Commercial feeds contain the correct balance of nutrients and minerals. There are different types of feed available for different ages of ducks. These have different compositions and different levels of protein, suitable for their different growing stages.
- Day old to 4 or 5 Weeks old. (20% Protein) Ducklings should be fed waterfowl or poultry crumbs. They can be fed chick crumbs that do not contain anti-coccidiostats (sometimes abbreviated to A.C.S.). Check the ingredients on the label.
- 4 or 5 weeks to 12 Weeks (<18% Protein) Poultry or Waterfowl growers pellets, they can be fed chicken growers pellets, again only if they do not contain anti-coccidiostats.
- Small amounts of soft greens can be fed (like lettuce). Since these soon get spoiled on the floor, put them in water where they will happily dabble for them.
- After 10 weeks, whole wheat can be fed.
- After 12 Weeks, they can be fed Waterfowl Maintenance or Layers pellets. (<16% Protein)
Feed related problems to look out for.
Angel wing: This is where the wing joint deforms and twists, causing the wings to droop and the feathers to stick out at a funny angle. There is nothing that can be done in adult ducks so you need to fix the problem as soon as it happens in growing ducks. Visit the Angel Wing FAQ for more information.
Lameness: Young ducks can become lame if they are fed layers pellets too soon or without wheat. This is caused by an imbalance of calcium to phosphorus in the diet. Layers feeds contain a lot of calcium that is needed by laying birds to form egg shells. Ensure young / growing waterfowl (over 5 weeks) are fed the correct diet of waterfowl growers pellets and not layers pellets.