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  #1  
Old 04/10/10, 05:27 PM
 
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Location: East Texas, Zone 8b
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Feeding Duckweed

I recently read that it is possible to feed duckweed to chickens. Living in a tropical country I can probably get a year round unlimited supply.

Has anyone had experience feeding duckweed to layers? If so, how did you feed it...green or dried? In your experience was it worthwhile?

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  #2  
Old 04/10/10, 05:40 PM
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If I had an unlimited free supply, I'd be using it.

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  #3  
Old 04/10/10, 05:44 PM
 
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How? Dried, or just feed straight out of the water?

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Old 04/10/10, 05:47 PM
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I fed mine a little, we have a little mudhole in the front of the house not a pond and not
a mud puddle either. the duck weed is already starting to grow! towards the middle of summer it will cover the entire surface and the carpet just gets thicker.

duck weed has great potential as a feed source its growth rate is phenomenal it can double in wieght daily.I do intend on utilizeing it in the feed program this summer. I just need to figure out a easy way to harvest it.

one thought a something like a pool skimmer or maybe a floating rake.

you can freeze it and there are alot of people into fish that use it to feed them. I would imagine you could dry it much like hay.

another thing I thought of was putting guppys in there too seems they would do well together. and a little higher in protien too.

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Old 04/10/10, 05:47 PM
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Try straight out of the water and see how they do. You can give up to 40% dry weight and that's a lot, so give some grain as well. The duckweed is 30% protein.

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Old 04/10/10, 05:48 PM
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as to the second question anyway that works for you fresh ,dry or frozen and thawed.

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Old 04/10/10, 06:02 PM
 
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OK, thanks for the input everyone. I have eight point of lay pullets, and gave them a little duckweed fresh from the water. They did not seem interested, but I guess they may have to get used to it.

If anyone else has had experience with this, I would be glad to hear from you as well.

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Old 04/11/10, 02:47 AM
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mix it in something they already like, yogert or something, maybe mix it in with their feed? this is a neat idea i should have thought about, but i dont really have a place to grow it so who knows,

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Old 04/11/10, 07:38 AM
 
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Duckweed might be a little hard to dry so I would feed it straight from the water. It's fed to all kinds of animals worldwide and depending on the water fertility it can range from 15-45% protein plus the amino acid profile is really good.

You might try mixing some chicken crumbles in with it at first. Also they are going to need grit to grind it.

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  #10  
Old 04/11/10, 05:31 PM
 
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Here is an update on the duckweed. When I first gave it to the chickens they did not seem interested. The next time I told them it was chicken weed, and they gobbled it up.

OK, OK, stupid joke. Actually I tried mixing it in their feed, and they started eating it. This afternoon I put some in by itself and they were eating it just like that.

I am thinking about getting a container of some sort, putting it in the yard and starting some duckweed and goldfish in it. The idea is to grow enough duckweed for my small flock, without having to go somewhere else to get it.

I really want to get away from buying the prepared feed which is available here. Rice bran is available from the local rice mills. I read somewhere online that duckweed and rice bran could be fed together. Any ideas if that mix would provide sufficient protein and nutrients for layers?

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Old 04/11/10, 07:36 PM
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I would do the guppys rather then the gold fish, they recreate so fast its crazy. plus the are gulping size for most fowl. not sure on the other question.

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  #12  
Old 04/11/10, 08:02 PM
 
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Good suggestion about the guppies. I was thinking of putting the goldfish in to provide nutrients for the duckweed, not for the chickens to eat. I may see if I can find some guppies and use them instead...nutrients for the duckweed and additional protein for the chickens.

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  #13  
Old 04/11/10, 08:39 PM
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I think you missed it in my previous post. I actually got the Idea from another post here on the forums as they had a area that would not produce human size edible fish, though if forced bet you could make a decent protien shake out of them, most people want a fillet of sorts though.

here I dont think they would survive the winter but I could make use of them all summer.
and they could provide all the nutrients for the duck weed too.

I was trying, really still are or am, on working out a way of farming duck weed.

best bet at the moment is to just take advantage of the pond.

I would really like a multi shelve shallow tray kind of system. it only takes a inch or two to raise the duckweed and if you wanted to include guppys or other small fish maybe
6-8" of water.

it also needs to be still water for duckweed to proliferate.

have not hit on anything solid as of yet.

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Old 04/12/10, 02:28 AM
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on YouTube, there was a few videos of a guy who had an aqua culture set up with one of thoughs above ground pools with the floating ring top that held the water with some kind of pan fish and aquatic plans then the water was fed thru a line to grow vegitables in the greenhouse and then the waist at the bottom was used to feed Prawn which were fed back to the fish, it was a continum process all parts connected to the whole, cant remimber much more than that, gonna have to go find it,

but anyway, something could be set up similar to grow the Duckweed, and also something to think about when putting larger fish like gold fish in the tank used to grow the duck weed, Gold fish EAT duckweed so you wouldnt get much out of that tank, Guppies dont get big enough to do much damage to duckweed,

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  #15  
Old 04/12/10, 05:45 AM
 
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You are right, KSAL. After posting that about goldfish, I read online that they eat the duckweed. It seems they don't just nibble it, but can clean it out if there are enough of them. So guppies might be a better choice, especially for the very small scale I am thinking about.

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  #16  
Old 04/12/10, 06:58 AM
 
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You may be able to find mosquito fish locally. They look like plain guppies and are live breeders too.

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  #17  
Old 04/12/10, 07:08 AM
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Why not use manure from the coop to fertilize the duck weed?

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  #18  
Old 04/12/10, 10:31 AM
 
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INteresting thread....so I googled duckweed. IT'S THAT LITTLE GREEN STUFF THET GROWS ON THE DRAINAGE CANAL AND IN THE WETLANDS HERE ISN'T IT?

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  #19  
Old 04/12/10, 12:26 PM
 
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Good idea, Cyngbaeld. Let them feed each other.

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