Who’s the pretty duck!

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Who's the pretty duck!

This is Robin the Roen. The door on the grill has medal on it where he can see his reflection. Everyday he looks into his mirror! Pretty duck!

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How Much Feed Do You Get?

Its time to replenish  my feed stock. I need to get 50 pounds of fish food for carp fish. I have about 300 carp in my pond and I make sure to feed them every day! I will need to get 25 pounds of chicken scratch and 50 pounds of cracked corn. That should last for 3 weeks. Now, three little domestic ducks wont go through that much chicken scratch and cracked corn in just a few weeks. The domestic ducks eat about a few tablespoons of food each day. I feed all of the ducks that like to visit my pond. 

We had an unusual migrating goose in our pond this early spring. After identification from studying my Bird Field Guide book, I realized that it was a Snow Goose also known as a Blue Goose. It was quite a rare find for the area that I live in.

I have also seen Mute Swans in my pond. They are so beautiful! Two of them flew into the pond and spent the afternoon there. 

Mostly the wild mallard makes my pond its home from April till October. Every April 1 they arrive and come up to my back door looking for their long awaited dinner of cracked corn. Sometimes they will walk up to the back patio  window and knock on the window with their beaks to let me know they want dinner!

Dinner Time

Its time to feed Snowball, Chloe, and Robin. What is the best source of nutrition for them and what do they want to eat?

For the last 100 years, domestic ducks have been raised as  farm animas. On these farms, almost anything is widely available for a duck to eat! Usually the farm hands and owners would feed a duck anything that they were growing at the time. In particular different types of foods depending on the season. For example, lettuce, tomatoes, and corn was usually their favorites!

Domestic ducks also are hunters. Worms are not safe in my yard! They will peck all day at the grass looking for bugs. Why would they do that all day when there owners have some delicious foods for them? Protein.

 

Nutritionally, bread is the worst and most harmful food a duck can eat. Never feed a duck bread!

I feed my ducks cracked corn and chicken scratch. I have offered them lettuce and tomatoes. However, they won’t even peck at it. Why? My ducks in particular don’t like change. Especially a change in their diet. For a treat I will give them fish food. However, that is feed to them sparingly because it has a lot of protein in it. Too much protein can cause Angel Wings. Thats when the wings don’t lay close to the ducks body.

What I have learned over the last 2 years of what to feed a duck. When looking for the best foods to give to a domestic duck, consider the amount of protein in it. Duckling’s need feed that has a high content of protein. When the duck gets older, less protein is needed (male and non producing egg layers require about 14% protein a day). A female duck that lays eggs needs more protein in their diet. Feeding a female duck oyster shell helps keep the eggs hard. 

Usually a duck will let you know what it wants to eat. Ducks know what they are searching for nutritionally wise. When a duck is diving at the bottom of a lake searching for oyster shells, its because they need that to keep their egg shells thick. If my duck chooses a bug over a delicious salad that I spent time preparing its because they crave something that is moving. 

My ducks eat very little feed. They eat a few tablespoons a day. I will have a huge bowl of feed for them and they only eat a tiny amount. However, all day they are digging holes in the ground looking for a bug. lol 

 

 

 

To Room or Not to Room

I have a rubbermaid shed. Its perfect for the ducks. I can hose the plastic barn for easy cleaning. It has a windows on the side and top of the barn.

The ducks spent the winter in the barn and we made a pen. I live up north in the snow belt. Riddle. How do you keep a duck warm in the winter? I decided to use a small electric heater and placed it on the shelf. It kept the barn 30 degrees warmer then the outside temperature. I kept the food in the barn along with 2 buckets of water.
When spring came, I let the ducks free range in the yard. The ducks want no part of the barn, except to go into it to eat their favorite foods. That was the perfect opportunity to give the barn a really good scrub down cleaning.
Now that the pen is down, the ducks have free range in the yard and don’t want anything to do with sleeping in the barn.
They have decided not to room in the barn at night.