What do you feed adult ducks?

Siamese(VA)July 28, 2005

I have a duck that was raised with chickens so shes always ate their food. But what kind of food is best for ducks? layer crumbles, pellets, maintence feed?? Shes over 2yrs old and has never laid an egg if that makes any difference.

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dannyboquet(z9 So Louisiana)

I don't know what is considered the best food, but the "wild" ducks in our pond eat the h@ll out of the Purina Laying Pellets. When we feed the chickens in the morning, they all come in the pen and help themselves. They can eat more and faster than the chickens. How do you get the ducks to leave and go North? They seem very content with their situation. They have little fear of us and will come quack at the door in the morning to let us know it's time to feed. We had three ducks lay and hatch around the pond and they are getting too numerous. (Good thing some predator got most of the nests and only three broods hatched.)

    Bookmark   July 28, 2005 at 4:17PM
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orcuttnyc(z5-6 NY)

My wild mallards and wood ducks will eat cracked corn to no end.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2005 at 5:03PM
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Mine get either Game Bird crumbles or layer pellets.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2005 at 8:16AM
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plays_in_the_dirt(SW Georgia/Z 8)

ours also eats cracked corn.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2005 at 7:32PM
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We have 6 ducks and they eat crumbles or pellets (wichever the chikens are having)but they forage all day long and eat a varity of greens and weeds and grass clippings ect....We are also getting more duck eggs than we can keep up with 4 females and 2 males. SO we get 4 duck eggs a day and all of them are double yolkers(Why?)...anyway they just eat what the chickens do and then forage all day....josette

    Bookmark   July 30, 2005 at 8:25PM
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I was afraid to give mine pellets because I wasnt sure if she could eat those. She eats crumbles now and it doesnt look like shes even getting any, but obviously she does. I don't let her free range (well she does get out once in a while) because Im afraid she might fly away and shes a rescue... she had an injured eye and bill but now both seem to be doing much better. I didnt know if there was a specific water fowl food or not. Any idea why shes never laid an egg? I thought she'd lay eggs at least during the summer...

    Bookmark   July 30, 2005 at 11:35PM
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motherduck(Z2b MB)

Domestic ducks need lots of greens and plenty of water. Don't give them medicated feed or feeds too high in protein. Only give layer feed to birds that are actually laying if it has an increased level of calcium. Adult ducks require 12 to 14% protein. Laying ducks need 16% protein during laying--it should be given a few weeks before to help stimulate laying. I'm assuming that your duck is a wild one since it was a rescue so she may need a higher level of protein--possibly gamebird feed so you may want to find a wild waterfowl forum. Ducklings and adult ducks that are molting also need extra niacin in their diet.
There are many factors that affect laying:
breed, age, overall health, amount of daylight, weather, stress, quality of feed, etc. Also consider that some birds are egg-eaters. Rodents will also steal eggs.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2005 at 11:06AM
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cracked corn and fresh grass clippings. They forage a lot and occasionally I will go to the bait store and get them a few worms and crickets or help them dig some up in the yard. They go nuts over them.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2005 at 11:37PM
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judyag_44(SW FL)

Our ducks (2 Rouen, 1 Crested Saxony, 2 Cuyugas,and a Swedish Blue) forage endlessly...have to laugh when I awaken during the night and hear them "talking" to each other as the rummage through the grass around the house. They come close to the house at night but during the day free range in the surrounding pastures and the extended portions of the yard.

We give them a fancy "chop".....cracked corn & milo/millet to enrich their diets. The females lay eggs consistently.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2005 at 1:34AM
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melee_AL(z7 AL)

Siamese, do you know how old your duck is? She might be too old to lay eggs.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2005 at 7:19PM
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She's two years old and we've had her since she was a tiny fuzzball. When she was about 6 months old,I noticed a whitish egg in with the brown eggs (I only had 2 buff orpingtons at the time) so it may have been her that laid that egg-but never saw anymore like that.

