Feeding Adult Ducks.

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Herefordshire, UK.
This FAQ provides some information about feeding adult ducks (over 16 weeks).

Ad-lib layers pellets and 'straight' wheat is normally fed to ducks (i.e not mixed corn).


Wheat is best fed in water in a small half size bucket or tub that cannot be knocked over (yes they will no doubt sit in it too at feeding time!). There are a number of advantages to feeding wheat in water:

  • it stops rats and mice from eating the feed,
  • if the next mornings ration is put into the water at bedtime, it softens the wheat, making it easier to digest.
  • it also stops chickens from eating it if you mix your birds (they will stand around and get very frustrated by this though!)
  • It will encourage the ducks to put their head under the water to wash their eyes. Ducks need to keep their eyes wet to prevent eye infections since they don’t have tear ducts to wet the eyes.

Straight wheat is cheaper than mixed corn that is fed as a treat to chickens. Maize found in mixed corn (yellow) is also very fattening but can be useful in small quantities during very cold wheather.

If you have a large number of ducks, you can speak to your local farmer and get a tonne bag full of wheat delivered. You can store this in plastic wheelie bins successfully to keep out vermin. Larger feed suppliers can supply straight wheat in bags.

Layers Pellets.

Laying ducks require more protein than is provided in wheat. They also need additional calcium to form egg shells. A layers pellet should be provided in a plastic container. Keep pellets dry since wet feed will soon go mouldy and is a sure route to illness. Do not feed loose mash since this can get stuck in the bill.
Ducks can be fed ad-lib and will balance the amount of wheat / pellets they need. Drakes will take more wheat than ducks for example so you can provide pellets and wheat all year round.

Finally don’t forget to provide mixed grit and clean water!

There is another FAQ that covers Feeding Ducklings.
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