This may be strange....Duck appetite question...How much is too much??

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by ScaredOfShadows, Jun 22, 2010.

  1. Okay so I have been looking around and noticed a bunch of posts about chickens and ducks and food...It really seems to me my ducks are porkers or i'm just a sucker (i know I am [​IMG]) and feed them all the time...

    How much do your ducks eat on average? How big is your flock and how much feed to you put out available to them?

    I have 7 - 17 week old ducks and 3 - 5 week old runners...(plus a mama scovy and 8 babies- but i just set out flockraiser in their house for them and they eat that as they want - they never come up like the others do for food) Anyway...I'm thinking i am being bamboozled and fooled into feeding these guys more than they need!!

    So this is why i'm asking, I swear I take a foldgers coffee can of feed out to the ducks (a few hens in the AM come along as well - neighbors hens or a few of mine) and this is usually happens 4 times a day...middle of day its usually 1/2 can and alot of evenings its 2 cans cause 12-20 chickens join the party...This is ontop of any duck treats and they get treats atleast once a day.... (peas, oatmeal, raisins, watermelon, grapes, strawberries, corn, cabbage, lettuce, worms, bugs, minnows,etc) of course remember this is usually 10 ducks now and about a dozen chickens....but the chickens eat maybe 1/4 of what I throw out, the ducks eat the majority of it...I got through 3 coffee cans of feed a day atleast...just to the ducks(all together i go through 4+ but most goes to ducks so i'm averaging and guessing @ 3) And this isn't counting the treats and freerange bugs and what not.

    My ducks are extremely active however and they aren't fat at all...So I have no idea....I am just curious after seeing a bunch of posts about not feeeding much since its summer and what not...
  2. JosieR

    JosieR Songster

    Apr 24, 2010
    Orange County, NY
    My 5 (2 runners and 3 Cayugas) eat about 4 cups of food a day. They free range during the day and I feed them at night. They also get a few handfuls of peas, another 2 - 2 1/2 cups maybe because I'm training them to walk up the ramp into their house and that's the only thing that gets them up it [​IMG]
  3. nettie

    nettie Enslaved by Indoor Ducks

    Nov 20, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    Ducks are pretty good at regulating their diets. They don't typically overeat. Even when I give my ducks big heaps of greens or treats, they'll eat what they like first, and save the rest for later. They will pretty much never over eat on pellets. I give my ducks access to pellets and water 24/7 and they get treat bowls each night before bed.

    Most prey animals will not over eat, as being fat and slow makes them more prone to predation. even ducks, who seem like porkers will stop eating when they are full.
  4. Denninmi

    Denninmi Songster

    Jul 26, 2009
    The other thing about poultry is that they're incredibly messy eaters and might be wasting much of the food. You might want to invest in a couple of good feeders if you dont' currently have them -- feed is expensive, and excess food laying on the ground attracts and promotes rodent population explosions. A well designed feeder helps a lot in cutting down on the waste and on your feed bill.
  5. I feed mine their regular feed in a long trough like thing with high sides, this allows a bunch of ducks to sit in a line and eat out of the troughs, and then the young runners I feed them in their pen usually so the big pigs can't get their food and I use a little homemade feeder using a butter bowl and the bottom of a flower pot. they don't waste much at all - really.

    Okay - i was just wondering how all these other folks were seemingly getting away with throwing out such small amounts of feed for their ducks and chickens...Well atleast I can say I know mine are well fed and happy ducks when they go to bed at night [​IMG]
  6. Buttercup Chillin

    Buttercup Chillin Songster

    Oct 27, 2008
    SouthEast TX
    I feed my chickens and ducks fee choice of feed and grain and which i refill morning and night. If the ducks haven't fininished by afternoon I leave the dish out for the chickens to clean up. Everyone get's Greens in late morning and again in afternoon. Ducks need the greens to help them digest the protein from the feed. You'll see they will grow better, chickens too.

    But I tried Flock Raiser and the chickens and ducks went nuts for it like they do for winter scratch. It was real yellow and I figured they didn't need all that corn and they sure don't need to get any heavier in this heat. I switched back to my regular brand after 1 bag. I figure there is a reason it being a lot cheaper than other feed, corn. They get enough of that in their scratch that I mix up for them.

    Don't forget when you are bringing your's more feed, ours are out free ranging for bugs and such and they still want their greens even though they've nibbleing all afternoon.

