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Duckweed?

 
Posts: 44
Location: Central Pa
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Always looking for new natural ways to feed my homestead animals anyone here ever grow duckweed for ducks and chickens?
 
Posts: 58
Location: Ohio 5b6a
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food preservation homestead ungarbage
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Hi hunter. I raise duckweed in kiddy pools that were get given to us.  I keep 2 minnows in each pool for mosquito control.  If it is in full sun all day it will get to hot here, so I put them in partial shade.  I dry the duckweed on a black tv dish that was given to us.  It smells like alfalfa meal when dried.   I use the dried duckweed to eliminate molds in prepped feeds in the summer.  I store it in coffee cans.  When I have extra we feed it straight to the chickens wet.
 
master pollinator
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Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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Duckweed is a really good thing to grow if you have water to clean up, when there's too much nitrogen. It is probably the best thing to grow in a pond that is receiving the digestate from a biogas plant. The water is rich in nutrients and the duckweed sucks it up.

If you had two ponds, one could be managed for azolla production. You would not add nitrogen to this one, but instead make sure that phosphorus is in good supply. It will produce its own nitrogen and is also very high in protein. Animal manure produced from this can be used to fertilize a duckweed pond. The two plants can coexist in the same pond, but one usually becomes dominant depending on nitrogen load and temperature. Duckweed can be dominant during the cold months, then in the spring as duckweed is removed and nitrogen levels drop, azolla can become dominant. When the azolla  begins to turn reddish, it's time to add more phosphorus.
 
hunter miller
Posts: 44
Location: Central Pa
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This was also my next thought if my chickens and ducks eat it raw harvested straight from the pond as I have seen on videos would I be able to dry it for winter feedings as well and what about rabbit? I heard it has protein values up to 40% depending on the water nutrients that's double my meat chicken feed. If there was a way to supplement my chickens feed with this it would be awesome as im tryin to go a less soy based route. I was just thinking of setting up some small water trays to start and see how it works and if possible to dry and store to mix in with feed or use as a free choice for my other animals that would be amazing.
 
Dale Hodgins
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Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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With most water plants, they're best served wilted, because otherwise the animal is getting so much water that it may limit their food intake or lead to runny poop.

Many people mix with dry ingredients like rice bran or ground grains.
 
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