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Poultry and Livestock: Ducks, what to feed?

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catmad
Pelzer, SC
(Zone 7b)

October 29, 2011
6:13 AM

Post #8867793

My ducks (given to me a couple of months ago) have been eating chicken starter grower and scratch, with greens offered, but not much eaten. Now the starter grower has changed to medicated, and I don't want to use it. They carry no gamebird/waterfowl feed. They are one (older) Swedish Blue drake, and two Cayugas hatched May 25th. No curly tail feathers on the Cayugas, but one is considerably larger than the other, and I don't know when tail feathers curl :). I have read that they can have alfalfa cubes soaked overnight, is that true? I don't like to feed roosters layer feed, is the same true for ducks?

Please help them...They shouldn't suffer for my ignorance, poor things :(
DonnaB
Vancleave, MS
(Zone 8b)

October 29, 2011
7:48 AM

Post #8867868

can you get Purina Flock Raiser?? That is what I feed my domestic ducks. Half Flock Raiser & Half Scratch mixed because FR is 19% protein and they free range all day. Just put a bowl of crushed Oyster shells and the girls will take what they need.
catmad
Pelzer, SC
(Zone 7b)

October 30, 2011
4:38 AM

Post #8868806

I can get 16% layer and 20% layer, and something called Rowdy Rooster (which is a bunch of grains, seeds, and some kind of little pellety things. There's another store I can try, so I'll look for some kind of
"flock" feed Monday. Thanks!

p.s. At what age do the drakes get their curly tail feathers?
titaniumRX8
Mint Hill, NC
(Zone 7b)

October 30, 2011
6:27 AM

Post #8868895

I found it easier to listen to their 'Quack'. Girls have the standard loud 'quack' and boys have a more raspy 'huutt' kinda sound when they quack.
catmad
Pelzer, SC
(Zone 7b)

October 30, 2011
7:30 AM

Post #8868974

They all talk at the same time :)
Do not all drakes get the curly tail? The two Cayugas look very different, and I'll try to be more observant as they comment on my actions...
DonnaB
Vancleave, MS
(Zone 8b)

October 30, 2011
11:29 AM

Post #8869271

you really don't want your drakes to have the extra calcium. It will kill them over time because they can't utilize it like the hens do with eggs. It would be better if you can find a feed without ex.calcium such as layer and offer calcium in another bowl for the hens. It doesn't have to be a high protein like flock raiser. I use it because it is the only one I can get that is not layer and I reduce the protein level down by mixing it with scratch. Ducks only need 15 to 16%
titaniumRX8
Mint Hill, NC
(Zone 7b)

October 30, 2011
6:05 PM

Post #8869721

Boy ducks quacking - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMLl_6GnLUw

Girl duck quacking - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6R58_iLdJA

Hopefully, these help a little bit to tell the difference between their quacks.
catmad
Pelzer, SC
(Zone 7b)

October 31, 2011
7:07 AM

Post #8870216

"It would be better if you can find a feed without ex.calcium such as layer "

Okay, now I'm confused. I thought that layer DID contain extra calcium, which is why it's called "layer".

I'll look today if I can find somewhere to look...

Thanks titanium, I'll see if I can get that to play, but I'm not really hopeful that I'll be able to do anything with it. Most of their quacking is done out of sight :)

I'll google about the tailfeathers.
titaniumRX8
Mint Hill, NC
(Zone 7b)

October 31, 2011
8:01 AM

Post #8870291

I wish I could help you to know when the boy tail feathers start to show...all my ducks are rescues so I don't know how old they are. My girl ducks are very vocal when its time to eat...So maybe your loudest ones will be girls.

Oh one other thing, I have also noticed the make little clucking(not like chickens but just something like that) type noises when they are eating. I have to feed them several times a day by throwing out food to them - I don't leave feed out all the time for them or I would have all kinds of varmits coming around. They have a pond to dabble in all day so they are well fed.
catmad
Pelzer, SC
(Zone 7b)

October 31, 2011
8:44 AM

Post #8870357

They have a food bowl in their rain house, and every once in awhile something cleans it out at night, and it was empty this morning. Of course, they could have finished it yesterday. I'll try to be more observant, I usually refill every other day. I'll try throwing some food out, and see if that gets their attention. So far, they just run, and seldom eat the "treats (greens)" I so carefully provide.
Their "pond" is a bass boat...;)
DonnaB
Vancleave, MS
(Zone 8b)

October 31, 2011
11:08 AM

Post #8870557

sorry Cat. extra calcium food such as layer you Don't want to use if at all possible unless you only have hens. Maybe I said it wrong above
porkpal
Richmond, TX

October 31, 2011
11:37 AM

Post #8870587

Our ducks ate chick starter until they were fully feathered, nearly adult size, and ready to move out onto the pond. Since then they've been fed a 12% protein horse feed - mainly as a treat. The pond has fish, tadpoles, and lots of delicious slime. - I know, I'm no help!
catmad
Pelzer, SC
(Zone 7b)

November 1, 2011
9:40 AM

Post #8871846

Well, horse feed I can get in many different %'s. But, I guess that's not what you're recommending...

Okay, I attempted to distinguish between vocalizations. The loudest of the three has the curly tail feathers...

sigh
DonnaB
Vancleave, MS
(Zone 8b)

November 1, 2011
10:30 AM

Post #8871909

curly tail feathers are usually drakes
porkpal
Richmond, TX

November 1, 2011
12:02 PM

Post #8872022

Did I miss something? Why does it matter which are male at this point?
DonnaB
Vancleave, MS
(Zone 8b)

November 1, 2011
12:51 PM

Post #8872104

weather or not she can feed a layer feed or one without the extra calcium
catmad
Pelzer, SC
(Zone 7b)

November 1, 2011
4:50 PM

Post #8872415

porkpal, you're just a little out of the loop, that's all. I had a secondary underthread going on about my two Cayugas, and whether or not one is male.

BUT!! The good news is that I've learned a lot, and the better news is that my whining seems to have been really annoying, as the non-medicated starter is back. It was all a mistake, I'm told.
Phew!!
Still, I think I need to get them a better diet, and thanks to all of you, I think I'm on the right track:)

As always, Dave's Duckie Team RULES!!


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