What to feed ducks

What to feed ducks? The best food items to feed ducks are; Sweetcorn, Lettuce, Peas, Oats, Seeds and Rice. All these food items can be fed uncooked and cooked as well.

What to feed ducks?

:small_blue_diamond: Sweetcorn should be tinned, frozen or fresh, and defrost frozen corn.

:small_blue_diamond: In Lettuce, all types of salad leaves can be used, just make sure it hasn’t gone slimy.

:small_blue_diamond: Peas should not be cooked, but frozen peas should be defrosted before feeding them to ducks.

:small_blue_diamond: Oats are fine to feed ducks. You could even feed them small pieces of flapjack, but sugar should not be added too much.

:small_blue_diamond: Seeds that are for human consumption are fine to feed ducks. Seeds are very nutritious.

:small_blue_diamond: Rice can be used as both cooked and uncooked.

What do ducks eat?

What do ducks eat? The natural diet of ducks and other aquatic birds is aquatic plants such as pond weeds, as well as seeds, insects, worms, small water snails and amphibians, and even crustaceans such as crayfish. You can see ducks, swans and other birds diving into the water and feeding on the ground. This is their natural way of feeding, and the variety of foods they eat gives them a balanced diet that keeps them healthy.

Should I feed bread to ducks?

Traditionally, most of us used to feed ducks, especially old bread that we no longer wanted to eat. Taking the children to the park with old bread was a great way to spend a few hours outside.

In recent years, however, it has become apparent that bread is not suitable for ducks. This is because bread is not particularly nutritious. Although bread itself is not harmful to ducks, it fills it up and means that ducks are less likely to eat natural sources of nutrients, which keep them healthy. Over time, bread-fed ducks can become malnourished and even overweight, malnutrition can lead to deformation of wings, which prevent ducks from flying. In addition, if you feed the ducks a moldy food, they can be sometimes developing lung disease.

An additional problem with feeding ducks with bread is that any leftover food can attract rats, which could spread the disease. According to the RSPB, it is fine to feed ducks with a very small amount of bread but, in general, bread should be avoided along with chips, crackers, cereals, sweets and processed foods.

Should I feed bread to ducks?

Why bread is bad for ducks

Bread was the most popular form of food provided to wild birds, making up about two thirds of the total. Most people feed the birds so that they do not waste bread or leftover food, but with birds, it is actually the worst way.

The nutritional value of bread does not match the needs of wild birds. It is deficient in amino acids, fatty acids and a number of vitamins and minerals, but it is full of carbohydrates and salts. All the things a bird does not need and little to do. If birds eat too much bread instead of natural options, it can lead to health problems. In many ways, this is not surprising. Imagine how you would feel if your diet consisted of only bread.

Here are some options, which range from best to worst.

:small_blue_diamond: 1. Seeds and nuts

Bird seed is one of the best options, but at limited amounts, it eats all the foods on this list. Ducks should eat a lot of vegetables from their environment, such as grass, small fish, and frogs, all of which they often had no problem finding in the pond.

However, seeds and nuts are a good choice because of their high nutritional value. They are rich in fats that are high in fatty acids, which means that it is wise to feed birds with a small number of seeds and nuts.

:small_blue_diamond: 2. Fruit and vegetables

Vegetables, such as sweetcorn, lettuce and peas, and fruits, including slices of apples and bananas, are good sources of fiber and water and also provide essential vitamins.

But the large quantities can cause stomach upset, especially fruit, but also vegetables high in carbohydrates, such as carrots. Try measuring small amounts of seeds and nuts.

:small_blue_diamond: 3. Rice

Rice, both cooked and uncooked, is not a bad thing. It provides a good source of energy but it has very low nutritional value. Feeding the birds with large amounts of rice can lead to a shortage of other nutrients. It is also important to provide only plain rice which has never been spiced or fried.

Giving too much uncooked rice can give ducks a sore stomach because it reacts with water in their intestines. uncooked rice is completely safe in small quantities.

