...and why they wouldn't lay eggs while molting?
Marissa Creston wrote:It might not be that helpful for you, but since you asked, this is what I do:
I only "feed" my ducks in the winter. They have free access to the feeders, which I fill with whatever is on sale at the feed store. So the percentage varies. In cold weather, I supplement this with scratch grains in the evening. And I give them as much as possible for as long as possible from the garden. Everything from brussels sprouts to winter squashes. But then I am not looking to increase egg production. They can have the break. (I wish I could afford better. But that is the truth. And I am working on growing more of my own feed so I won't have to buy any in in the future.)
My ducks free range during the growing season. They have access to 20 acres but they probably only use a quarter of that. They are particularly fond of drilling in the wet spots under the impact sprinkler. (When I bought this property, it was an old, abused, and weedy hayfield. It is getting better, but the grass still goes dormant in the summer if I don't use some irrigation. And I need the grass to feed the geese. They won't eat anything but lush new growth. Plus, there is nothing like cold deep well water to keep the flock cool on a hot summer day.) The ducks do still get plenty of extras from the garden. They love strawberries! And some scratch grains.
I can't think of any good reason for your ducks to go through repeated moltings like that. Perhaps it is a silly question, but have you checked them for mites?
John Polk wrote: It takes a lot of protein to lay eggs. It also takes a lot to moult.
Birds cannot do both at the same time.
It is either eggs, or new feathers, but NOT both at the same time.
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