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What should my ducks eat to prepare them to be eaten by me?

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  • What should my ducks eat to prepare them to be eaten by me?

    I started raising ducks in my backyard to produce fatty and nutritious eggs and meat for cheap. The ducks spend hours every day wandering my back yard, eating weeds and insects, fornicating, and playing in their pool. I supplement their foraging with commercial chicken food for fattening, because it's cheap and available at the store down the block. The food is about 80% ground cracked corn and around 15-20% protein. The store also sells a mix for young chicken growth, which I think has a higher protein content but is still primarily corn.

    I have heard fowl actually can thrive on grains, however, how does this translate to me thriving on grain-fed fowl?

    Will a primarily grain-fed duck have a high omega 6 to omega 3 ration?

    What should I feed my ducks that is comparably economical to the commercial chicken feed which will yield a more nutritious meat with a better omega 6/3 ratio?

  • #2
    Omega-6 only changes in ruminants (but ruminants don't tend to have a lot of omega-6 no matter what), not poultry, so omega-6 will be the same. There will be less omega-3, but I don't really think that we should be looking to duck fat for our omega-3. it's a non-issue. Less corn will mean more CLA and TVA.

    I think the main reason to try to get as much non-corn in as possible is the quality of the eggs. Huge difference.
    Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

    Anyone who wants to talk nutrition should PM me!

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    • #3
      slugs, scraps, insects, slugs
      beautiful
      yeah you are

      Baby if you time travel back far enough you can avoid that work because the dust won't be there. You're too pretty to be working that hard.
      lol

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      • #4
        Hmmm, this is interesting. I want to get some quails (for eggs) and was also wondering what to feed them. They'd be caged/aquariumed so I figured meal worms, crickets, and veggie scraps, but I haven't gotten any birds yet because I'm pretty sure that I'm so clueless I might starve the poor things.
        Little Saiyan

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        • #5
          :> Liveducks.com | Duck Care and Feeding
          duck foods

          Feeding Quail Feed | RaiseQuail.com's Guide to Raising Quail in Your Backyard
          Quails | Quail Care | feeding | Feeding your Quail | Guide | Omlet US
          quail stuff/food
          beautiful
          yeah you are

          Baby if you time travel back far enough you can avoid that work because the dust won't be there. You're too pretty to be working that hard.
          lol

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          • #6
            No idea how big your backyard is or how many ducks you have but you'll likely have to supplement their food with something. And there's always a continuum on what you feed them. Certainly a backyard "free-range" duck supplemented with some grains is going to be better than one raised isolated from any grass/insect.

            I think some paleo folks are a little naive actually when it comes to livestock production. Grass-fed this and free-range that. Unless you're raising your livestock in some place where winter never happens, supplementation is absolutely necessary. Grass-fed cattle get hay all winter. What do you think those free-range chickens do when there's 1-2 feet of snow on the ground?

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            • #7
              Whatever (natural) they can find.

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              • #8
                I don't think anything they eat will really prepare them for becoming dinner. lol

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by cassel_man View Post
                  No idea how big your backyard is or how many ducks you have but you'll likely have to supplement their food with something. And there's always a continuum on what you feed them. Certainly a backyard "free-range" duck supplemented with some grains is going to be better than one raised isolated from any grass/insect.

                  I think some paleo folks are a little naive actually when it comes to livestock production. Grass-fed this and free-range that. Unless you're raising your livestock in some place where winter never happens, supplementation is absolutely necessary. Grass-fed cattle get hay all winter. What do you think those free-range chickens do when there's 1-2 feet of snow on the ground?
                  I live in tropical Guatemala. My backyard is about 4 meters by 10 meters. I had two ducks until one mysteriously disappeared over the weekend.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by cassel_man View Post
                    No idea how big your backyard is or how many ducks you have but you'll likely have to supplement their food with something. And there's always a continuum on what you feed them. Certainly a backyard "free-range" duck supplemented with some grains is going to be better than one raised isolated from any grass/insect.

                    I think some paleo folks are a little naive actually when it comes to livestock production. Grass-fed this and free-range that. Unless you're raising your livestock in some place where winter never happens, supplementation is absolutely necessary. Grass-fed cattle get hay all winter. What do you think those free-range chickens do when there's 1-2 feet of snow on the ground?
                    I live in tropical Guatemala. My backyard is about 4 meters by 10 meters and full of tall weeds with lots of slugs and insects. I had two ducks until one mysteriously disappeared over the weekend.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by PeaceCorpsCaveMan View Post
                      I live in tropical Guatemala. My backyard is about 4 meters by 10 meters and full of tall weeds with lots of slugs and insects. I had two ducks until one mysteriously disappeared over the weekend.
                      Sounds like you'll have no shortage of tasty food for your ducks to munch on. But it sounds like you might also have something else that likes to munch on your ducks around too.

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                      • #12
                        UPDATE:

                        After 36 hours of not seeing Mrs. Feathersworth, I put up a sign on a piece of paper with marker on my front door, in Spanish of course, saying,"lost duck: female, 6 months, black and white. Reward." An hour later I go into my backyard to do some dishes (did I mention I live in Guatemala?) and I see her. She's all ruffled up, soaking wet, and missing feathers. I thought someone must have seen my sign and thrown her over the fence to wash their hands of the situation. I went next door to let the lady at the tienda know that I found my duck when a bunch of neighborhood street urchins rushed me asking if I found the eggs. I hadn't. I explained that I had lost a duck, but I found it. They directed me to a small hole in my corrugated steel fence (formerly a corrugated steel roof) which led to a hole in the foundation of the rotting little wooden cantina next door and under a red truck hood from a 1970 something pickup truck which covers the rotting boards of the wall. In there I found around a dozen eggs and ton of feathers. I went from being down to one duck, to having a liter. I am really happy.

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                        • #13
                          haha im not going to be any help in regards to an answer to this question but i just wanted to say i love the title of this thread

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                          • #14
                            Ducks are waterbirds, so would normally eat aquatic plants and whatever small animals can be found in or near the water. Wild ducks do eat grains, so corn is probably going to be ok (though wild rice would be better). Just make sure they have access to green leafy vegies (to replicate the aquatic weeds they'd usually eat) and insects/crustaceans or even small fish.
                            "Thanks to the combination of meat, calcium-rich leaf foods, and a vigorous life, the early hunter-gatherers were robust, with strong skeletons, jaws, and teeth." - Harold McGee, On Food And Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen

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                            • #15
                              Poultry are a bit like pigs, they eat just about anything, like cooking and table scraps Generally they are fattened on grains, especially wheat and corn. Bugs are preferred food.
                              This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it. Ralph Waldo Emerson

                              Any given day you are surrounded by 10,000 idiots.
                              Lao Tsu, founder of Taoism

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