Too many ducks?

HopefulAcres

Chirping
May 3, 2017
48
90
99
Central New Mexico
I inherited my brother's ex-girlfriends ducks and chickens a few months ago. While I really love the ducks I am wondering if four are too many mainly due to the amount of feed I am going through.

Four ducks (2 Rouen and 2 Peking) 10 layer hens are eating 200 pounds of feed a month on top of foraging all day. Does this seem like way to much feed? I currently don't have a way to separate the ducks to see exactly how much they eat everyday.

Am I being hasty in contemplating rehoming the ducks or will their feed needs drop when the warm weather and bugs finally arrive next month?
 

BantyChooks

Pullarius
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Aug 1, 2015
59,373
212,799
1,737
My Coop
My Coop
I inherited my brother's ex-girlfriends ducks and chickens a few months ago. While I really love the ducks I am wondering if four are too many mainly due to the amount of feed I am going through.

Four ducks (2 Rouen and 2 Peking) 10 layer hens are eating 200 pounds of feed a month on top of foraging all day. Does this seem like way to much feed? I currently don't have a way to separate the ducks to see exactly how much they eat everyday.

Am I being hasty in contemplating rehoming the ducks or will their feed needs drop when the warm weather and bugs finally arrive next month?
:eek:

In summer, I can feed 40--45 birds on that much feed—including 9 ducks. I'd be strongly inclined to see if you have a mouse/rat/other pest problem.
 

EggSighted4Life

Crossing the Road
5 Years
Apr 9, 2016
14,342
19,970
832
California's Redwood Coast
Four ducks (2 Rouen and 2 Peking) 10 layer hens are eating 200 pounds of feed a month on top of foraging all day.
Ducks do consume quite a bit more feed than chickens... and is the EXACT reason I don't have them anymore. For me 9 ducks ate as much as 40 chickens.

Breed matters. If your hens are dual purpose breeds they will be eating more than prolific laying breeds to support their heavier body weight. Leghorn consumption verses Marans is a big difference. Same for ducks, runner verses jumbo Pekin or whatever they are called. Event the regular verses the "Giant"
 

BantyChooks

Pullarius
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Aug 1, 2015
59,373
212,799
1,737
My Coop
My Coop
Ducks do consume quite a bit more feed than chickens... and is the EXACT reason I don't have them anymore. For me 9 ducks ate as much as 40 chickens.

Breed matters. If your hens are dual purpose breeds they will be eating more than prolific laying breeds to support their heavier body weight. Leghorn consumption verses Marans is a big difference. Same for ducks, runner verses jumbo Pekin or whatever they are called. Event the regular verses the "Giant"
Agreed... but they still shouldn't be eating 50 lbs a week!
 

EggSighted4Life

Crossing the Road
5 Years
Apr 9, 2016
14,342
19,970
832
California's Redwood Coast
Accidentally hit post...

Weather matters. On days it's raining, my birds consume twice as much feed verses forage friendly days.

Pasture richness matters. Some are lush while others are barren.

In other words... lots of factor to consider... including and importantly your enjoyment factor verses labor and cost. :)

Chickens are easier for ME and more affordable than ducks for the breeds I chose.
 

TeeMom

Songster
Jul 26, 2016
212
208
126
Kansas
I have 20 chickens and 6 ducks eating half that amount during the winter months...they are allowed free access to feed and free range. My ducks are Welsh Harlequins, which are smaller than Rouen and Pekins, but I can't imagine double the feed for half the flock, regardless. Are you sure you aren't losing feed to wildlife?
 

EggSighted4Life

Crossing the Road
5 Years
Apr 9, 2016
14,342
19,970
832
California's Redwood Coast
Agreed... but they still shouldn't be eating 50 lbs a week!
Agreed! Rodents or other avian visitors are a definite possibility. In addition, my dogs really like chicken feed! ;)

Aside from weather keeping some birds inside more or foraging less... others in colder climates than mine will use more calories just to stay warm during cold weather.

My calculations say it should be closer to 135# for month at the upper end of the feeding range.. based on these calculations..
http://www.metzerfarms.com/DailyFeedWaterDucklings.cfm?affiliate=undef&CustID=18390428

I rounded to 4# feed per week to maintain a 7# body for ducks (still light). And 0.25 is listed as the high end consumption for hens daily...

4# feed/wk X 4 ducks X 4 weeks= 64#
.25# feed/day X 10 hens X 7 days X 4 weeks= 70#

64 + 70= 134 # of feed for 28 days.

I KNOW my daily consumption is about 0.18 # per day per chicken, with free range on bug laden green pasture most the year. And that is feeding 20% protein flock raiser with the oyster shell on the side. I truly don't see how flock raiser and layer could have the same amount of calories, though I never see a calorie count on the bag... Note that I ALWAYS collect my feed every night to combat rodents and my dogs and chickens usually combat daytime visitors. The toll these freeloaders pose is quite great. Not just in feed, but possible disease and parasite transmittal as well. :mad:

And that being said, I just got revelation! Even though my birds consume .18 # per day... that isn't including the OS content of many people who's birds are being calculated according to layer... Hmmm. Not all things are equal as the seem. Something new for my over thinking brain to consider! :old :oops:
 

HopefulAcres

Chirping
May 3, 2017
48
90
99
Central New Mexico
Thank you all for the responses, the ducks are staying we love them to much.
I feel like an idiot by not thinking about the wild rabbits and stupid pigeons. Going to pick up a couple rolls of chicken wire to cover the chicken yard and lay down to keep the rabbits out. I normally don't let my dogs freely roam the property because of the neighbors but I think some late night romps are in order to scare off the rabbits.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom