When ducklings hatch, their first instinct is to find food and water, as they expend a lot of energy breaking out of their shells. Water is extremely important for ducklings, as it helps move food down the digestive system and clean beak vents. Starter formulations are a much finer grind or crumble than other types of feed, as ducklings are small and their digestive systems are still developing. Smaller ground feed prevents blockage from occurring within the crop or other parts of the digestive tract and ensures better breakdown and absorption of nutrients. Ducklings require a higher protein diet for the first 2 to 3 weeks of life. A 21% protein diet is generally recommended to accommodate ducklings’ accelerated growth and energy needs. At this age, ducklings do not need the mineral allowances that layers need. Switching ducklings to layer feed during their critical growth stage can cause developmental problems in their legs, reproductive organs, and other parts of growth. However, niacin is crucial for proper waterfowl development in all stages of growth, specifically for wing and leg development. For this reason, it is recommended to feed a Starter formulation specific for ducklings or young waterfowl, as most other poultry feeds do not have enough niacin to meet their growing needs. We recommend feeding Duck Starter for the first 2 to 3 weeks of life and then transitioning slowly to Duck Grower. Ducklings do not begin to produce their waterproofing oil until roughly 4 weeks of age, so it is advisable to not introduce them to swimming before 4 weeks.
Mazuri Waterfowl Starter is some of the most trusted and high-quality 20% protein feed for young ducks. However, this feed is the most expensive on the market and can be hard to find. Any Duck or Waterfowl Starter feed will be sufficient, but make sure it is in crumble form, and we do not recommend medicated starter feed for ornamental ducklings like wood ducks and mandarins. Ornamental ducklings (mainly wood ducks) often need help when it comes to learning how to eat and eat consistently. There are a few different things you can do to help kick start a healthy diet and eating habits:
i use purina game bird starter with ..
5. Ducklings and goslings should be fed quality, name-brand waterfowl starter for their first 7-8 weeks of life. These crumbles are served out of a small poultry feeder that can be swapped out with a feed dish as hatchlings outgrow them. Feeders need to be completely cleaned at least once a day. Throw away all of the old crumbles (which may be wet and can quickly grow mold in a brooder) and replace them with new crumbles.
Hi-Pro Feeds - 21% Turkey, Duck and Goose Grower Crumbles
Purchase waterfowl or game bird starter feed called "starter crumbles." This can be purchased online or at feed stores and some pet shops. It is very important that it is non-medicated feed, as this type of feed can kill the ducklings. Ducklings should be fed a starter diet from the time they hatch to 2 weeks of age. The protein range is approximately 18 to 20 percent for the starter feed.
Product - Poultry - 21 (Percent) Duck and Goose Starter