It’s a common question — can chickens and ducks eat the same food? While chickens and ducks may happily get along and share the same space, we recommend against using chicken feed as a one-size-fits-all for both animals. We’ll explain the reasons why this is a potentially harmful idea and offer a solution for an All Flock feed that can provide a healthy option for both!
To understand why you shouldn’t give chicken feed to ducks and ducklings, it’s important to first know what’s in your chicken feed in the first place. Most chicken feeds contain a mixture of nutrients and minerals — so far, so good! However, they also often include a high amount of protein. This bolsters quick growth in chickens and prepares them for meat production.
You will want to be wary of overconsumption of protein in your ducks or ducklings. Accelerated growth can cause them to develop foot and leg problems, which will hinder their health. Additionally, you’ll want to be mindful in the case of feeding chicken feed to wild ducks. Too much protein can cause them to develop a condition called angel wing, which prevents them from flying and migrating safely during the winter.
Healthy ducks require a high level of niacin or Vitamin B3. This water-soluble amino acid is not stored in the body, causing ducks to require a regular supply in their feed to stay healthy. This is particularly important when ducklings are young and in their pivotal development stages. Chickens need lower levels of niacin levels in their diet, causing chicken feed to contain insufficient amounts for a duck.
Keep in mind that chickens and ducks consume their food differently. Chickens typically do not drink water while they are eating their pellets or crumbles. Ducks, however, sip water along with each mouthful of food. As a result, chickens will have no problem eating their feed without water present, while ducks may choke if they don’t have access to enough water during feeding time.
Can ducks eat chicken pellets? Yes, they physically can and may not demonstrate any health effects. The better question is: should they? The answer to that is no — not if you want a premium quality, healthy animal. Nature’s Best Organic Feeds has created a solution, producing an organic, non-medicated and non-GMO Project-Verified feed. This All Flock feed provides the best care for both chickens and ducks, resolving the issues above to ensure a healthy diet for both animals.
Contact us today to learn more about our All Flock feed. We’ll be happy to answer any questions, including: can chicks eat duck starter? To find a Nature’s Best Organic Feeds near you, simply use our store locator online.