Winter and Food?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by EmAbTo48, Oct 20, 2011.

  1. EmAbTo48

    EmAbTo48 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Now that its getting a lot colder here (northern Wisconsin) my ducks seem to come out every morning, follow me around, and give me a blank stare of what else you got for us to eat [​IMG]! Its cute, but they have fresh duck feed everyday which honestly they never eat much of, they get corn, and then some treats here and there.

    They free range so they were eating bugs all summer,frogs, and whatever they could find. Now a days they sit close or under our deck and only forage half the day (its cold, but not terrible yet!) If only I could tell them you better start looking harder cause soon all there will be is a blanket of white!

    What else can I give them over winter? I assume there looking for like bugs/protein things from me, but I don't know what to give them??????



    And I tryed Eggs they turned there noises on that LOL
     
  2. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    You can add animal protein by giving a small handful of dry cat food.

    Just because ducks want "candy" instead of their balanced diet doesn't mean that you have to give it to them. Sometimes you have to be the parent and tell the children "no".
     
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Ditto Oregon Blues,

    this is happening with our runners. They have plenty of creepy crawlies, abundant seeds, and laying mash. Yet, they holler for peas and treats, and were wasting the laying mash until I wised up.

    It's all part of my education. (As they say, education is expensive.) At first I was fooled by their apparent hunger, and increased their laying mash. This was a mistake. I checked the mash, there was nothing wrong with it. Opened another bag. It was fine, they didn't eat much. When I finally realized they're just being spoiled, I cut back on the laying mash. I still sprinkle a handful of dry cat kibble on top, since more than half the flock is molting, and only a couple are laying right now.

    Although the weather is getting cooler, there are still worms and slugs to be had, and as I mentioned, many plants are going to seed now. I cut back on the number of times and amount of peas I give them. Right now I'm using peas to introduce them to cooked winter squash in small amounts. That's going well. Some of them are good about eating leafy greens such as lamb's quarter.

    Carol Deppe writes that she feeds her Anconas some cooked potatoes in the winter, and it seems to be going well with her flock. They only contain about 2% protein, but they add some extra calories (for keeping warm) to the diet.
     
  4. EmAbTo48

    EmAbTo48 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks! I will try the cat food idea, my flock honestly from spring-fall live on forage they are used to this as a diet (they have feed but do not eat it during this time) now that its winter they will take a few bites of it and that's it..they like corn once in awhile...they will not eat peas, and the normal things a more pet friendly duck does for treats. They are very much stuck on there bugs/frogs/forage diet...I know they will eat the feed since they did last year during winter.


    I am looking for not say a treat but something to add to there feed to make sure they stay healthy all winter not lose weight, since last year two of the pekins dropped weight and I am assuming from a very full protein diet to just feed is what caused it since they are fine now...I will try cat food, I doubt pototoes will go but I can for sure try!

    Amiga what is your mash made up of??
     
  5. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Aside from a long list of supplements, it's (organic) field peas, corn, oats, wheat, fish meal, alfalfa meal, flaxseed, wheat middlings, sunflower oil.

    (It's Countryside Organics soy-free poultry layer feed.)

    There are some probiotics and kelp in it, too.

    I think having extra calories sounds like a good idea for your ducks.

    By the way - looks like my runners have just rediscovered the comfrey. They kept it nibbled down to nothing until I took them out of that garden for a while. Now the comfrey's lush, and they've begun to snack on it again. Wait! They've moved back to looking for worms now.

    I have been thinking about approaching a local farmer to see if he'd be willing to plant some field peas and oats next spring. I like the idea of getting food from closer to home (he's a mile up the road). I know it can be a somewhat involved process to work with a different crop, but who knows? It may work out.
     
  6. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    Quote:That's what I have been doing. I have been throwing out dry cat food for them.
     
  7. duckyfromoz

    duckyfromoz Quackaholic

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    Year round - but especially during the winter months I have some good quality lucrne hay in an area of the night pens for them to forage through apart from just the straw used as the bedding. They still love to play about in it when its too cold or wet outside. So apart form the extra food it also provides them with something to do rather than just sitting about waiting for warmer weather to arrive again. They get extra fresh fruit and vegeatables as the last evening meal year round as well, but get a bigger helping during the winter months when they are indoors longer hours.
     
  8. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    duckyfromoz, that sounds like a good idea! I'll try that out this year.
     

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