:small_blue_diamond: 4. Leftovers

The leftovers of our favorite processed food such as French fries and pizza crusts should not actually be in this list. They do for the birds what fast food does for us: a lot of energy, but with low nutritional value.

Some researchers found that leftovers were one of the top decisions for feeding ducks. But our advice like bread is to avoid it altogether.

How to feed ducks

Always monitor children when feeding ducks and encourage them to be safe on the water’s edge. Don’t let them get too close to ducks or water. Encourage them to spread food on the surface of the water rather than on the land, as it is thought that bringing ducks to feed on land exposes them to predators. Feed the ducks a small amount of food and make sure they eat everything before adding more, to avoid the formation of leftover food.

Good Foods for Ducks

You can offer a lot of healthy, safe, and nutritious food to omnivorous birds like ducks, geese and swans. The best foods are the nutrients, minerals, and vitamins that birds need to grow and develop well. Many of these foods are similar to insects, mollusks, seeds, grains and plants that birds look for. The best foods include:

  • Cracked corn

  • Wheat, barley, or similar grains

  • Oats

  • Rice, which could be plain white or brown, cooked or uncooked, whole or instant.

  • Milo seed

  • Birdseed

  • Grapes

  • Nut hearts or pieces can be of any type but without salt, coatings, or flavoring.

  • Frozen peas or corn should be defrosted, no need to cook.

  • Earthworms

  • Mealworms

  • Chopped lettuce or other greens or salad mixes

  • Vegetable trimmings or peels

Duck feed pellets or chicken starter pellets are other good ways. You can find chicken feed at farm or agricultural stores. These pellets are the same food that other parks and zoos can offer you on coin-operated retail machines.

Tips for Feeding Ducks

If you want to feed ducks or waterfowl to local ponds, do it unusual. Occasional visits here or there is better than regular visits. If you feed them too often, they may get too much food. Some tips include:

  • Stop feeding birds if they appear to leave food uneaten. Leftover food can rot quickly and attract unwanted insects.

  • Avoid feeding ducks when other visitors are already giving them feed. Too much food can lead to health problems and leftovers.

  • No matter what food you provide, offer only food in pieces the size of birds that they can easily eat without choking or struggling.

  • Beware of birds approaching; they can get angry, especially large waterfowl such as swans and geese.

  • Garbage can harm birds and the environment; Dispose of all waste properly, including bags, twisted tires, plastic clips, and any improper or molded lumps.

  • Do not allow pets or children to chase or disturb ducks, especially small birds or families. It can put stress on birds or cause injury both to you and to birds.

  • Know local regulations and comply with laws that prohibit or restrict the feeding of ducks or water birds. If you disregard the law, you could face fines or penalties.

What to Feed Ducks Instead of Bread

Following is mentioned some healthier and environmentally-friendly foods to feed ducks:

:small_blue_diamond: 1. Birdseed

Whether it includes seeds, sunflower, millet or other mix, any type of birdseed is safe to feed ducks instead of bread.

:small_blue_diamond: 2. Duck Feed Pellets

Specially designed for ducks, duck feed pallets are mainly provided for ducks raised for their eggs and meat.

:small_blue_diamond: 3. Corn

You can feed the ducks fresh or dried corn. Fresh corn can be defrosted or freshly cut. When it comes to dried corn kernels, be sure to grind the dried corn kernels before feeding the cracked corn to ducks. By breaking the dried corn kernels into smaller pieces, it is easier for ducks to eat.

:diamond_shape_with_a_dot_inside: Suggestion:

Be careful not to feed the ducks with cracked corn, fresh corn kernels, or canned corn near water. If consumed by fish, it can be difficult to digest.

:small_blue_diamond: 4. Oats and Similar Grains

Whether it rolled, quick, or steel-cut, uncooked oats are a best alternative to bread to feed ducks. You can also feed ducks wheat, barley, and similar grains.

:diamond_shape_with_a_dot_inside: Suggestion:

It’s hard to put a dent in the Costco-sized oatmeal in our pantry with only one child left at home. So, we keep one bowl of ducks, and the other set out for my daughter’s breakfast.

