Winter Feed Quantity Question


8 Years
Jul 18, 2011
Snohomish County, WA
My ducks will be two in March, so this is the second winter I have had them. I recently changed from Flockraiser pellets to Del's All Purpose Poultry food in crumbles form of feed. Am supplementing with oats, and some dry cat food since a few of the ladies are molting. Have been giving them double the amount I fed them last year at this time, and they seem starved (follow me until fed - something they have never done). They appear to be noticeable weight loss. And I know we are newly into winter (first hard freeze last night), but double the feed just because i changed from pellets to crumbles? Hens are more so than drakes. Feathers look good as they are coming back in. More interested in me and the feed bowl then foraging which is odd for them. They are not getting as much forage time, which I know is an issue, but stilll they seem awfully hungry for getting fed twice a day at double what they got last year???? And the drakes do not exhibit this behavior. They stand back and let the hens feed. One is couple weeks into first molt, second just starting, and third duck has not started molt yet.
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I am going to guess the crumbles are much harder for the ducks to manage, and more of it is falling out of their mouths.

I tried crumble for a while. The ducks could not eat it as quickly, and it fell out of their mouths. Found that moistening it enabled the ducks to actually get more of it into their tummies.

And if you are only feeding twice a day, there may be no way they can eat enough crumbles during that time.

I would give the food at least 16 hours a day if not 24/7, and moisten it, taking away uneaten food within 12 to 24 hours depending on temperatures and condition of food.

The cat food sounds like a good idea.
Thanks Amiga. Oddly have been feeding them fresh pears all week....for appearing hungry - they won't touch them, whole, diced small, diced big, squished....picky picky picky. (as a supplement to their regular food)

Haven't noticed any spillage, but that doesn't mean it's not there. Anytime the food is remotely damp, they won't touch it. Cat food, oats, fresh fruit - add what the will eat I guess. Give 'em more food until they don't appear starved I guess.

Glad their feathers are coming back in after molt - they looked so sad, and it's cold out there!
I use a flock raiser that is in crumble form i find my birds preferred it over the pellet duck grower that said i free choice feed, i have a large wooden feeder i fill daily, i also mix with an organic grain mix and BOSS... i now have 10 ducks, 8 female(ducks) 2 drakes... usually the feeder is not empty at days end which is what i like to see... ( i know by this they are getting enough) they also have a 1/3 of an acre field they forage in.

I do have one lady moulting so i may add some cat food myself lol
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