It’s a common question — can chickens and ducks eat the same feed? 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, especially when the ducks are young. We’ll explain the reasons why this is a potentially harmful idea and offer a solution for an All Flock feed coming soon from the makers of Nature’s Best that can provide a healthy option for both! Another great option is Nature’s Best Organic Duck Crumbles when they are growing and when they are mature (16-18 weeks), switching them to Nature’s Best Organic Egg Layer Pellets. We recommend adding niacin to their diet when they start consuming the Egg Layer Pellets.
To understand why you shouldn’t give chicken feed to 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 or optimizes their egg laying!
You will want to be wary of over-consumption of protein in your 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 ducklings and 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 ducklings and 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 duckling.
Keep in mind that chickens and ducks consume their feed 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.
Contact us today to learn more about our organic duck feed. We’ll be happy to answer any questions, including: can chicks eat duck starter? To find Nature’s Best Organic Feeds near you, simply use our store locator online.