:small_blue_diamond: 5. Rice

Whether cooked or not, rice grains are safe to feed on ducks and other waterfowl.

:small_blue_diamond: 6. Grapes

Always cut the grapes into half or quarter pieces to make it easier for the duck to eat.

:small_blue_diamond: 7. Berries

Ducks enjoy a wide variety of berries including strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries.

:diamond_shape_with_a_dot_inside: Suggestion:

You can enjoy a juicy red berry and keep green tops to feed the ducks and other herbivores in your area.

:small_blue_diamond: 8. Melon

Ducks, geese, and other waterfowl love melon, water melon, cantaloupe, honey dew.

:small_blue_diamond: 9. Stone Fruit

Fruit with a large seed at the center such as cherries, plums, peaches, and apricots are all good to feed the ducks. However, it’s necessary to remove the seed first.

:small_blue_diamond: 10. Other Fruit Safe for Ducks

Ducks also love apples, pears, and bananas. However, you must avoid feeding ducks mangoes and citrus fruits.

:small_blue_diamond: 11. Peas

Both fresh and defrosted frozen peas are safe to feed ducks and other waterfowl.

:small_blue_diamond: 12. Vegetable Scraps

Instead of throwing vegetables in the trash or grinding them in the disposal, save them to feed the ducks. Ducks enjoy carrot and cucumber peelings, plant tops and lettuce trimming. Just make sure you cut the vegetable crumbs into pieces before feeding the ducks.

:small_blue_diamond: 13. Worms

You can feed ducks worms. However, ducks should be actively seeking natural food sources and should be able to find worms on their own.

Backyard ducks

Backyard ducks can eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and meat or fish in addition to their layer feeds. A varied diet of healthy treats not only make life more enjoyable for them, it makes the ducks healthier and their eggs more nutritious. It also ensures that nothing can be wasted. Our ducks are regularly fed kitchen and garden scraps, both raw and cooked. With the exception of a few, they can eat anything that is not moldy.

Treats for your ducks should be no more than 10% of their daily diet, although green treats, such as weeds, cut grass, lettuce, chard, etc. It can be fed at unlimited amounts. Ducks can also eat a variety of healthy treats, as long as they are cut into very small pieces or mushy to prevent chocking. Make sure your ducks of any age always have clean water and grit to help them digest food. You will find that your ducks love it when you toss some vegetables or fruit in a water tub.

Below are mentioned some ideas for nutritious treats:

:small_blue_diamond: Fruits

Ducks love berries, melon, seed and pit fruits. Grapes, bananas, plums, watermelon, pears and peaches are all good for ducks.

:diamond_shape_with_a_dot_inside: Fruits to avoid:

Citrus fruits such as lemon, lime, grapefruit, oranges are considered to interfere with calcium absorption and contribute to thin-shelled eggs. Citrus fruits can also cause acid reflux and abdominal pain in ducks.

Mango can make a duck’s throat bite, as it does for other people. If you are feeding your ducks mangoes, look for them for any reaction. If they look good and enjoy it, then it’s okay to give them a mango.

All parts of the avocado plant, including meat, can be toxic to ducks.

Many stone fruit pits contain little amount of cyanide. Probably not a problem as long as they are fed in moderation, but if you are worried, remove pits and seeds from apricots, apples, cherries, peaches, pears and plums before feeding them to your ducks.

:small_blue_diamond: Vegetables

Other favorite veggie treats include cucumber, peas, zucchini, broccoli and corn. And kale, collards, cabbage, chard, lettuce and all kinds of squash are great. Root vegetables such as potatoes, beets, turnips, carrots, radishes and parsnips are also a good source of nutritious food but ducks have a much easier time eating them when cooked or grilled.

:diamond_shape_with_a_dot_inside: Vegetables to Avoid:

Spinach interferes with calcium absorption, and can create egg-binding or softened eggs shells, so while it is very nutritious, spinach should be fed only in moderation.

Iceberg lettuce has a low amount of nutrients and can cause diarrhea in large amounts. Instead choose romaine, boy choy, cabbage, kale or collards.

