acorns as duck feed

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acorns as duck feed

Postby countrygirl » Sat Apr 30, 2016 8:54 pm

so can anyone give me a few answers about feeding acorns to my ducks, I have bucket loads of them falling from oak trees and wondered if I could feed them exclusively to my ducks on the pond or should they get get chook food as well? And also whether or not they store well, can I feed them over an extended period if I harvest them and store them or should it only be a seasonal thing? can chooks eat acorns if I shell them and grind them up?
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Re: acorns as duck feed

Postby wolga » Sun May 01, 2016 8:34 pm

Hi country girl,
acorns contain a fair amount of tannin which can be poisonous to animals.
I know pigs can eat them but I don't know about chooks and ducks. Cooking
them removed the tannin and makes them safer for lifestock. But I've never
tried that.
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Re: acorns as duck feed

Postby Marina » Sun May 01, 2016 9:14 pm

I don't think anyone will tell you that 'yes, you can feed acorns to your ducks'. There is a big difference between free ranging ducks eating a few acorns they find and ducks being fed acorns. I have seen ducks eat acorns but definitely not as an exclusive food. They ate heaps of green grass as well plus got wheat, oats and a few chook layer pellets.

Animals on unlimited free range will choose to eat what's ok for them to eat but once they are confined they have no opportunity to eat things that neutralise something they can't handle in quantities.

For instance at a certain time of year (late winter, early spring) my totally free ranging chooks eat heaps of rhubarb leaves which are said to be poisonous -with no ill effect. During summer they don't touch the rhubarb leaves. Why? I don't know but it makes me think that at certain times of year there may be less toxins in the rhubarb leaves. I do have penned up chooks and I never ever give them rhubarb leaves to eat because then it wouldn't be their choice.
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Re: acorns as duck feed

Postby countrygirl » Sun May 01, 2016 9:48 pm

thanks, ducks are free range so not limited to only acorns, will do a bit more internet research and see what it says, my drakes seem to prefer them to chook pellets but the girls don't eat so many, have had flocks of wild mallards turn up in evenings and gorge themselves on them around trees and neighbour has same thing, literally a hundred or so birds arrive en masse for days at a time.
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Re: acorns as duck feed

Postby Marina » Mon May 02, 2016 10:14 am

Well, if they free range and have access to the acorns it should be fine - they'll eat as many as they can tolerate.

If you are contemplating collecting some to feed in winter - why not - as long a there is other food available I wouldn't expect problems.

The danger lies with birds in confinement.
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