Topic of the Week - Feeding Ducks

sumi

Égalité
Staff member
Premium member
Jun 28, 2011
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Tipperary, Ireland
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Pic by @chickens really
This week I would like to hear you all's thoughts and practices when it comes to feeding your duck flocks. Specifically:

- Feeding ducklings for optimal health and growth
- Feeding laying/non-laying duck hens
- Feeding mixed flocks (drakes, hens, ducklings)
- Feeding treats


For a complete list of our Topic of the Week threads, see here:

https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/topic-of-the-week-thread-archive
 

Pyxis

Hatchi Wan Kenobi
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Mar 27, 2012
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I feed my ducklings either Purina Flock Raiser or Purina Meatbird, both of which are made with ducklings in mind and will meet their nutritional needs. The extra nice thing about Flock Raiser is that you can continue to feed it to ducks for their whole lives with no need to change food when they are older.

Ducklings can also be fed a regular chick starter if you cannot find a flock raiser type feed or a waterfowl feed. You will just want to supplement additional niacin, since chick feed isn't made with the nutritional needs of ducklings in mind and doesn't have enough niacin for them. Brewer's Yeast is an easy to find supplement that you can add to the feed that will make up for the lack of niacin in the feed.

While ducklings have no need for medicated feed, you can feed it to them if that's all you can find or if that's what you already have. There is a myth that ducklings cannot eat medicated feed. While that used to be true, back when feed was medicated with 'sulfa' drugs, feeds are no longer medicated with sulfa drugs. Amprolium, which is what most feeds are now medicated with, is totally safe for ducklings to eat. So while medicated feed is not necessary, if that's all you can get, you can safely feed it to them. I verified this with my avian vet to be sure.

For all my older juveniles and adults, I feed Flock Raiser or a chick starter/grower, which is what I feed all my birds. Both of these feeds are 20% protein, and I find my birds do well on it. I offer oyster shell free choice on the side for any laying birds that need it. They will take what they need, and that way ducks that aren't laying and drakes aren't taking in more calcium than they need, which can cause problems for them.

For treats, I give them dried mealworms, live feeder fish in their pool, and they get whatever kitchen scraps I'm tossing out for the chickens too and they take what they want from that.
 

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
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Oct 3, 2009
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I use a 50/50 mix of layer and broiler so I don't over do with my boys and non layers. I use broiler from the manufacture Because it very much like the all flock I use to use but when I went to non GMO this is all they have. My ducklings/chicks/ goslings are all feed broiler. They get a treat daily of mealworms- whole corn and dog kibble and lots of greens that I find on sale at the grocery store.

@onaharley your 2 lil ones are so precious :love
 

lawson1986

Songster
Sep 29, 2015
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Baltimore, Maryland
Mine also love love love frozen peas, zucchini, and watermelon. Those are their favs. Honestly my 2 khakis eat exactly the same thing as my chooks, which is layer feed as they are all laying gals...but I also give my ducks oatmeal with brewers yeast mixed in 3x a week. I also give them kitchen scraps, but routinely also just offer beautiful fresh greens, cabbage, apples, zucchini, squash, etc...because everytime I go grocery shopping for us, we also buy fresh produce for our severely spoiled birds. They are getting boss, corn, and mealworms daily here also (just a little) to help them stay warm since it's been under 20 degrees F. Grit and oyster shell is always available free choice as well.
 

chickens really

Crazy Call Duck Momma
Premium member
Sep 8, 2015
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The Funny Farm....Alberta, Canada
Wow ....Cute Ducks...I love them!..;)..:hugs :frow
Great topic again..:ya

How I feed is simple...Duck starter as Ducklings and veggies daily.
3 week old Ducklings on Duckling grower till 8 weeks.. Lots of veggies and free range ..
Once almost mature it's a mix of Duck grower and Finisher..Veggies scratch grain and oat & Barley crumble..Free range too.

Ducks need more vitamins and balanced feed to support their fast growth..
Research Ducks and always provide water deep enough to Clean eyes and nares...

Gotta love Ducks! :jumpy...I do!..My best little Buddies...:wee:yesss:
 

onaharley

Crowing
Jun 2, 2017
1,632
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Just south of Detroit Michigan
I use a 50/50 mix of layer and broiler so I don't over do with my boys and non layers. I use broiler from the manufacture Because it very much like the all flock I use to use but when I went to non GMO this is all they have. My ducklings/chicks/ goslings are all feed broiler. They get a treat daily of mealworms- whole corn and dog kibble and lots of greens that I find on sale at the grocery store.

@onaharley your 2 lil ones are so precious :love
Thank you!! I could watch them all day!!
 
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