White potatoes are part of the nightshade family and should be avoided, along with other family members including rhubarb, green tomatoes and eggplant. All parts of the plant are poisonous including leaves, stems and fruits.

Raw, dried beans can be poisonous, so beans should only be given fresh or sprouted to your ducks.

:small_blue_diamond: Grains

Whole grains are better than the white for ducks. Whole wheat or cooked vegetables pasta, brown rice, sorghum, quinoa and oats are all a great treat to manage. Whole grains, sugar-free cereals are also moderately good. Sown seeds include mung beans, alfalfa, broccoli, berry or quinoa for the most nutritious treats of ducks.

:diamond_shape_with_a_dot_inside: Grains to Avoid:

Crackers or any other salty, sugary or fatty foods are not good for ducks, they gain weight easily. The extra weight puts a lot of strain on their legs. Ducks can also die easily from salt overdose.

Bread can not only make your duck fatter if it is fed in large quantities, but it can also lead to potentially fatal plants. At moderate amounts, whole grain bread is fine as long as your ducks have plenty of clean water that is readily available.

:small_blue_diamond: Protein

Scrambled eggs are one of our favorite ducks’ treat. Some of favorite proteins include dried or organic mealworms, earthworms, slugs, crickets, bugs, feed fish, cooked fish or leftover meat, lobster or shrimp cells.

:diamond_shape_with_a_dot_inside: Proteins to Avoid:

Ducks do not digest nuts and seeds wells. Nuts and seeds can also cause choking or trapping in the plant as ducks swallow all food. If you are feeding your ducks with nuts or seeds, it should be ground first.

Raising ducks

Some people think that it is useless to try to plant anything in the yard that the ducks can get into because the ducks will step on and eat anything green. While that is true in theory, with a little patience and planning it is possible to build a well-planned yard for your ducks to roam.

Just because your ducks live in a fenced yard doesn’t mean you can’t give them as close a natural, free experience as possible. Duck yard should be beautifully decorated with shrubs and bushes, both to attract bedbugs for the ducks to eat, as well as to provide shade from the sun and shelter from the wind. Bushes provide a natural screen against predator’s eyes.

In addition to the benefits of ducks adding landscaping in their yard, a duck yard that delights in beauty instead of eyesore will encourage you to spend more time with your flock and give your neighbors a less reason to complain about you.

Following is mentioned some tips to help you successfully landscape your duck yard:

:small_blue_diamond: Cage Small Bushes

Of course, ducks will eat almost anything you plant. Even if they decide that they do not like the taste of a particular plant, they will still remove all the leaves and toss them to the ground, so it is very important to cage small bushes and shrubs at the distance of 2 feet tall.

:small_blue_diamond: Ring Roots with Rocks

Ducks are called “dabblers” for a reason. They love nothing but wigging their bills in the dirt and mud looking for bed bugs and caterpillars, so a newly watered tree or a shrub is tempting. All of these disturbances will damage the roots, so ringing the base of any bushes you have planted with pipes or stones will help protect the tender roots. You can remove the rocks once the planting is established, but leave them as an attractive decorative accent that serves as a permanent barrier to ducks

:small_blue_diamond: Choose High-Traffic Grass Seed

When planting grass seeds, make sure they are untreated with any chemicals and choose the best varieties. The ducks will eat and trample the grass and dig small holes in it for the worms, but they will not pull it out by roots or scratch everything as the chickens will. However, replanting or replenishing will still be required every spring.

:small_blue_diamond: Focus on Firs

One type of shrub that ducks seem to leave behind is that of the fir and evergreen families. The pine trees, the juniper tree, and other small firs provide shade and have the advantage of being a hindrance to the cold winter winds.

