Transitioning to the bigger duck pellets

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by austroberta, Nov 13, 2017.

  1. austroberta

    austroberta Out Of The Brooder

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    I was running out of the smaller, starter crumbles and decided that I was going to try the bigger pellets. My ducks pick them up and then let them drop from their mouths. They are 10 weeks old and I thought they would be old enough to eat the pellets, but was I wrong? Or do they just not like the taste of these particular pellets and I should get something else?

    They're also not really interested in eating anything but tomatoes, lettuce, greens, cucumbers and whatever they forage. My tomatoes and cukes are finished for the season and I don't just want to give them lettuce and greens. I've tried grating carrots, sweet potatoes, squash (which they all used to eat as ducklings) but they just spit all that stuff out. I'd like for them to have a varied diet, but they don't seem to be up for it. Does anyone have any suggestions, please?

    Also, if they are not getting a varied diet, should I buy them vitamins?

    Thanks!
     
  2. CarleeAnn

    CarleeAnn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What feed are you giving them? Do they forage? If they are just being picky then leave it out and they will eat eventually . I forgot when I switched to pellets... What breed ducks too?
     
  3. austroberta

    austroberta Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks, CarleeAnn. They're runner ducks and they spend a lot of time foraging. I'm giving them Custom Formula maintenance duck and geese feed. The pellets are not that big, so I don't think it's a size issue. I tried it yesterday and when they didn't eat it, I thought they must just not be hungry, but then I gave it to them this morning, when I knew they should be hungry, they spit it out.
     
  4. CarleeAnn

    CarleeAnn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I believe because they forage you don’t need to supplement with anything. You could try to add a little water to soften up the food for them. I don’t think I switched to pellets until my ducks started laying (around 4 months) and runners are a smaller breed, but ducks have esophagus’s that can expand so it really shouldn’t be a problem, maybe just something they need to get used to. If you have extra crumbles you could do a mix of 3/4 crumbles 1/4 pellets and slowly transition to 1/2 and 1/2 and then 1/4 crumbles and 3/4 pellets until fully on pellets alone. I know it may be a pain or seem wasteful to buy another bag of food you are trying to get them off of, see if wherever you get your food has a small sample size or something.
     
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  5. Ducks are picky about feed changes and texture...
    This is what I would do...Use grower crumble ...Cut back on the veggies till they eat that...Ducks do not need a Layer feed that's formulated for Chickens....If laying eggs oyster shell in a separate bowl is better...
    Best of luck....
     
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  6. 3bird

    3bird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have seven silver Appleyard ducks. At about 7-8 weeks, we moved from crumble to the Mazuri Waterfowl Maintenance pellets. For the first bit we mixed it with their crumble, but then went 100% pellets pretty quickly. At the time, it was spring, and our guys were foraging a lot. We also fed them greens from the garden on a regular basis. We started with just two feedings of crumble/pellets and then just pellets a day, but we quickly went to free choice, and have done that ever since. Now that they are laying, we've started to supplement oyster shells and egg shells. They still forage several hours a day, but it's getting cold in Maine, so we actively supplement greens and are trying to get them excited about cooked potatoes. Of course they get treats too. :) On very cold nights, we give them some cracked corn at dinner time, but they really are not so excited about it. Oh! And one great thing about the Mazuri Waterfowl Maintenance is that it floats, and they LOVE to eat it out of the water. Good luck, and keep us posted!
     
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  7. austroberta

    austroberta Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for all the responses. I was just wondering if they just didn't like the taste of the crumbles at all, or if they just aren't used to them. They will put them in their mouth, but they let the pellets drop.

    I can try mixing the two. I already put their food in water. They completely stopped eating their starter crumbles dry and would only eat them if they were put in water.

    They do forage quite a lot, but we're between seasons in a way, and the bug population isn't quite as big, since we've only recently gotten rain. The soil has been too dry for bugs to really start proliferating. The slugs and cutworms will probably start ramping up soon, but for now, the bug populations are not quite there yet.

    It's funny, when they were ducklings, they would go crazy over whatever I gave them. They used to polish grated squash off in seconds. Now, they turn their bills up to it.
     
  8. CayugaJana

    CayugaJana Chicken Obsessed

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    I have found that my ducks are kinda like kids. They get spoiled if you feed them lots of variety or lots of other food besides their regular feed. I’m with chickens really. Cut back on some of their greens (or dessert in my kids case) just until they eat their feed better.

    They could also be giving their pellet feed the stink eye because it’s different. Give it time and they will eat it.
     
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  9. austroberta

    austroberta Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks CayugaJana. I will be the first to admit that I spoil the ducks rotten. (Going out at 11pm looking for slugs for the ducks when I'm dead tired....that's me) I'll try cutting down on the the greens and see if that helps.
     
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  10. CayugaJana

    CayugaJana Chicken Obsessed

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    Lol! And I thought I was bad! :lau

    I did the same thing with veggies and mealworms. Then they wouldn’t touch their feed.
     
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