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Duckweed for Ducks?

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1 Duckweed for Ducks? on Wed Dec 31, 2008 4:47 pm

Wifezilla

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A Tiny Little Duckling
A Tiny Little Duckling
Anyone here feed duckweed to their ducks?

"Role in the habitat: Duckweed is an important food for wild waterfowl and fish both directly and as a source of food for small creature that are in turn eaten by the birds and fish. As it grows, Duckweed absorbs nutrients from the water. Thus it has a useful role in controlling the growth of algae, both by removing nutrients and by shutting out sunlight as the Duckweed covers the water surface. Algae absorbs oxygen and as it decays, it further reduces oxygen levels. Algal blooms can thus severely affect aquatic life. By shading the water, Duckweed also keeps it cool and thus allow for more dissolved oxygen. And by covering the water surface, it minimises water loss through evaporation.

Uses as food: Because Duckweed floats and require little structural fibres (5-15%), it has more nutrition by weight compared to other vascular plants: protein (15-25% in natural conditions, 15-45% when cultured under ideal conditions), fat, nitrogen, and phosphorus. It also contains higher amounts of essential amino acids than most plants. In fact, it most closely resembles animal proteins. It also contains large concentrations of trace minerals that make Duckweed good supplements for animal feed. In addition, they are easily cultivated on small strips of wasteland and easily harvested. In fact, Duckweed is eaten by people in Thailand. There are also projects to look into the cultivation of Duckweed as feed for fish (carp), poultry (chickens, ducks), livestock (pigs). Duckweed is also an effective "crop". For the same amount of nutrients, Duckweed grows on 10% the area needed for soyabeans, and 20% that of corn. Because it has such low fibre, the whole plant can be used, unlike other crops where only a small part of the plant can be eaten.

Other uses: By absorbing nutrients, Duckweed also has potential as a natural water purifier, converting waste water and sewage into pure water and edible Duckweed with little resulting sludge. The only drawbacks are that a large surface area is required; and Duckweed cannot handle toxic wastes and heavy metals. But Duckweed can become a serious weed in nutrient rich, shallow ponds."
http://www.naturia.per.sg/buloh/plants/duckweed.htm

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2 Re: Duckweed for Ducks? on Wed Dec 31, 2008 6:17 pm

Wifezilla

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A Tiny Little Duckling
A Tiny Little Duckling
Found an interesting study....

"From this study, it was estimated that the feed cost per kg live weight gain for control, DWH and DWG group was Euro 0.45 (Tk. 28.Cool, 0.24 (Tk. 15) and 0.23 (Tk. 14.4), respectively. The feed cost for the control (commercial feed compound) group was almost double that of the DWH and DWG groups. It is apparent that duck raising with duckweed is much cheaper and more economically viable, especially since feed cost contributes the major production cost in duck rearing.


Conclusion

Duckweed has a high content of organic matter and protein but it has low digestibility. Ducks are, however, unable to receive the entire nutrient content from the duckweed.

Low DM and crude protein digestibility resulted in poor growth performances and indicated that the ducks could not be reared when fed on duckweed only.

Although the replacement of 50% feed by duckweed reduces performance parameters, the carcass characteristics are not influenced.

Replacement of 50% of the control diet through feeding duckweed under confinement or through grazing fresh duckweed reduced the feed costs.

Farmers may produce duckweed in water lagoons at their homesteads and/or may collect it from natural sources to supply as feed to their ducks. This will help to reduce feed costs by about 50%."
http://www.lrrd.org/lrrd17/5/khan17050.htm

Looks like duck weed alone and you get dead ducks. Replace 50% of their diet with duckweed and the ducks are fine but weigh a little less.

Since I was planing on using it as a add-on and they will still have access to regular food, I think it will be fine.

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3 Re: Duckweed for Ducks? on Thu Jan 01, 2009 9:25 am

Cottage Rose

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Where do you get it??

View user profile http://www.freewebs.com/cottage_rose_birdsnblossoms/

4 Re: Duckweed for Ducks? on Thu Jan 01, 2009 11:52 am

Wifezilla

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A Tiny Little Duckling
A Tiny Little Duckling
You can order a bag of it for about $4 from reptile supply stores and then grow it. It is kind of hard NOT to grow more as long as there is some minerals in the water (duckweed needs chelated iron). I think one of the local ponds also has some during the summer. I am going down there with a baggy come Spring Very Happy

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5 Re: Duckweed for Ducks? on Fri Jan 02, 2009 12:03 am

Ethan

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A Tiny Little Duckling
A Tiny Little Duckling
My duck ponds have a LOT of nutrients, even though I try to flush them out daily. If duck weed is that easy and cheap to start with, I may try it. I just don't know if my ducks would give it a chance to get established. Thanks for the tip.

View user profile http://www.freewebs.com/teerling/

6 Re: Duckweed for Ducks? on Wed Jan 07, 2009 11:56 pm

Wifezilla

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A Tiny Little Duckling
A Tiny Little Duckling
I found someone on BYC that has it. I am swapping some of my purple shamrock for a starter bag of duckweed. Should be a fun experiment.

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