Duck farming is not an easy task. The main considerable subject for successful duck farming is duck feed. If you want to keep ducks for commercial purpose, then you must have to know what feed is essential and what should not feed to the ducks.
To get desired profit from duck farming business, you have to ensure balance diet. This makes sure that the ducks will grow up in a healthy way.
Most of the ducks are reared in farms. However, a number of ducks are also reared in open space or ponds. Many people think that bread or bread crumbs are suitable duck feed but it not absolutely true. Just like all the creatures ducks need balance diet for proper growing.
Ducks are considered as a good pet and egg or meat source. So, if farmer wants to raise ducks, they must have to feed them properly. In this case, feeding ducklings is very important because baby ducks become very weak and sensitive.
After the birth of ducklings, farmer should provide wet started mash for eight weeks. It is better to provide feed at night during the first few days and drinking water can be given from the 2nd day through fountains and troughs.
After the fourth day, farmer must add finely chopped small shrimps boiled rice. Besides, amount of feed must be increase with the increase of ducklings’ age.
When ducklings reach at the age of one month, farmer should provide tiny fresh water snails and boiled unhulled rice.
Mask feed that is given to ducklings is composed of fish meal, rice bran with oyster shell, corn, soybean meal, dried whey and bone meal with mineral vitamin supplements.
Starter mash with 10-20% crude protein gives one day to six weeks aged ducklings; mash with 16% crude protein gives for 6 weeks old to 4 month old ducklings; layer mash with 16% crude with gives 4 month old ducks and above aged.
Provide enough mash to consume quickly at one time for 10 to 15 minutes, if mash feed is preferred. Wet mash trends to spoil when left long in hoppers. It is better to give feed at regular intervals.
For this reason, ducklings learn to eat more feed and appetites are developed to stuff themselves in between drinks, digest feed quickly.
Farmer should provide feed four to five times a day that is sufficient for over 2 weeks old ducklings and provide plenty of clean, fresh water.
When ducks eat their feed they waste too much for this reason give sufficient feed to prevent much waste.
Growing Duck’s Feed
Ducks, generally raised as farm or pet animals, are useful animals to keep domestically and a reliable source of meat and egg.
However, ducks need special nutrition to survive. If ducks do not get enough nutrition, they will not grow properly. Besides, they also suffer from malnutrition that may cause of illness and even death of duck flock.
If a farmer provides wrong feed, then the ducks will waste it. Here are some instructions about how to feed fully grown ducks.
- At first prepare the bin feeder. Properly clean and dry the surface of the feeder and then any sharp egged should be covered by duct tape and hang it in a safe place within the ducks’ enclosed space.
- For providing correct amount of nutrition, provide a commercial duck feed. Egg productive duck breeds need 16-18 percent protein in their feed. 14-16 percent protein needs non-laying adults in their feed.
- Too much protein can cause of angel wing that causes the wing, feathers to stick up. Besides lack of enough protein may causes serious nutrition problem that hamper egg laying.
- Give your ducks fresh greens, such as vegetable trimmings, although your ducks may eat weeds and grass in your yard whenever you keep your ducks in outside.
- Make your duck’s feed with the help of chopped up hard boiled eggs, cracked corn and worms. You have to keep away from using whole corn because it is not easy digestible. In winter season. Large amount of cracked corn should feed. A study ensures that cracked corn contains half of the protein that the ducks need.
- Whenever you feed your duck, you must provide fresh water to ingest the feed that you provide and clean their beaks. Your ducks could choke because of not providing enough water.
- You should preserve your duck feed carefully because it may grow bacteria and other microorganism that is harmful to your ducks health.
What Not to Feed Ducks
The most common items and waterfowl contains least nutritious and also unhealthy such as bread, chips, crackers, popcorn etc. you should not feed bread to your ducks because it has no health value and also hinders ducklings growth, make dirty water ways and attract rodents. Similarly, ducks must not feed any products which are spoiled. Besides, spoil feed can be harmful to the duck.
Good Duck Feeds
The feeds that contain the nutrients, minerals and vitamins and necessary ingredients for healthy growth and development of ducks are the best feed for ducks. Most of these feeds has a similarity to the natural grains, seeds and plants that the birds search for their own. The best feed list for ducks described below.
