When choosing between pre-made and homemade bulk duck feed, you’ll want to keep two factors in mind: cost and nutritional value. Pre-made feeds typically contain more nutrients and are cheaper, but you’ll want to be sure you mix in calcium carbonate and a mineral that’s good for your birds. Besides avoiding filler additives, you’ll want to buy duck feed that is free of corn, soy, and other grains.
Alternatives to layer duck feed
A high-quality commercial duck feed will have 16% protein, which is the recommended level for growing birds. You can find such feed at agricultural or farming supply stores. You may even consider a vending machine that sells poultry feed. However, the food you purchase should be stored in a dry, clean place away from insects and rodents. Also, make sure you use the feed within three weeks of its manufacturer’s date. Excessive storage of feed can lead to mold and loss of vitamins.
When choosing a feed for your layer ducks, consider the nutritional requirements of each type. Breeder layers need a diet with about sixteen to seventeen percent protein and slightly higher calcium. Non-laying ducks, on the other hand, need a diet that has between twelve and fourteen percent protein. You may want to consider using a non-fortified feed without calcium to feed male ducks. The protein content of the feed will not affect the quality of the eggs.
Other types of grain-based layers can be fed to your ducks. Oats and rice cakes are safe for your birds to consume. Both are high in fructose and rice, which ducks prefer. As a general rule, ducks will tolerate a diet of grain, fruits, and vegetables. As for feed pellets, the best choice for layer ducks is a specially formulated variety. These pellets float in water for over an hour, reducing waste in the water.
Nutritional value of layer duck feed
Supplementing layer duck diet with nutraceuticals has numerous benefits for layer duck health. These products contain essential amino acids necessary for laying, growth, feathering and other biological functions in poultry. Amino acids also promote healthy skin and eggs, and contribute to the strength and volume of the eggshell. These nutrients help prevent the appearance of dermatitis and contribute to the overall health of the birds. They also provide nutrients that support the health of the urinary tract and improve laying ability.
Generally, layer ducks are fed pellets or crumbles, rather than mash. While these diets contain more protein than their chicken counterparts, they often clump in the ducks’ mouths and increase waste and litter moisture. Nutritional value of layer duck feed is 15 to 16 percent crude protein, 3% calcium and 8% moisture. Feeds containing fish meal or groundnut meal are not recommended for layer ducks.
Mineral nutrition should be improved by focusing on the use of organic mineral sources and supplementary enzymes. Phytase enzymes may be added to reduce the antagonistic action between mineral and antinutritional factors. Specific databases of mineral requirements for different genotypes of ducks and rearing conditions should be established. Supplemental nutrients should be chosen based on environmental stresses. There are many dietary supplements that are available for layer ducks.
Cost of layer duck feed
The cost of layer duck feed depends on what type of feed is being used. Commercial feed can be bought at most local feed stores. However, if you have a large flock, mixing your own feed may save money. Commercial feed must be stored in an uncontaminated area away from pests and rodents, and should be used within three weeks of the manufacturer’s expiration date. Feed that smells sour may be contaminated by mold or other contaminants.
Some manufacturers offer their products for less than the market price. Whole grains have more nutrients than ground ones. Grinded grains lose their nutritional value over time. Additionally, whole grains don’t contain Niacin, which is essential for the health of laying ducks. Brewer’s yeast does contain Niacin, but it’s not a suitable feed for newly hatched ducks and layer ducks. Cheap rations have less nutrients and may lead to poor feathering, poor egg production, and even reduced hatchability.
A good layer duck feed product should have an excellent protein content, including a minimum of 20% protein. These supplements will support the development and growth of the duckling. The product should also have sufficient Niacin, which will help with leg development. Furthermore, it contains prebiotics and probiotics. In addition, layer duck feed should contain adequate amounts of fiber and calcium. The price of layer duck feed depends on what kind of food you use and where you buy it.