Starter Feed?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by DuckBoy323, Feb 26, 2012.

  1. DuckBoy323

    DuckBoy323 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 23, 2011
    Arlington Washington
    Whats the difference between medicated chick starter and non- medicated? Will either one work for my ducklings? [​IMG]
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    For quite a while, it seems to have been generally agreed that medicated chick starter was not a good idea for ducklings. The concern, if I recall correctly, is that ducklings consume much more feed more quickly, therefore overdosing on medication that, in a relatively healthy environment, is not necessary for them.

    Since feed companies started using amprolium as the medication, many have come to the conclusion that amprolium will not harm ducklings and therefore there is no health concern feeding ducklings medicated (with amprolium) feed.

    Aside from the medicated/non-medicated concern, however, is that feed formulated for chicks may contain only a third of the niacin ducklings need for optimal development. In fact, it appears that some ducklings are very susceptible to a lack of niacin, and it affects their nervous system, sometimes proving fatal.

    So. The medicated concern is something you may just need to go with your gut on. The niacin, however, I feel is a big concern and I would not want to put my ducklings at risk just to find out if any of them will become sick or die if they need more than is in the feed.

    If chick starter is all you can find, you can supplement niacin with capsules dissolved in water (100 to 150 mg per gallon, according to Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks), a sprinkling of brewer's yeast on their food, or other form of niacin (bugs and worms, I am told, have niacin in their bodies). If you do provide grownup food for the ducklings as many do, be sure they have had a sprinkling of chick grit (small grit or even a little sand) some days before, so they can digest the food and not become impacted.

    Hope this helps.
  3. ChickieBooBoo

    ChickieBooBoo Cold Canadian Chick

    Dec 2, 2009
    I was told by the guy at the feed store that unmedicated feed was bad for ducklings, so I always bought un-medicated duck starter. Last year, I had a duck hatch out some eggs in the field and suddenly show up with 7 ducklings. I fed them chick starter for a bit and after about 2-3 days they all started dying. I don't know if it was the feed, or something else, but when I switched back to un-medicated they stopped dying.

    My feed store carries un-medicated duck/goose starter and its not anymore expensive then chick starter so thats what I use for all my waterfowl.
  4. dumb_cluck

    dumb_cluck Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 26, 2010
    Upstate NY
    If you have an Agway near by, try the game bird starter and game bird pellets when they get older.
    I have never had any problems with any breeds of ducks using it.

    BTW, it already contains the niacin they need right in the food.
  5. Ilovemyduckies

    Ilovemyduckies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2012
    I think either will work.

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