Caring for ducks in winter is different from caring for the warm months of the year. The main question, in addition to the place of detention and standards of care in the cold season, is how to feed the ducks in the winter at home? The article will consider what to make up the diet, and how to feed the ducks in the winter.
Features of the winter duck feeding
We feed ducks in winter
What to feed the ducks in the winter? This question bothers many breeders, but how does winter food differ from summer food?
- The main difference is the lack of greenery, which the birds ate in abundance in the summer. Greens are a storehouse of vitamins and nutrients necessary for the normal functioning of the duck, so in the winter, you should try to replace this product and those trace elements that it contains.
- Lack of regular walking may result in increased body weight of birds. Therefore, it is necessary to adjust the diet so that the bird receives only the required amount of food, not more.
- Winter is a time of cold, illness, lack of sunlight. All of this usually negatively affects the bird, its health and appearance, but an improved, fortified diet can correct this situation.
This is, in general, all that it is important to remember the breeder when determining the diet of ducks in the winter. If you do not forget about these three points, you can not only improve the appearance of birds during the winter, but also increase their productivity and immune system.
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Winter feeding ducks is different from summer
Before you determine how to feed the ducks in the winter, you should figure out how to do it. Feeding ducks in winter is usually only 3 times a day. This should be more than enough, given that they do not walk (and if they walk, rarely) and therefore do not have the opportunity to dump excess fat.
The first two times (morning and afternoon), wet mash is fed, and in the evening, before going to bed, you need to feed the ducks with cereal or mixed feed. They are slowly assimilated, so one duck is enough to feed one whole night. They sleep well, do not cry for hunger and do not eat the litter under their feet (which can be very harmful).Important! Many breeders feed ducks in the winter only 2 times a day - morning and evening. But since the morning mash is quickly digested, ducks can literally go hungry until evening. Therefore, if possible, it is recommended to feed them during the day.
Closer to March you need to start watching the layers. At this time egg laying may begin. And since the strength of the females goes to this a lot, it is worth adding another, fourth feeding. If the hens from the males are kept separately, you can add 4 meals only to them; if not, you will have to spend money on all the livestock - the main thing is that the females are full.
What is the best way to feed ducks in winter?
Compound feed, bran and grain for ducks during the winter period
The diet of a duck in the winter depends on the gender of the bird, their location, climate, and the breeder’s abilities. Mixed feed can be the most banal example - not everyone can afford it.
- Compound feed, bran and grain - the basis and the main part of the winter diet. In this food a lot of carbohydrates, nutrients.
- Vegetables and root vegetables contain many vitamins. Among the best options: fodder beet, carrots, potatoes (boiled), and a little cabbage.
- Silo is almost perfect and the only available substitute of greenery in a cold season. It is worth buying in abundance, as it is extremely necessary for birds in winter. This is the basis of nutrition, like cereals or animal feed.
- Grass meal may be an alternative to silage or supplement, but it is desirable that the silage be in the diet.
- Hay is always given soft, steamed. It does not replace the grass, but contains some important, useful substances.
- Vitamin supplements can be both purchased and simple, homemade. Purchased it is advisable to give only after consulting a veterinarian. Homemade include crushed egg shell, shells, chalk, meat and bone meal, cottage cheese, reverse, boiled eggs - that is, products of organic origin with an abundance of vitamins and minerals in the composition.
- Fish waste, meat and bone meal, fish meal, yeast are also given in small quantities to normalize the body of the bird and improve its immune system.
- It is very important to give the ducks salt, especially the hens. But it should be borne in mind that the rate of salt is 0.2% of the daily dose of feed, not more. Any salt products are excluded from the diet, if the salt in its pure form is put in the mash beans!
Knowing how to feed the ducks in the winter at home, you can literally save livestock from disease, freezing and hunger. The above products are given in hay bags or in dry form, but do not forget that their purpose plays an important role in the nutrition of ducks. For example, the diet of a hen in winter should include: feed, boiled vegetables, vitamin supplements (with an abundance of calcium). Drake can eat less vitamin supplements, but for young animals it is extremely important to increase the amount of feed in order to quickly build muscle mass.Important! Feeding in the winter should be based on certain needs. If you just need to save the bird, then you can do with standard feeding, not fortified. For fattening for meat it is worth giving more grain or mixed fodder. But the hens need vitamins.
Below is an example of the average daily allowance for duck feed in winter.
- 180 grams of cereal or derti;
- 40 g wheat bran;
- 60 grams of boiled potatoes;
- 80 g carrots;
- 30 g of fodder beet;
- 20 g of skim milk (optional);
- 10 g of cottage cheese (optional, but desirable for layers);
- 18 g haymeal or steamed hay;
- 1-5 g of fish waste (fish or meat and bone meal);
- 2 g baker's yeast;
- 6 g shells;
- 3 g of chalk;
- 2 grams of gravel;
- 1.5 g of salt.
As you can see the diet is rich and diverse. It is combined and fed throughout the day. For example, cereals are given separately, the shell, chalk and gravel can generally be poured into a separate container, and mash bags are made from the rest of the products.
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What to feed the ducks can not
Although in winter, ducks eat the same food as during the warm period of the year, only in a different concentration, there are a number of products that can harm at this time of year even more than in summer. So, how to feed the ducks in the winter, described above, and what they can not feed?
- Spoiled, rotten, moldy food.
- Ice water.
- The flour ground in dust (it can block up nasal openings of a bird).
- The abundance of dry food with a lack of water.
- Excessive feeding of vitamin and mineral complexes.
Food with dyes (this is primarily for chalk).