She has started during something weird...when I let the hen in with her she'll bite all over the underside of the hen and make lots of noise... any idea why she does this? It annoys the hen but doesnt hurt her.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2005 at 10:08PM
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melee_AL(z7 AL)

Well I am no duck expert, that's for sure. I have a handful of Muscovies, they started laying last year at about 7-8 months. They have been laying off and on this summer since about April. They are never cooped up, so they mostly feed themselves plus they get about 1/2c layer pellets per duck per day. I also feed their eggshells back to them. The Muscovies' eggshells are very thick but translucent and waxy-looking.

What breed of duck do you have? If she is a domestic breed, she probably can't fly well enough to fly away? The 'scovies can fly quite well - they fly around but they don't fly away :)

The hen 'scovies display a dominance behavior where they mount each other and the non-dominant drake and also bite at the back of the head and neck. If I had to guess I would say your duck's just trying to be the boss of the hen..

    Bookmark   August 3, 2005 at 1:27PM
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wild Mallard...shes gotten out a few times and she can fly over the tree tops... and thats after I thought I had clipped her wings.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2005 at 2:12PM
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The only time we fed out ducks (and geese) were in the winter and that was cracked corn. The rest of the year they foraged and all got fat. They also like june bugs. I would watch them at night and they all would gather under the yard light and scoot after the june bugs and whatever else got within range of their little beaks.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2005 at 5:30PM
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gardnpondr(Zone 8)

I'm with Mother Duck, feed high in protein will cause them trouble down the road or even when they are young. They think angel wing is from foods too high in protein and they have all kinds of leg troubles with too high protein. Also corn makes them fat so they can't get off the ground to fly they say. I fed my others cracked corn or chops as they call it and they seemed to have no problems with it at all. Mine really really like what they call, Thunderbird. It has several different grains in it. But if they have been eating something else they will have to be given some mixed in with their other food and keep taking out more and more of the other food until they have all new food because they seem to like getting stuck in ruts on what they eat! lol They say rolled oats and wheat are good for them as well. Muzuri has something called maintance but I haven't started mine on that yet because I had a trash can full of food they had to eat up first. I feed my ducklings muzuri waterfowl starter and it comes in small balls and they don't waste it like they do the purina poultry starter. PLUS I was mixing the two and they would pick out the balls and leave the other and start squaking for more food. So they liked the muzuri better than the chick starter. PLUS it's FOR waterfowl! They do have different vitamin needs than poultry.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2005 at 7:24PM
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I have 4 ducks, I feed them cereal, lettuce, bread, chips, chicken, turkey, popcorn and plus they eat bugs and flies outside. Ducks are like chickens just about, they will eat almost anything. The kind I have even eat mice and frogs. Sometimes I give them a little grain, but mostly I just feed them the food I mentioned :)

    Bookmark   August 8, 2005 at 5:55PM
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jaelb(z5 IL)

I'd like to know where everyone gets their food! The only food available in my area is meatbird feed (which I use), layer pellets or medicated chick feed (not a good choice for ducks). My ducks are great foragers, they're young (Spring 2005 hatch) and our one female has begun laying eggs. For "treats" we feed them fruit/vegetable scraps. We have a pond with tons of duckweed (looks gross) so they're set. By the way, duckweed sells on ebay, but I'll ship it for the cost of shipping to anyone who's interested. ;)

    Bookmark   September 9, 2005 at 6:28PM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

I've got two Basic White ducks (I THINK that's the brand name...*L*), both were freebies from the feed store because they each have a bad leg. They get around just fine, they eat scratch with the chickens, forage during the day and have loads of grass, bugs, etc. to eat, along with a little kiddie pool to swim in.

But they LOVE the occassional french fry--!
*don't tell motherduck I do that, though*

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   September 9, 2005 at 10:57PM
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I didn't know you could keep/clip wings of wild birds. At least around here you can't keep any form of wild animal including frogs...

    Bookmark   September 10, 2005 at 7:12PM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

Laws differ here in the US on keeping 'wild' animals as pets...usually native and/or migratory species are protected and can only be kept in certain circumstances by a licensed rehabber, but imported ones are OK to keep as pets. Some, like ferrets, have become so popular as pets that it's causing a shift in the laws. To make things even MORE complicated; states, counties and cities have their own additional laws and zoning regulations.

At least with wing clipping, the feathers will eventually molt out and grow back--much better than pinioning, which is forever.

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   September 11, 2005 at 1:01AM
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