What Do Ducks Eat

If you are considering a duck as a pet, one of the first questions you will need answered is, "What do Ducks eat?" Like most pets, ducks have one primary food, but there are several things they can be gives as supplements and treats. Keep in mind that what your duck eats will depend on the age of your duck as well as the type. The ideas here are  fairly universal, but like most living things, your duck will likely have preferences.

  1. Non-medicated pelleted mash. This is the staple food that pet ducks eat. Medicated duck feed is for commercially raised ducks, not pet ducks. Make sure the duck feed has the right amount of protein for your duck's age. Ducklings need 20 to 22 percent protein, while adolescents need 16 percent,  and adult ducks need only 14 to 16 percent. Duck pellets are available from feed stores and some pet stores.
  2. Cracked corn. Ducks can eat this as a major part of their diet as well. The drawback is that, if you have a pond where you also keep fish, it is harmful to the fish. Ducks use water to soften their food, so even if you feed them well away from the water, cracked corn can find its way to your pond.
  3.  Fresh vegetable trimmings.  Ducks eat many kinds of vegetables including leafy greens and tomatoes. Ducks will also eat wild vegetation. They may be less likely to eat peelings and very hard vegetables.
  4. Chopped hard-boiled eggs. A bird eating eggs may seem weird, but ducks will eat them. Eggs are a good protein source. Leave the shell on for added nutrition.
  5. Insects, snails, and worms. Ducks eat  the small things they catch catch.  If you use snail baits or pesticides, don't let your duck have access to places it may get poisoned. Otherwise your duck will get exercise and supplement its diet with or without your help, by catching these little creepy crawlies.

Contrary to popular belief foods like bread and crackers aren't great for ducks to eat. They aren't lethal, but are basically duck junk food. Too much will make them fat and lethargic. To keep your duck energetic and healthy make sure you know what ducks should eat. And if you aren't sure, ask your vet!

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