The flock is now ten weeks old and well into their first moult. Feathers are all over the yard, in the kiddie pool and the duck house. The moult will supposedly go on for a few weeks, after which the birds will have grown in their adult feathers and can learn to fly to the best of their abilities, which won't be much. As domesticated ducks were bred for larger body size, their wings didn't concurrently get bigger - that's why farmyard ducks can't fly away with a passing flock. Poor kids. Anyway, here's the lowdown on where we are with our seven ten week old Welsh Harlequin ducks now.
Food: Blue Seal is the only place near where we live in the Hudson Valley to buy poultry feed, so we've been using their brand. For the first eight weeks of their lives, we fed the ducklings a combination of Chick n' Game Bird Starter/Grower Crumbles cut with oats. Just plain ol' dry oatmeal purchased in bulk at the grocery store. The concept was to cut the high fat/high protein food with oats so that they didn't develop too rapidly. If we had been raising the ducks primarily for meat, we could have fed them nothing but Starter/Grower Crumbles and let them fatten up lickedy split. But we're raising our ducks for egg production, so we want them to develop at a more healthy rate and avoid wing and leg problems that can occur when they grow too fast. From day one, the ducklings were treated to lots of leafy greens, usually dropped in their water.