Duck feed is the most important factor of duck farming. First and foremost, remember that ducks are waterfowl. In their natural environment, they feed on algae, insects, fish, plants, seeds and some pebbles or grit (we will explain later why). In parks and lakes frequented by humans, it is common to see that they are fed with practically anything (cookies, masses or leftovers from the picnic basket). This is not good for ducks.
Domestic ducks that live as pets, must be fed using duck feed, which is obtained in veterinary and local poultry sales. Bear in mind that this type of food is meant for fattening, so rations should not be so abundant and we must complement with green vegetables, carrots, and some vitamin supplements (consult your veterinarian, he will know how to help your duck).
We can feed domestic ducks with a crushed grain or flour (corn, rice, barley, heart, sorghum, rice bran or other grains). Also cotton, peanut and sunflower seeds may serve, albeit to a lesser extent, because of their high-fat content.
To avoid mineral deficiencies, when our duck does not have the possibility to walk the earth, we must provide a bone meal, eggshell or crushed shells together with the feed. This will prevent common problems in the legs and egg failures. In addition, the digestive system of the duck has an organ in which accumulates small pebbles to help crush the food.
Can they eat leftover food from humans?
It is not convenient, providing the food we eat will be hurting your pet. However, we can use some leftovers from the kitchen after cutting them, boiling them and mixing them with flour.
Some tricks to recognize problems in duck feeding:
Poultry show symptoms that are easy to distinguish when they lack nutrients essential for growth. Therefore we can recognize the lack of:
The lack of proteins causes a weakening of our pet, which generates a greater possibility of contracting infections. In addition, in ducklings, growth is affected and may present problems in its development.
The problems in the bones of the legs, caused by the lack of minerals cause problems to walk to our domestic duck as they are curved. Also, during laying, eggs may appear without shell or with the soft shell.
If the toes curl inward, the feathers remain bristling. We see that our pet has problems walking or there are exudations (release liquid) in the nose and eyes. We are facing a probable failure of vitamins. Vitamin additives and vegetables help prevent and resolve these problems.
Ducks are animals that adjust the consumption of food very well to their energy needs, ranging from 2,400 to 3,200 Kcal/kg of ME, without any changes in weight at slaughter. It is necessary to adjust the amino acid and mineral inputs, according to the energy content of the diets.
Thus, a food high in energy should have a higher concentration of amino acids and minerals, then another with a lower energy content. With respect to protein requirements, these are high in the onset phase, although, because they have a significant compensatory growth, it is not necessary that there is a significant contribution at this stage since they can obtain a similar slaughter weight with fewer rations Rich.
There are 12 amino acids that birds are not able to synthesize, so they are considered essential. If the diet contains the appropriate carbonate skeletons and sufficient amount of nitrogen enables the amino groups to be obtained. The other amino acids can be synthesized by the bird.
Some of them are essential such as arginine, lysine, methionine, cystine, threonine, and tryptophan. The birds have very special needs of mineral salts, among which are the macro and micro minerals. Among the first, Ca, P, Mn, Mg, K, Na, and Cl stand out.
In the same way, the vitamin requirements are delivered through supplements or vitamin nuclei. Ducks should be given a balanced food ration, which must be available during all hours of the day.
Generally, they are given rations containing all the ingredients mixed. Grains, protein products, fats, mineral and vitamin supplements, growth stimulants, etc. The form of the food that better accept are granules or pellets, not so ground foods.