Will layer pellets hurt my 8-week-olds


10 Years
Jul 30, 2009
Charlotte, NC Area
I have three batches of ducks right now, but the older two--my three adult ducks and their two broodmate geese and the 8-week-old ducks I just raised--are ready to be together. They've been gradually introduced over the past several weeks, and they free range together without fighting. Tonight the 8-week-olds went into the adult pen at dinner time, and there have been only minor scuffles since I shut them in. For convenience, and because the timing seems right, I'm ready to put these two groups together permanently.

My question: The older group is on layer pellets, the younger group has been on grower/finisher. Will it hurt the younger group just to eat the layer pellets? Or do I need to switch *everyone* over to grower/finisher (at the probably cost of at least some eggs)? Or do I need to feed them all separately before putting them together at night (which would be a royal pain)?

Thanks for any thoughts!
Not sure what breed of ducks you have but the grower/finisher available at my local feed store is over 20% protein, they should be on the layer 13-15% protein. At 8 weeks they should be able to handle the pellets without a problem.

Too much protein can cause you problems. If it is feed you want to use up, mix some grains in with..............the free ranging you have them doing is great for them.

Thank you! The grower I've got is 15% and the layer is 18%. I've been raising ducks this way for a couple years, but I've always waited until they are about five months before introducing the layer pellets--I've been afraid it would induce them to lay early, and I've heard that can be bad for them.

But I'm glad to hear it is probably fine--it makes my job easier! And yes, the free ranging is great--I feel like it balances out a lot of potential inadequacies in a commercial feed diet. Even my ducklings get a little free range time each day, but by the time they are 8 weeks, they are out on the range full time (except at night, of course, when they are shut in their predator-proof runs).

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