When do ducklings get grower crumbles?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by DuckGirl77, Apr 29, 2016.

  1. DuckGirl77

    DuckGirl77 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello! I have four ducklings who will be four weeks on Monday, and two who will be three weeks on Monday. I am going to try to put all the ducklings together next week, and, obviously, they will all have the same food. I read in Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks that you should switch ducklings over from starter to grower when they are three weeks old. However, the feed company (Poulin Grain) says to switch them at four weeks. They also say to feed them chicken feed (which I do) because they don't make any feed specially for ducks. Since they don't make feed for ducks, should I assume that they don't know enough about them and switch at three weeks? Or does the feed company know enough about their own product to know when to switch them over, even if it's an animal they don't specialize in? I'm leaning towards believing what the book says, but I needed to make sure.
    Thanks [​IMG]
     
  2. bh1duck

    bh1duck Out Of The Brooder

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    What protein % is each of the feeds?
     
  3. DuckGirl77

    DuckGirl77 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    chick starter: 20%
    poultry grower: 15%
     
  4. fourkidsandduck

    fourkidsandduck Out Of The Brooder

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    I keep my ducklings on 20% until about 20-24 weeks and then drop them down to about 16%.
     
  5. Duck Drover

    Duck Drover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I feed Purina Flock Raiser to ducks of all ages. They start on wet crumble, then dry crumble, then pellets.
     
  6. DuckGirl77

    DuckGirl77 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    OK. Is there a reason why? I heard they grow faster with more protein. Is that why?
    Do you have to feed other things at certain ages so they'll get the specific nutrients they need at each age?
     
  7. Duck Drover

    Duck Drover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I spoke to Dave Holderread about feeding ducks and he makes his own blend but he said out of the commercial feeds the Flock Raiser is the best choice. Too much protein can cause angel wing so more protein is not necessarily better when they are growing.
     
  8. fourkidsandduck

    fourkidsandduck Out Of The Brooder

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    I keep them on 20% until 20-24 weeks because while they are growing their body needs the extra protein. Once they reach 20-24 weeks they don't need that much so it's reduced. Feeding a duck more protein will not make it grow faster, a duckling will grow no matter what you feed it. If you want to make it fatter, you can feed it other things but the natural growth rate is in the DNA and will not change.
     
  9. DuckGirl77

    DuckGirl77 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks. Maybe I wasn't clear enough. This is what I read in Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks :

    "In weeks 3 to 8, ducklings are one of the fastest growing of domestic fowl. To sustain such rapid growth
    and minimize physical deformities, ducklings must consume a high-quality diet that meets all of their
    nutritional requirements but at the same time does not push them beyond a reasonable growth rate. For
    pets, breeding stock, and exhibition birds, a ration with 15- to 16- percent high-quality protein will
    encourage a moderate growth rate. For maximum growth rate a protein level of 18 percent is often
    used .... the higher the protein percentage, the higher the likelihood of physical problems."​

    I was wondering if you were aiming for max growth rate, and if that was why you kept them on 20%.
     
  10. DuckGirl77

    DuckGirl77 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I went to the feed store to get grower feed (I figured I'd gradually introduce it but keep them on no less than half chick starter till next week.) I asked the guy for grower feed for the ducks, and I got turkey gamebird grower finisher, which has 20% protein. I didn't realize what it was till I got home. Since you guys use 20%, though, I guess they'll be fine. After this runs out, I'll get chicken grower, unless there's something wrong with switching feed. Thanks all you guys for your input.
     

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