This article contains a list of supplements you can give to your ducks to promote good health or to help with certain health problems.
Vitamins and Electrolytes
These come in a powder that can be mixed with feed or water in a daily or weekly dose. Though they are most often recommended for ducklings or young ducks, vitamin powders can be given to a duck of any age. You can use the powder as a daily or weekly supplement, or you can reserve it for ducklings during the first 8-12 weeks, injured or sick birds, or for show birds. Any duck of any age will benefit from having vitamins just like a human. Dosing will depend on the brand.
Grit is basically small rocks for your ducks to consume. The grit helps a duck grind up its food in the gizzard. If your ducks are allowed to free range regularly, they will most likely get all the grit they need from foraging. If your ducks stay penned up, grit can be purchased at a feed store and given in a small dish or mixed with their feed.
Crushed oyster shells are an important supplement for laying female ducks. It provides them with calcium, which is necessary for good eggshell production. Without adequate calcium, a female duck can lay eggs with little or no shell and could become egg bound (eggs getting stuck inside the duck) and potentially die. Oyster shell can be given in a small dish so the ducks can eat it as needed, or it can be mixed with their feed. If you have a mixed gender flock (males and females) oyster shell should be given in a separate dish, as males do not need the extra calcium. Male ducks and non-laying females should not consume extra calcium from oyster shell because it can negatively impact their kidneys.
Brewer’s Yeast contains an essential nutrient, for ducklings of any age, called Niacin. Niacin is known to promote overall good health, and to help ducks with leg/foot injures. Niacin also helps cure spraddle or splayed leg in baby ducks. Any duck with a foot or leg injury of any kind can take Brewer’s yeast on their food or in their water.
This is for ducklings only. Grow-gel is a powder mixed with water to create a green jelly like substance. Gro-gel contains vitamins and nutrients for baby ducklings. It is often offered by hatcheries, as a water and food source for ducklings during the shipping process. It can be purchased online or from hatcheries and can be given to baby ducks for the first week of life. It’s soft and wet, making it easy to eat. It is not meant for adult ducks.
Calf manna is a type of feed you can purchase online or at a feed store. It is not a primary feed, but rather a supplement to duck’s normal feed. Calf manna is a pinkish orange pellet that is the same size and shape as regular layer pellets that can be mixed with regular feed. Calf manna is flavored with Anise, making it a delicious treat for not only ducks, but a wide variety of animals including horses, cows, goats, pigs, chickens, etc. Calf manna should make up no more than 1-2% of your duck’s feed. If you have a small flock or if you do not have any other animals and cannot obtain calf manna by the pound, buy a larger bag and place the excess in an airtight container in a cool dry place.
Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
You can add a tablespoon to a gallon of water for your ducks when they are puffy, listless, or won’t eat. It helps with mineral and vitamin absorption.
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