About 8 years ago we decided to add ducks to our suburban homestead. We did have chickens, and thought what could it hurt to have a few ducks. Update… we love them! Ducks are amazing homesteading animals and so enjoyable to watch.
This year we have added a new breed, and a three more of the current breed that we have. Pekin ducks are the ducks we have had for the past 8 years. A few months ago, some new ducks came to live on our suburban homestead. Khaki Campbells’ are our new to us.
Since we have added more ducks to our suburban homestead the feed for ducks has been inflated. Our goal this year is to try and find new ways to grow food for them. Plus, there are many other food options they can eat, and we plan on trying some of them!
Suburban Ducks Balanced Diet
Every day ducks need regular duck food. Balanced, healthy diets are important for ducks to live long healthy lives. If well taken care of domestic ducks can live up to ten years. We have Pekin ducks and they live only about five years. This is due to the substantial growth in the first year. Our khaki Campbell ducks will live 10-15 years.
Overfeeding is not necessary for a flock, and could be an invitation for predators if food is left in the bowl overnight. On the average we fill our ducks food with 4-6 cups per day of regular feed. Each day the food bowl it is empty so this amount appears adequate for the amount of ducks in our flock.
Ducks Eat Garden Weeds
Believe it or not, but the weeds that are pulled from your garden are edible. Not by us, but by ducks. We also feed the garden weeds to our chickens, but last year upon research I discovered ducks like them too! So, our garden weeds are evenly distributed to ducks and chickens.
I am not a fan of letting the ducks loose in my garden, so I pull the weeds and take them around the yard for the ducks. They forage through them, dig and use their beaks to eat what they want. When finished, the chickens come up behind them and finish off the weeds. After that, the lawnmower grinds them up and we get rid of them. I don’t leave weeds out for days so that the ducks can eat on them. Basically, it is a one day deal.
Our ducks get so excited when they see the weeds strewn about from our garden. They know it is an extra treat besides their feed. In the winter we use other treats around our yard for our domestic ducks.
Some examples of the weeds good for ducks are clover, dandelion, wild strawberries, and creeping Charlie. Before giving weeds in the garden to your ducks, find a guide and match them up. Make sure not to give toxic weeds to your flock.
Suburban Duck Treats and Goodies
Lettuce has been a favorite of my ducks since I first brought them home. Our first set of ducks were Kate and Kian. After lunch each day I would take them a lettuce treat and toss it around the yard. We only eat Romaine lettuce, and they were ok with this. Unfortunately, we had a mink get into our duck yard and they were both killed. I missed giving them their treat everyday.
When we purchased our next duck group, Mario, Bowser and Luigi I began the duck treats of Romaine lettuce. Again, they loved it. Lettuce is not very nutritional for ducks, but it is a good treat. In our garden this year, we grew bell peppers. They love Bell Peppers, but I don’t hand these out very often. Our ducks did get a few of the one’s we did not eat. Bell peppers are a little more pricey than a head of lettuce,
Growing our own bell peppers, which grew in abundance was more cost efficient than purchasing them at the store markup price. Since we had so many this year, I was able to share some with our ducks and chicks.
In addition to garden vegetables, growing duck food is easy. Some foods to grow for ducks is millet, duckweed, and corn. Corn is a little more expensive to share with ducks, but when planting have a specific area that is just for the ducks.
The geographical are of the growing location will depend largely up the ability to grow certain kinds of duck food. Checking with a garden center or other farm supply stores will help make a better informed decision.
Ducks are super fun animals and I can’t imagine our suburban homestead without them. For more posts on frugal homeschooling, homemaking, living a frugal life or suburban homesteading, sign up for my email.