How to feed ducklings at home from the first days of life

How to feed ducklings at home from the first days of life

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The performance of ducks depends on the nutritional value and balance of the diet. The first complementary feeding and feeding in the first week affect the subsequent work of digestion. To form strong immunity, monthly ducklings should receive vitamins A, B, D and E. Wet mixtures form the basis of their diet. What components must be included in them and what should not be fed to ducklings, it will be useful to learn for novice poultry farmers.

Types of food for ducklings

The main food of ducks consists of plants, cereals, animals and fish components, as well as fermented milk products. Additionally, the birds are given cake, boiled vegetables, yeast, beans. The diet of ducklings of different ages includes the same components, which are combined into four groups.


Cereals include crushed grain:

  • barley;
  • wheat;
  • oats;
  • corn.

Whole grains are only given to adult birds. Feeding the ducklings begins with wheat or corn grits, and gradually chopping is introduced into the diet. Cereals contain vegetable protein, which is essential for weight gain.

Juicy feed

The group includes fresh herbs and vegetables:

  • scalded nettle leaves;
  • dandelion leaves;
  • knotweed;
  • yarrow;
  • duckweed;
  • potatoes;
  • pumpkin;
  • swede;
  • carrot.

Ducklings are given kelp and soybean meal Chicks get the following nutrients from greens and vegetables:

  • vitamins B, PP, E, C, A;
  • amino acids;
  • potassium;
  • magnesium;
  • iron.

The nutritional value of duckweed is equal to that of cereals. River grass, like sea kelp, contains iodine, phosphorus, calcium and B vitamins.

Animal products

In addition to vegetable, ducks need animal protein. Its need is met by adding beef and fish bone flour to the diet. The ducklings are also given the following animal products:

  • junk meat - made from the carcasses of cattle that have had non-infectious diseases, added to cereals for young animals in crushed form, but not more than fifteen percent of the total diet;
  • meat flour - made from meat scraps, embryos, intestines, added to the feed of ten-day-old ducklings;
  • fishmeal - consists of fish waste, is used in the preparation of broth for wet mash;
  • graxa is a product of overheating of cod liver fat; fresh, it is useful for ducklings from the 10th day of life, it is in the form of flour.

The group also includes skim milk and cottage cheese. From animal products, ducklings get protein, Sphor, vitamin B, fat and calcium.

Mineral and vitamin supplements

Natural calcium supplements include:

  • chalk - necessary for the normal development of the skeleton;
  • seashells - aid in digestion.

Ducklings get their vitamins from greens and vegetables. But also premixes are added to the feed:

  • "Sun" - a vitamin concentrate containing all the necessary microelements, from the 10th day ducklings are given 4 grams of supplements;
  • "Rich" - intended for chicks from the first days of life, in addition to vitamins, contains antioxidants;
  • "Siberian Compound" - a mineral concentrate is added to the feed for young animals, no more than one percent of the total weight of the portion.

Chalk and shells are constantly present in the diet of ducks. Vitamin premixes are added to prevent seasonal vitamin deficiency or indigestion in ducklings. Supplements that stimulate weight gain are also used, for example, "Ivan Ivanych" with selenium, folic acid and an increased proportion of iodine.

Basic feeding rules

Principles of feeding ducklings:

  • to use components of all groups for the normal development of birds;
  • Pour chalk and shells into a separate bowl;
  • chop fresh grass leaves and vegetables;
  • boil root vegetables;
  • the minimum share of succulent feed is 20 percent of the total diet, and cereals - 50 percent;
  • in the first week of life, feed the chicks 6 times a day and gradually switch to 3 meals a day;
  • during the first month of life, give a liquid mash, from the second - a dry grain mixture;
  • put dry and wet food in different dishes.

Ducklings need drinking water around the clock. Chicks drink three times more than they eat. The water should be boiled at room temperature. Newborn ducklings cannot distinguish between stationary objects. In order for the chicks to see the food, it is poured in front of them or on their backs.

Drawing up a diet

The nutrition of ducklings differs in that from the first days the components are introduced alternately. Their share is increasing gradually. Also, compound feed is added to the diet of fattened birds, which promotes weight gain and serves as a vitamin supplement.

For newborn ducklings

The hatched chicks are watered with water - through a pipette or dipped in their beaks into a drinking bowl. After two hours, you can give the first feed - finely chopped boiled eggs of any poultry. Immediately after hatching, they do not experience hunger, but in the first 24 hours they need frequent feeding - every 2 hours.

Expert opinion

Zarechny Maxim Valerievich

Agronomist with 12 years of experience. Our best summer cottage expert.

