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Poultry and Livestock: Help! Ducks have invaded!!

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catmad
Pelzer, SC
(Zone 7b)

August 11, 2011
8:56 AM

Post #8750259

My friend has decided that he doesn't want his farm birds anymore, so I, of course, said I'd help. I now have a plethora of new chickens, and that's fine, I know what to feed chickens.
But today he sent three ducks. What do I feed them?? I know baby ducks can't have medicated chick starter, and that they have to have water deep enough to wash their heads (or something), but after that I'm clueless. I'm going to go look for info, but I'm hoping someone here will have some knowledge to share. Two of then hatched May 24th, but I don't know about the other, an adult, sizewise.
Please. any thoughts and hints appreciated...

helphelphelp
titaniumRX8
Mint Hill, NC
(Zone 7b)

August 11, 2011
3:12 PM

Post #8750811

I have been feeding mine the Purina brand of Flock Raiser and I have recently started giving them the scratch grains from the same line too. There is a crumbles in a small 5lb bag if they can't swallow the pellets. I just used a jumbo cat litter pan to give them something to wash their beaks in when they were in the coop with the chickens. Now they have a big pond to do that in...

If you have any more questions I'll be glad to answer.
catmad
Pelzer, SC
(Zone 7b)

August 12, 2011
4:43 AM

Post #8751680

Okay, so I'll just ofer what the chickens get. I got them a scratch mix called Rowdy Rooster that I'll also try. Theygot my romaine yesterday, and seemed quite happy with that! They will get their "pool" today, a flat bottomed boat that is never used, and we figure if it holds water from outside, it will hold it inside :). It should be safe enough for the chickens (should they manage to fall in), and easy to dump...
Thank you, I don't know enough yet to have questions, but I'll be back...

Thanks!
titaniumRX8
Mint Hill, NC
(Zone 7b)

August 12, 2011
5:08 AM

Post #8751701

I was offering the ducks kale and greens when I first got them. They really liked that stuff. I don't offer them much of that any more because there is plenty of green stuff in the bottom of the pond and fish for them to eat from there also. I just offer them some of the flock raiser and scratch grains a couple times a day to supplement what they forage for themselves.

The boat sounds like a good plan to give them something to use for cleaning and such. The chickens and ducks will do fine together. My chickens were a little freaked out at first, but they got over it in a couple of days.

I may be a bad mamma because I don't put them in a coop at night anymore - it was too much to try and wrangle 5 domestic ducks into it and try to keep the chickens from escaping. They have been perfectly fine out with the geese and mallards who are wild. Lots of sentries out there standing around to spot any predictors who get a notion to come along. There are plenty of hidey holes for them to sleep safely ... haven't lost one yet in the 2 months I've had them. That may change in the winter when food gets scarce. I'll have to think through the situation to see if I can come up with a plan for that...

Sounds like you will be fine with what you have done so far... You are doing great helping out some feathered friends.
smedgekles
Conroe, TX

August 12, 2011
6:10 AM

Post #8751776

We feed ours what the chickens get and every so often we will give them a protein boost and give them some unmedicated chick starter mixed with the food (they love it) they also free range around the yard and eat bugs etc. Just don't feed them bread, not good for them. They also LOVE lettuce, tomatoes, watermelon and canteloupe. We have one duck that will come running when it sees me come out with watermelon.

We have a seperate pen for our ducks, and at night, they go to their pen.

Ducks are fun to watch and so pretty, enjoy!
sillenye
Essex Junction, VT

August 19, 2011
3:01 AM

Post #8764159

I feed baby ducks the crumble nonmedicated food till about 3 weeks, then mix in the grower pellets which don't have extra calcium. the females get layer pellets once they start laying or you can give them grower pellets with extra calcium in oystershell. males aren't supposed to get the extra calcium. babies like tender dandelion leaves and lettuce and some new grass and small slugs, but supposedly spinach is not good for them and not rhubarb. they do love watermelon, I gave them a whole watermelon the other day- gone in minutes. supposedly they love borage though havn't tried that. tansy and foxglove -- poisonous. the more things they try when young the more adventurous they will be.

I keep ducks locked in a coop overnight. once they learn over a few months gets easier to herd them in. A few weeks ago my female toulouse goose left out overnight was killed by a barred owl. I heard the owl killing her at 3 in the morning (who cooks for you calling over and over) but didn't go to investigate. didn't think it was possible for owl to do that. very sad. only head and neck meat eaten. My male goose Pogarty was inconsolable lay on her grave screaming for several weeks. He went to the bottom of the pecking order after that. I had to give him a mirror to look at himself to calm him down at night. He even broke a window pane that used to be his coop door. I bought him a new goose- a buff and white gosling. So he is on the mend now.

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catmad
Pelzer, SC
(Zone 7b)

August 19, 2011
3:32 AM

Post #8764186

Thank you for the info, that will help. They are happy with romaine for now (and the "real" feed) but I will keep watermelon in mind, a great excuse to buy a big one that will otherwise never get finished...
I'm so sorry to hear about your goose. I don;t have geese (yet) but as much as I'm enjoying the ducks, I imagine geese are not far behind...

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