What do you feed just hatched ducklings?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by srsmith69, Jul 10, 2010.

  1. srsmith69

    srsmith69 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 25, 2009
    Do they eat chick starter or what? Medicated or nondedicated. I know I've had 35 days to figure this out. But, it never crossed my mind. I've got chick starter and game bird starter on hand.
  2. ejctm

    ejctm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2009
    NON- medicated chick starter. Medicated is poisonous.

    I understand from another BYCer that there is a particular medicated type that is OK, but I would be on the safe side and make sure it was not medicated at all.

    Also you can add a little brewers yeast to it, plus some chick-grit when they are a few days old.

    Also, forgot to add - creepy crawlies too! My babies have been snacking on crushed dried mealworms, live mosquito larvae and baby slugs since day 2 and now they are 10 days old we have started on peas for treats too. And they forage free-range while supervised for about an hour a day, when I lock the cat in the house and sit out with them [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2010
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    I received mine as day-olds, so they had nothing the first twenty-four hours of their little lives. [​IMG]

    However, they managed okay. As soon as they got home, I gave them lukewarm water. Then after that, I put waterfowl starter crumbles in a shallow dish for them. They figured it all out right away.
  4. spydertoys

    spydertoys Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2008
    Munfordville, Kentucky
    Mine all get started on Medicated Chick Starter..no problems ever.
  5. percyj

    percyj Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 20, 2010
    For brewers yeast, a tablet or loose? Active or dry??? Just wonderin' [​IMG]
  6. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Loose, or a well crushed tablet. Dry, I believe - we need to look into that more, though. It's the kind used in supplements.
  7. Blooming chicks

    Blooming chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 4, 2008
    Bucks County
    Mine get Purina duck starter, says on the package is complete diet for 0-2 weeks. It is for ducks only--not for game foul. Why Brewers yeast? I need to look at the lable again and see if it has brewers in it.
  8. percyj

    percyj Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 20, 2010
    I'm pretty sure that brewers yeast is only needed in chick starter bcuz it doesn't have enuf niacin, right?
  9. ranit

    ranit Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2010
    Yes, brewers' yeast is to add niacin. You can also buy niacin (sold in the vitamin section) and add instead. Ducks need more niacin than chickens so regular chick starter does not have enough.

    As far as the medicated vs non-medicated - check the label. If it is medicated with amprolium which most starter is anymore, it should be fine. The old-time medications used were not good for waterfowl, but most are now ok.
  10. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    Here are the three options I always tell people buying ducklings from me, which are the same three suggestions from Holderread Waterfowl:

    * Purina Flock Raiser or duck feed--these are the only feeds I know of that are specially formulated for ducklings. Even feeds that claim to be for all young poultry (even if they list ducks among them) are usually deficient in niacin, which causes leg weakness.

    * Chick starter PLUS a niacin supplement, either in the form of brewer's yeast on the food, or pharmacy niacin gel caps broken into their water.

    * Chick starter mixed with game bird starter. Game bird starter has plenty of niacin, but the protein percentage is too high. Chick starter has lower protein, but not enough niacin. Mix the two, and you have a perfectly adequate duckling feed. This is what I feed my ducklings.

    I always avoid medication--why complicate matters? Most places that carry medicated also carry unmedicated, so I just get the unmedicated kind and don't have to worry about whether it's the right kind of medication or not.

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