isn't likely to be cold enough that ducks would need warmth from a high energy feedstuff.
    If the feed is old it may not be palatable. What is the manufacture date on it?
    I bet if you mix a little of the feed with water to make an oatmeal consistency, they'll eat it. Or ferment it, but only if the feed is fresh.
    I wouldn't feed anything over 3 months old.
    Ol Grey Mare likes this.
  5. CarleeAnn

    CarleeAnn Songster

    Apr 29, 2017
    I would just not budge- only their duck food, absolutely no corn. They’ll learn to eat it. If you want to mix in corn with their food they may sort through it and not eat the food itself, but you could gradually decrease the corn in hopes of introducing the food to them. Just be patient and trust the ducks won’t starve to death. Their bodies will tell them they need nutrition and they will know where to go to get it.
    gilbert2, Krazyquilts and onaharley like this.
  6. This something that I have been struggling with myself. My feed mix is all flock crumbles and premium scratch both purina But I only put lees then half a bag of the scratch mixed with the whole bag of all flock. Yet still they only eat the good stuff out of their bowls and they free range all day. Most days the get meal worm 3times a day (a little in the morning when I let them out, a little in the afternoon when I get home from work and a little when I lock them up at night) also about every other day they get chickweed and dandelion weeds or kale and apples. But thye only eat the feed when i put a new scoop in or some mealworms in their feed to promote them eat the feed- you know they got to get all those goodies out!

    I think to myself.....clearly they are not straving with their current diet plan! Lol
  7. Ducktown

    Ducktown Songster

    May 8, 2017
    Thank you all!
    I stopped giving them corn now. They don't start eating their feed when I offer it, but I'm going to give it to them whenever they start asking for food.
    Feed is fresh and that should not be an issue, especially because they loved it when they were younger. I think they might just be addicted to CRACKed (and whole) corn.

    They are walking around, foraging now, they have filled crops and I think they don't really need anything.
    onaharley likes this.
  8. Snoozeys

    Snoozeys Songster

    Mar 14, 2015
    Mine get duck pellets along with scratch mix mixed in .... they also steal my chickens mash feed !!!
  9. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    Do you have a Coop and Run for the Ducks?
    If you locked them in the Coop at night and fed and watered in the morning they would start eating the feed again...Then let them out after they eat breakfast..Herd them in earlier before dark and supply feed again before they go to bed for the night..
    Best of luck
  10. juniverse

    juniverse Chirping

    Nov 3, 2013
    My ducks are spoiled as hell -they are house Mallards-. For a long time I would feed them peas, corn, lettuce, tomatoes and they wouldn't eat feed.

    OMG they lose their poop over tomatoes...
    And they whine and cry for tomatoes (super annoying) that's how spoiled they are.

    It could be the texture of the feed itself.
    If there are hard bits it puts them off. They love soft foods.

    My ducks and ducks outside in the community pond love the Mazuri Waterfowl Feed >>

    I throw these in the water while they are swimming and it softens them and they eat it.
    My spoiled ducks eats it dry too. Since then their stools are more solid which made my veterinarian very happy. LOL!
    austroberta and cdub1969 like this.

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