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Duck breeding is considered a fairly profitable agricultural direction. Ducks quickly gain body weight. There are many useful elements in the meat of these birds. At the same time, special efforts are not required to keep birds. However, some rules still need to be followed. First of all, you need to know what kind of grass you can give ducklings.
What kind of grass can ducklings be given?
Juicy food is the basis of feeding of young individuals in summer. It is permissible for ducklings to give algae, green vegetables, ground green crops, root crops. To add variety to your diet, you can include grains. However, their volume should not exceed a quarter of the total food volume.
In summer, it is worth preparing a combined silage. This will help feed the ducklings with healthy grass throughout the winter. It is important that the silage stops emitting the smell of pickled apples. For this, the raw material must mature for at least 45-60 days. To remove excess acids, 2 tablespoons of ground chalk should be added to each kilogram of feed. This will help provide nutrients to young birds.
Zarechny Maxim Valerievich
Agronomist with 12 years of experience. Our best summer cottage expert.
It is permissible to give chopped greens to ducklings from the 3rd day. Birds love knotweed, clover, young nettles. They can be given quinoa, burdock, alfalfa, plantain. It is recommended to rinse the greens thoroughly beforehand.
In order for ducklings to grow and develop normally, they need to provide proper and balanced nutrition. Young animals need the following types of feed:
- cereals - oats, barley, corn, wheat;
- legumes - peas are most often used;
- food waste;
- greens - dandelion, beet or carrot tops, cabbage;
- special compound feed - it must be developed for feeding chicks.
It is quite convenient to use compound feed. To do this, you need to choose a mixture depending on the age category of the bird and give it to young individuals several times a day. At the same time, farmers who raise ducks usually make compound feed on their own.
Corn should be a valuable source of carbohydrates. It can be up to half of the diet. When using barley for feeding ducklings, it should be borne in mind that the shell of its grains is poorly digested. Therefore, they must be pre-soaked for at least 10 hours. The same applies to oats. Its seeds often have a hard shell.
Equally important is the preparation of good pasture for the birds. It is best to choose a plot in the south of the farm for this purpose. This is where the maximum amount of light gets. The site should be fenced off with a net and divided into a number of sections. It is desirable that there is a reservoir on the territory of the pasture - in it the ducklings will find up to 50% of their food, which will help to significantly reduce costs.
What greens should not be given to ducks?
It is dangerous to feed mulard ducklings or other varieties of prohibited food. This leads to negative health consequences and is fraught with indigestion or other pathologies. In addition, the lack of certain elements negatively affects the appearance of birds. They begin to literally fade away, lose their immunity. One of the dire consequences for poultry farmers is considered to be a halt in growth processes. Therefore, it is so important to be careful.
Before filling the feeders, it is worth probing the duck's esophagus. If it remains firm, it means that digestion has not started. Therefore, it is not recommended to load the stomach.
When feeding ducklings with greens, the following rules should be considered:
- do not give ducklings poisonous greens, which can provoke death - such plants include black henbane, cicuta, cocklebur, celandine;
- boil nettles in boiling water in advance - if this rule is violated, there is a risk of damage to internal organs;
- do not give feathered maple leaves, which are a great danger to ducklings;
- iceberg lettuce - it is permissible to give it with great care, since an excess of this product can cause diarrhea;
- raw eggplants, green tomatoes, white potatoes - these plants belong to the Solanaceae family, and therefore are considered very toxic to ducklings;
- raw dried beans - have toxic properties;
- spinach - prevents the full absorption of calcium.
In addition, you should not give the ducklings the following types of food:
- flour - when adding this product to the feed, there is a risk of the appearance of a paste, which provokes a blockage of the nose;
- bread - both fresh and moldy products are harmful, there is a risk of developing aspergillosis;
- citrus fruits - provoke a violation of calcium absorption;
- milk porridge and fresh milk - these products spoil quickly and can provoke diarrhea.
At the same time, you can give ducklings onion greens or spurge. It is recommended to grind the greens beforehand.
Features of winter feeding
In winter, there is a natural shortage of greenery and small animals. To replenish the lack of nutrients, you need to use other substances. Ducks eat twice a day - in the morning and in the evening. At the same time, poultry farmers can use different nutritional options.
Farmers often provide dry food to the birds. It can include cereals, seeds, dust. It is also permissible to use fish or bone meal. Some poultry farmers prefer to feed their birds wet food. For the manufacture of mash, silage, boiled potatoes, steamed hay are used.
How many times a day to feed?
The feeding regime for ducklings depends on age. Chicks that are just born need to be fed up to 7 times a day. Birds over 2 weeks old need five meals a day. Ducks after 16 weeks are suitable for the diet of adults.
Formulation of the diet
Before compiling a diet for pets, it is worth determining the goals of their breeding. It is important to take into account the characteristics of the breed. So, birds that were bred in production conditions hardly adapt to home feed and require special factory nutrition. In other situations, the menu will not be different.
During the feeding period, the following tips should be observed:
- Feed the ducklings several times a day. Newborn chicks need 7 meals. At 2 weeks, 4-5 feedings are enough.
- Before switching to food, it is worth giving whipped yolk to weak birds.
- Monitor the availability of constant access to food and water. However, it is not recommended to use cold water. Its temperature should be +20 degrees.
- After 16 weeks, transfer the birds to adult feed.
- Do not give healthy ducklings medicated foods. They can negatively affect the state of internal organs.
- When buying food at a pet store, choose food specifically for ducklings. Chick formulations are not recommended.
- Do not give birds food that is not intended for them. So, it is forbidden to use bread for feeding ducks.
It is permissible to allow ducks in green food when the soil is fully warmed up. In bad weather it is worth giving the ducklings cut greens in the barn.
Feeding ducklings has a number of features. In order for the birds to grow normally and stay healthy, they definitely need fresh greens. It is important to take into account that not all herbs are allowed to be given to ducks. Some types of greens are poisonous and negatively affect the condition of birds.