Nutrient Requirements of White Pekin Ducks

Nutrient Unit 0 to 2 Weeks; 2,900 2 to 7 Weeks; 3,000 Breeding; 2,900
Protein and amino acids
Protein % 22 16 15
Arginine % 1.2 1.3
Isoleucine % 0.64 0.47 0.37
Leucine % 1.27 0.92 0.75
Lysine % 0.91 0.66 0.61
Methionine % 0.42 0.32 0.26
Methionine + cystine % 0.71 0.56 0.51
Tryptophan % 0.24 0.16 0.15
Valine % 0.76 0.55 0.48
Calcium % 0.67 0.61 2.76
Chloride % 0.13 0.13 0.13
Magnesium mg 500 500 500
Nonphytate phosphorus % 0.42 0.31
Sodium % 0.16 0.16 0.16
Trace minerals
Manganese mg 50 ? ?
Selenium mg 0.20 ? ?
Zinc mg 60 ? ?
Fat soluble vitamins
A IU 2,500 2,500 4,000
D3 IU 400 400 900
E IU 10 10 10
K mg 0.5 0.5 0.5
Water soluble vitamins
Niacin mg 55 55 55
Pantothenic acid mg 11.2 11.2 11.2
Pyridoxine mg 2.6 2.6 3.0
Riboflavin mg 4.00 4.00 4.00

Frequently Asked Questions

Following is mentioned some frequently asked questions related to the topic of What to feed ducks, which are answered briefly.

1. Can Ducks Eat Cucumbers?

Yes, Ducks, geese, swans and other waterfowl enjoy a wide variety of vegetables and scraps of vegetable. Whether you feed cucumber peeling or pieces of cucumber to duck, be sure to cut them into pieces first.

2. Can Ducks Eat Millet?

Yes, ducks can eat millet. Millet is a cereal crop such as barley, rice, and wheat. This starchy grain is grown for human consumption and for animal feed. And like other grains, millet is safe to feed ducks.

3. Can Ducks Eat Potato Skins?

While ducks enjoy a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, you should avoid ducks to feed on potato skins. Potatoes are part of the nightshade family and are toxic to ducks. In addition to potato skins, do not feed duck tomatoes, eggplants, or black pepper as these plants are also nightshades.

4. Can Ducks Eat Rice Cakes?

Yes, ducks eat rice cakes. While rice cakes are made with rice which is safe to feed ducks, they also contain ingredients such as sugar, fructose, and other ingredients that are not suitable for ducks. Therefore, stick to rice instead of rice cakes when you feed the ducks.

5. What Fruits are Safe for Ducks?

From berries to stone fruits to watermelons, many fruits are safe to feed ducks. Even bananas, just make sure you remove the stones, seeds, and spine before feeding the fruit to the ducks. Also, you will never feed ducks on mango, lemons, limes, oranges, or other citrus fruits.

6. Can ducks eat dog food?

So, can ducks eat dog food? Yes, ducks can eat dog food, and they love it. Dog food is nutritious and full of health benefits, but you should remember some things that Dog food is big enough to choke your duck, so you should be careful how you feed your duck dog food.

7. Can you feed ducks Cheerios?

Cheerios are safe to feed on ducks but are best served as a small treat. As with any human diet processed, you should make sure that what you want to treat with your animals is safe, nutritious, and effective with the available diet.

8. What is the best food for pet ducks?

Ducks should be given vegetables and fruits that are suitable for supplement the diet. Zucchini, peas, leafy vegetables, corn, vegetable peels, non-citrus fruits and worms are suitable.

9. Do ducks get attached to humans?

Ducks often imprint on humans, especially from the time of hatching until they are five days old (or there may be imprint cases that have occurred later). This is most likely to happen if there are no other ducks nearby. Imprinted ducks need constant care.

10. Where do ducks go at night?

At night, ducks often roost in high-security areas where birds can conserve body heat and conserve energy. By moving between a variety of foodstuffs and roosting sites, birds can increase their energy savings under different weather conditions and at different times of the day.


In this article, there is a detail explanation of What to feed ducks and what is beneficial or harmful for ducks. Above is mentioned, seeds and grains, fruits and vegetables, rice and other foods for ducks feeding. To feed bread to ducks is not okay, as there are many other types of food you can use instead of bread, which will cause less overcrowding and a less stressful environment for ducks.

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