From the first days of life, ducklings are given animal products - low-fat cottage cheese or milk, to which eggs are added. For newborn ducklings, the first food is laid out on the bedding, and then placed in the feeders.

After three to four meals, little ducklings are given a pale manganese solution to prevent indigestion and the development of stomach infections. When raising ducklings for fattening, from the first day for growth, compound feed is added to the curd-egg mixture.

For daily allowances

The diet of ducklings from two days of age includes:

  • herbs or soybean meal;
  • corn grits;
  • flour from meat and fish waste;
  • a piece of chalk;
  • seashells.

The components are kneaded in broth or yogurt. When feeding ducklings at home, it is important to immediately remove the half-eaten mash. In milk mixtures, fermentation begins, which is harmful to digestion.

For weekly

On the seventh day, the ducklings are ready for walks in the pasture and can get green food on their own.

Diet composition for 10-day-old chicks:


from the total mass

(in percents)

Sunflower cake20
Crushed wheat13
Fish flour7
Feed yeast5
a piece of chalk0,5

The feed intake for one duckling is 80 grams per day with a weight of 500 grams. During the growth period, fish oil is used as a vitamin supplement to replenish the need for omega-3 fatty acids. The ducklings need to be carefully looked after: once a week they should be given potassium permanganate, protected from drafts and overheating.


After 2 weeks after hatching, the ducklings stop giving eggs. Boiled vegetables are introduced into the diet. They are added to wet mixes along with crushed corn, bone meal and plants. Chicks begin to swim during this period, so they need special care. On a walk or in a room for them, they put basins of water for bathing. In nature, ducklings follow the ducks to the reservoir, learn to catch fry and insects. Small fish and bloodworms can also be launched into improvised reservoirs. The ideal option is an artificial pond in the garden.


The diet in the 3rd week does not change significantly. Ducklings eat wet mash with herbs, grain husks, vegetables and corn. When grazing, herbs are not added to the feed. Preference should be given to walking on an area with alfalfa, clover.


Grown chicks are fed 3-4 times a day. Their diet is close to that of adult ducks:

NameDaily rate

per individual

(in grams)

Peeled millet8-19
Meat and bone meal5-6
Fish fat0,1-1
Fish flour9-12
Chalk, seashells1-5

In addition to chalk and shells, fine gravel, which is also served in a separate bowl, contributes to good digestion.

After a month

Older ducklings are fed like adult birds - 3 times a day. 60 percent of the diet is cereals, 30 percent is juicy food. Corn, crushed barley and wheat are not added to the mash, but given in separate feeders. Wet food consists of dairy products, vegetables, bran.

Seasonal features

Ducklings' nutrition at different times of the year is distinguished by affordable products and the cost of their purchase.

Summer period

The forage is enriched by the field herbs, seeds and larvae, which the chicks themselves get on the pasture. Birds in closed housing also have the opportunity to give grass, fresh vegetables, and add duckweed to the baths.

Winter period

The birds are fed in the morning and evening. In the first half of the day they give wet food, in the second half - dry food. Greens are replaced with silage, alfalfa hay, clover.

Features of feeding birds for meat

For fast weight gain, increase the proportion of vegetable protein in the diet. Birds are given more barley, as well as various grain waste - cakes, bran, meal.

From birth, chicks are taught to feed and gradually transferred to feeding with complete concentrates. When self-preparing mixtures, premixes are added to stimulate weight gain.

What can not be fed to ducks

Prohibited Products:

  • fat milk;
  • raw pieces of meat, fish;
  • bread, grain with mold;
  • spices;
  • sugar;
  • salted, pickled vegetables;
  • fresh grain of rye.

In the fields there are herbs poisonous for ducks: celandine, henbane, buttercup, spurge, night blindness. Maple leaves also contain toxins.

Consequences of poor feeding

An unbalanced diet and feeding with prohibited foods lead to deviations in the development of ducks:

  • growth retardation;
  • lack of appetite;
  • loss of feathers;
  • cannibalism;
  • uncontrolled eating of inedible objects;
  • avitaminosis;
  • low immunity.

An excess of fine flour turns the mash into a sticky mass that sticks together the beak and clogs the nostrils. Fresh fat milk and cottage cheese cause diarrhea in day old chicks, so they can only be fed backwards. Mold in food becomes the cause of the development of a fungal disease of the respiratory tract - aspergillosis. From a lack of vitamin D in the diet, rickets develops, and in a closed room and with a lack of vitamin A - ammonia blindness.

Ducks must not be fed with compound feed for cattle or pigs. Birds die from too high concentration of stimulants and vitamins. The same effect can be obtained from feeding with expired or low-quality duck compound feed.

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