- Cracked corn
- Chopped lettuce
- Vegetable trimmings
It can be added that pellets or poultry starter pellets are another great feed for duck that can be purchased from farming or agriculture supply stores.
Tips for Feeding Ducks
- You should not feed the ducks when the ducks are uninterested to eating and if you do so then the duck will leave the feed uneaten.
- You should be careful of the ducks that come closely and remember that they are still be aggressive.
- Clean all the garbage properly.
- Be aware about children and others pets so that they cannot disturb the ducks.
- Always follow the local facilities that help to feed ducks.
Frequently Asked Questions
People ask many questions about duck feed. Here we are listing the most common questions about feeding ducks, and trying to answer them. Hope you will find your answer. Don’t hesitate to ask us if you have more questions.
What is the best feed for duck?
Most of the ducks love to have food from natural sources. But for commercial production you can feed them ready-made foods which are available in the market. Generally, the most common and good food items for the ducks are rice, oats, cracked corn etc.
What do farmers feed ducks?
Most of the farmers used to feed their ducks with rice, oats, wheat, cracked corn etc. But in commercial production farmers used to use ready-made food for feeding their ducks.
What should you not feed a duck?
Prohibited foods for ducks include chips, popcorn, bread, cereal, donuts, crackers etc.
What does a duck eat?
Wild ducks and geese feed on a variety of grains and grasses, aquatic plants, and invertebrates, all naturally found in the wild. But in commercial duck farming business, you can feed them with ready-made duck feed.
Can ducks eat rice?
Yes, sure! They will love and appreciate a handful of leftover rice. Uncooked rice is also good for the ducks.
Can ducks eat uncooked rice?
Yes, sure! Your ducks will love to have some uncooked rice. Uncooked rice is perfectly safe in small doses.
What should I feed my ducks daily?
You can feed your ducks with low cost and easily available ingredients such as:
- Cracked corn
- Milo seeds
- Birdseed etc.
Is corn safe for ducks?
Yes, corn is totally safe for the ducks. But, try to feed them with cracked corn.
Can ducks eat bananas?
Yes, bananas are totally safe for the ducks.
Can I feed my ducks and chickens the same food?
Yes, you can feed your ducks and chickens the same food.
What protein do ducks eat?
A 23% protein chick starter could be used for the first 2 weeks, followed by a 20% protein broiler grower diet.
What vegetables can ducks eat?
Ducks can eat a wide variety of vegetables and fruits which includes but not limited to:
- Zucchini etc.
Can ducks eat potatoes?
Yes, potatoes are good for the ducks.
Can ducks eat tomatoes?
Yes, tomatoes are good for the ducks.
Do ducks eat raw vegetables?
Yes, sure! Ducks can eat a wide variety of fresh, raw and cooked fruits and vegetables.
Can ducks eat apples?
Yes, you can feed your ducks with apples. But try to remove the seeds and core before feeding it to your ducks.
Do ducks need a bath every day?
Yes, having a bath every day will be very good for the ducks.
Do ducks need a lot of water?
Yes, ducks love to stay in water and they also consume a lot of water.
Do ducks need food all the time?
No, but ensure that they are getting plenty of fresh feed daily.
What food will attract ducks?
Corn, wheat, rice and sorghum will attract the ducks most.
What do ducks eat in a pond?
Ducks consume a variety of food from a pond if you allow them to do so. They will eat small fish, eggs, snails, worms and bugs to grass, weeds, seeds, berries etc.
Can you feed ducks bird seed?
Yes, you can feed your ducks with bird seed.
How long do ducks live?
Depends on the breed and some other factors. Average lifespan of a Mallard duck is between 5 and 10 years or even more.
How much should I feed my duck?
Depends on numerous factors. Generally, a duck will consume about 100 to 200 grams of food daily.
Can ducks live without a pond?
Yes, ducks can live without a pond. Actually, ducks don’t need a pond to be happy. But they need to access water if you want to produce fertile eggs.
Do ducks need sunlight?
Yes, ducks need sunlight exposure in order to be healthy and happy.