“.. I was wondering if you could just point me in the right direction towards organic duck feed? I am not finding ANY sources that carry organic feed for them–especially not for the baby ducklings.”
Ducks and chickens can eat the same feed as long as it is non-medicated (it’s usually not the medication itself that will kill the ducks — they have a tendency to eat more than chickens which can cause a fatal overload of medication in their systems).
So if you can find a chick starter (20% protein) that is organic, you can use that for the first three weeks after they’re hatched. When the ducklings get older, feed them chicken-grower that is 16% protein. The one issue with ducks is that they need more Niacin (Vit B-4) than chickens. The lack of Niacin causes leg issues and malnutrition.
Deficiency symptoms for Niacin AND Riboflavin are both along the lines of curled-toe paralysis, drooping wings, and leg weakness, bowed legs, etc (as well as others).
I use Brewer’s Yeast (you can find large buckets of it from the feed store for horse use) to feed my ducks. I never really measure… just top dress it over the feed. But if you want a formula: 2.5lbs of brewer’s yeast per 50lbs of feed to start off with and then upping it to 3.5lbs per 50lbs when they start laying.
Generally, I advise you to watch their legs as the babies grow. If those funny little feet and legs are strong and straight and you don’t have any little ducky Charlie Chaplin doppelgangers … good – you’re doing it right!
Oh and feed them lots and lots of greens… ducks absolutely adore salad greens with all of their little hearts. It’s what they are born to eat. You can chop or tear up some leaves and toss into a bowl of water for the ducklings and watch them go into fits of delight. Try it, it will amuse you endlessly.
Make sure you remove the bowl of water after they eat up the greens so a duckling doesn’t get too chilled and drown.
If you want an on-hand emergency solution, vitamin b complex will fix a lot of the problems with ducklings. A small bottle of it is handy for just-in-case situations.
And this is always my MUST HAVE: http://www.peddlerswagon.com/p-245-poultry-nutri-drench-4-oz.aspx I don’t believe I’m exaggerating when I say it has saved many a chick, duckling, duck and hen (and an injured pigeon or two).
Boy you aren’t kidding about the nutri-drench! We bought some after seeing it recommended before on Path to Freedom. It’s like a miracle for sick chickens. 🙂
[…] When the ducklings get older, feed them chicken-grower that is 16% protein. The one issue with Ducks is that they need more Niacin (Vit B-4) than chickens. The lack of Niacin causes leg issues and […]