We choose to feed the following to our birds. Feeding mixes change from season to season, and we are always experimenting with new things to see how the birds react to them.
- Purina Omega3 layer pellets
- Whole Wheat
- Whole oats
- Fresh fruits and veggies
- Free ranged daily (we do not offer grit to free ranging flocks)
- Purina chick starter
- Fresh fruits and veggies (chick grit sprinkled lightly on top)
GEESE & DUCKS:
- Mazuri waterfowl ( layer 1 month prior to breeding season through breeding season)
- Mazuri waterfowl (maintenance in off season)
- Wheat whole
- Oats whole
Scratch (only to ornamental ducks)**
- Fresh fruits and veggies (limited as we prefer to encourage grazing on grasses)
- Large fowl flocks are allowed to free range
Goslings & Ducklings-
- Mazuri waterfowl starter
- Rolled oats (added when the first signs of wing feathers are present, with chick git sprinkled over the top)
- Protein levels too high in feed can cause angel wing, it is important to reduce protein levels as their feathers begin to grow in on their wings.
- Drooping wings are normal in waterfowl as the blood feathers are heavy and they have to build wing muscle to hold them up and tucked into place. Free ranging, or yard time in secure pens on grass is important for them during this time.
Geese detailed feeding schedule (all feed is MAZURI WATERFOWL, listed below is the type)
|hatch to 4 weeks||
starter only. at 10 days old they are put outside on grass daily
|4 weeks- 3 months||maintenance and rolled oats (chick grit sprinkled lightly)|
|3 months plus||maintenance and some of any of the following (wheat, oats (whole) BOSS, millet)|
|1 month before breeding season, through breeding season||layer and (oats (whole) BOSS)|
|post breeding season||maintenance and some of any of the following (whole wheat/oats, millet)|
**Geese are put on pasture at 3 days old, and are turned out daily all day. We feed in the mornings only for all geese 4 weeks and up in age. This encourages grazing which should be the largest part of their diet.
Below is a basic mixing guideline, this is changed up some depending on the individuals or time of the year.
We are in the middle of changing our feeding routine again, it is an ever evolving as we research, study and learn what works best for our flocks. Currently we are working with fermented whole grains, all of the waterfowl are responding well to it both in feather condition and body weight. We will report back after another month of feeding.
We divide our total amount of feed given into 3rds
1/3 is the commercial feed (Mazuri in our case)
2/3 is whole grains
Hand mix to blend together. The geese are fed in smallest black rubber livestock pans. Each is filled most of the way full with this mixture. We do have one pair who won’t eat BOSS, they get millet seed.
The above is the breeding season mixture, they all come running when they see us pulling the feed cart. Even with all of the grass they could want. Since we don’t get severe cold temps here I don’t feed corn, cracked or otherwise. They get red wheat in the fall and winter though. (October-January) its just mainly to prevent boredom as they have grass/pasture year round so we don’t go through as much feed as others might when the grass goes dormant.
** After a few months of additional reading and discussion here about over all nutrition we have eliminated ALL scratch from our feeding routine. We are adding all whole grains and hand blending to remove all of the unwanted corn found in scratch blends. Below is the list of whole grains we will hand blend and be offering. These are in addition to the feeds listed above.
|Black Oil Sunflower Seeds (BOSS)|
|Oats (whole & rolled)||
We realize not everyone can get Mazuri products, if this is the case find the best quality feed available in your area. Read labels and be mindful of protein levels. Nutrena makes an all flock as well as starter feeds that can be found in many locations.
The use of rolled oats for young waterfowl is an excellent way to cut protien levels in feed before they are ready to switch to an older bird feed.
We believe that that the better the feed the better your birds will look and the better the fertility will be in their eggs. Because of this we strongly reccomend avoiding dumor brand feeds as well as scratch and corn (cracked or whole) for all waterfowl.
An exception to the corn avoidance is in severely cold winter climates (multiple days/weeks) below zero or colder.
We hope this is helpful to you when selecting feed for your birds.
|0 – 2 weeks||18 -20% starter feed, free choice|
|2 -7 weeks||16 – 18% grower feed, free choice for 5 minutes two times daily.|
|7 – 20 weeks||15 – 16% developer feed, 0.20 – 0.40 lbs. daily|