Jan 28

Feeding Ducklings

Feeding Ducklings
From time to time, a response that I post on a certain forum recaps something I have shared probably hundreds of times. So today, I thought to simply copy what I shared in hopes it will help someone who reads this blog.

Question: What shall I feed my ducklings? I cannot find duckling food at the feed store.

Answer: I was able to find a turkey-waterfowl starter crumble. The protein was higher than what Storey's Guide recommended, so I added one part chopped oats per 4 parts crumble to get it closer to the recommended 20%. Then at 2 weeks or so I started adding grower to the crumble in increasing amounts, till they were eating just grower.

The feed store probably has chick starter. Ideally, unmedicated (just because the ducklings don't need it and many of us don't like the idea of giving unnecessary meds), though if that's all there is, that's all there is. And if chick starter is what you use, please please be sure to add niacin to their water or food.

Niacin, vitamin b3, not no-flush, not timed release, just plain niacin. You may have to call around. I found it at the local pharmacy. Some grocery stores sell it. It's in the human vitamin section. 100 to 150 mg niacin per gallon of drinking water.

An alternative would be a B complex vitamin capsule, using the amount of niacin to determine how many capsules per gallon of drinking water.

Then there's brewer's yeast - not baking yeast, not beer or wine making yeast - brewer's yeast. Folks on the forum generally write that they use a tablespoon b.y. per cup of food.

Without enough niacin (and, I suspect, some other B vitamins), ducklings can have serious neurological problems including leg problems and even seizures.