Can I Have the Bill Please Waiter?

Ducks are incredibly hardy and adaptable, however to maintain optimum egg production and health they need the correct balance of nutrients and a constant supply of water.

For domestic laying ducks it is perfectly acceptable to feed them chicken layers pellets which have the right concentrations of protein (16-18%), calcium (2-3%), carbohydrates, fibre (6%), Omega 3 oils (4%), vitamins and minerals.

Ducklings need a special food called chick crumbs for the first 8 weeks after which time they need a \'growers\' ration until they are about 16-18 weeks old. From this time on they can be on adult rations of Layers pellets ( See image on right ) which is a mixed and balanced feed.

Feed Quantities
The amount you feed your duck depends on its size and the table below gives a rough guide.

Duck Weight
Kg
Feed Weight
Grams
0 - 1.5120
1.5 - 2160
2 - 3200
3 - 4270

The Eglu's food container will, when full, contain 1.8kg of layers pellets. Enough food for two large ducks for up to three days.

Water Quantities
The eglu water container holds about 3 litres of water (about 5 pints) which should last two ducks a couple of days. It is however a good idea to check the water every day.

Foragers
Duck bills are very versatile allowing them to forage for plant material such as seeds, grains, acorns, grass shoots and also insects, snails and slugs and aquatic invertebrates. If you look closely, you can see a kind of serrated fringe along a duck\'s bill. This uneven edge not only allows it to grip food more securely, but it also strains tiny plants and animals from water or mud. Orchards are an excellent location for ducks, as are pastures with clover. In a garden they should be kept out of areas such as vegetable patches and bedding areas with young tender plants.

As a treat for your ducks you can put a low wattage light about 30cm of the ground and at night your ducks will feast on the insects that swarm to the light. This is of course a little unfair on the insects.

Customer Images

Comments

Donald, 16 November 2018

Can you please help with a mallard duck feeding program. I reside in Chestertown MD. and feed ducks twice per week, with cracked corn, whole corn, scratch grains, and wild bird seed as a supplement to their natural diet. The area is along the chester river, (brackish water) I estimate there are 25-30 mallards in this area. should I add or delete anything to my current listing of items I feed to give a balanced diet. This has taken place for about three months, and I see no baby ducks in the group. thank you 11-15-18 Donald Downs


Cindy, 12 August 2015

A few comments about feeding ducks: If you feed ducks with chicken feed, you need to provide additional niacin. I use brewer's yeast sold in bulk at the grocery store, adding 1 cup to approximately 4 pounds of feed. Putting niacin in the water is another possible option, but my ducklings splash too much! Chick crumble (22% protein) should only be fed to ducklings for the first 2 to 3 weeks. Too much protein can make them more susceptible to developing "angel wing" from wings that grow too fast (males are more susceptible than females). I am feeding starter (20% protein) mixed with plain rolled oats to make the feed approximately 16% protein. When my ducklings turn 8 weeks old this weekend, they will get 16% grower feed mixed with rolled oats to make the feed approximately 12% protein. An adult duck will drink a half gallon of water a day, so 5 pints really isn't quite enough for 2 ducks for 2 days. But since it's best to provide ducks someplace to at least wade/bathe, this probably won't be an issue. I think ducks are wonderful since they love slugs and dandelion leaves and I have both in abundance! And I am looking forward to getting some eggs in a few more months :)


Eileen, 24 July 2011

Very useful. I wasn't sure if I was doing the right thing, taking our broody duck off her nest but I was worried she wasn't eating and drinking properly. Thanks

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