    Oh, I have 10 Muscovies (most are 13 weeks old) and each one would eat that butter dish up for a snack even when they were babies. I have 20 layers and 16 Pullets/Cockerals growing out most of the time. I go thru about 50 # grower or starter a week around here. I go thru 50# of layer approximately every 2 weeks and now it looks like I will go thru I'm guessing 50# every 3 weeks for the quail. I buy 100 # of oats, 50# of Corn and 50# of Milo that I mix for scratch for the ducks and chickens that they go through in about 6Weeks . Add to that 50# of sunflower seeds that last about 6 months. Then add 50# each of Millet and Buckwheat, 10#each of Amaranth and Flax Seed which we use regularly, so share with the flock to get high Omega eggs. Oh, ya don't forget the 5# Nutrional yeast for the ducks every 3 months. If there isn't good ranging food, I buy them even more greens.

    Now my flock gets feed real good and they don't go to bed with tummy aches from to much protein and a lack of greens.[​IMG] You need to give your chickens more of the ducks food. I think your chickens are hungry. Mine get 2-3 Coffee cans a day free choice in their hen house and still clean up after the ducks.
  7. Well I only have 17 chickens that are mine... 10 EE and 7 silkies (the silkies are fed seperate in their coop and they stay in one spot of the yard right by the house for some reason) Any other chickens are my neighbor's who has about 30-40 chickens.

    My neighbor makes a mix similar to yours in 2 50 gal barrells and fills up a large feeder for his chickens in their run (they free range but return in there for food from the hand feeder the ducks can't get to) he adds fish meal or meat meal to his mix as well...He's been feeding his mixture for years and years and has healthy birds except when he kept them penned up they got pretty pecked up so some look ragamuffin at the moment - lol. (he kept them penned for a few weeks for his crops to get well started so they wouldn't eat up his sproutlings)

    Me i mix :
    2 parts Flockraiser(was gamefowl grower - but i have young silkies now so i got flockraiser so i can feed a scoop of pure flockraiser to the silkies), 1 part super layer/breeder (20% protien, 3.5% calcium (i think), has niacin in it I seen -why i started getting it for the ducks a couple weeks ago), BOSS, and oats. This is what I call "feed" I also add yeast to the duck's pan in the PM only. My big group of 7 are 17-18 weeks....The baby runners I feed them what I feed the silkies just flock raiser they come up and i sit a bowl right in front of me and they have at what they want, and the i put some free choice in their duck box that the big ducks haven't figured out yet. - lol.

    Then i throw out all kinds of stuff through the middle of the day and in the evening after dinner. My neighbor throws out a bunch more because he has 4 large garden plots and they fish, etc...

    Trust me the chickens aren't starving by no means. Most of them are the same age and right now they are hitting a molt so i guess they are just needing alot of extra feed for a boost.

    I kept seeing things about people feeding "1 can of feed in the AM to the ducks and chickens after I let them out for the day...thats all I have to feed them." stuff like that, and I was like "whoa...seriously? how can that be?"

    P.S. you have to remember the ducks are essentially mine and my neighbors they go between our properties, they get fed in the early AM by the neighbor - like 5 am...Up at my house about 7...back about noon...Mr. Henry feeds them all again around 5 or 6....Then they are back at my back door 1-2 times between 3-8 at my house.

    These guys get fed usually 5 times a day...I'm just telling you what I'm feeding them.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2010
  8. Buttercup Chillin

    Buttercup Chillin Songster

    Oct 27, 2008
    SouthEast TX
    MY, My they haave you and your Neighbor trained well. Both of you feeding them.

    Got to rember a lot of people on here only have a few as pets so they won;t have to feed much. They have the problem of keeping their feed fresh enough for the little they use at a time.

    I just mix scratch for mine, I buy feed which the layer feed is also 20% because of the scratch. But now I'm starting with quail and buyng Game bird feed at 30% for them, so I immagine everyone is going to get that, including the ducks. Actually allready have. Mornings I dump out the leftover and clean up the feeders and refill. The ducks come over for the left overs and later the chickens clean up more. I tell you not much goes to waste around here.
  9. Violet22

    Violet22 Songster

    Jul 3, 2009
    Central Coast, CA
    I give mine access to 16% waterfowl crumbles in a large heavy crock 24/7 and they have never spilled it all over or pooped in it. I haven't measured how much food I give, the crock is about 16" round, and I just keep it about 1/2 or 1/4 full for 10 ducks. I also have a big tub of water I put fresh alfalfa leaves in every night and they have that as well. Some days, it seems they don't eat much at all, then the next day it's all gone. They don't seem to eat the same amount every day. I also give them peas or corn every night. They don't free range, but their enclosure is about 1,000 sq feet, and soon to have another 500 sq feet or so added.
  10. nettie

    nettie Enslaved by Indoor Ducks

    Nov 20, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    Quote:I keep my feed in an air tight container meant for keep dog food fresh... I've had some problems with feed going bad, bt since we've added the two extra pid ducks, it seems the feed stays fresher and goes a lot quicker. lol

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