What Can You Feed Ducks: A Guide to Proper Duck Nutrition

If you’re considering raising ducks or have recently welcomed these delightful creatures to your backyard, it’s important to provide them with a well-balanced and nutritious diet. Ducks have specific dietary requirements that need to be met to ensure their health and well-being.

What Can You Feed Ducks? We will explore the various feeding options for ducks, including commercial feeds, homemade feeds, and supplementary foods, along with essential guidelines for feeding them.

You may also want to read about the best chicken feed.

Basic Nutritional Needs of Ducks

Before diving into the specifics of duck feeding, it’s crucial to understand their basic nutritional needs. Ducks require a diet that includes:

  • Protein: Ducks need a source of high-quality protein to support their growth, development, and egg production.
  • Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates provide energy to ducks and help meet their daily energy requirements.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Ducks need a variety of vitamins and minerals for overall health, including vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, calcium, and phosphorus.

What Can You Feed Ducks?

When it comes to feeding ducks, there are several options to consider:

Commercial Duck Feeds

Commercial duck feeds are formulated specifically for ducks and provide a balanced diet. These feeds come in various forms, including pellets and crumbles. They are readily available at feed stores and online, and they offer convenience and consistency in meeting the nutritional needs of your ducks.

what can you feed ducks

What Can You Feed Ducks?

Homemade Duck Feeds

If you prefer a DIY approach or want to supplement commercial feeds, you can create homemade duck feeds using a combination of grains, seeds, legumes, and other ingredients. This allows you to have more control over the ingredients and customize the feed to meet the specific needs of your ducks.

Supplementary Foods

In addition to commercial and homemade feeds, you can provide supplementary foods to enhance the diet of your ducks. This can include kitchen scraps, leafy greens, fruits, vegetables, and small amounts of protein-rich foods like mealworms or insects. Supplementary foods should be offered in moderation and should not comprise the majority of their diet.

Foods to Avoid

While it’s important to know what ducks can eat, it’s equally crucial to be aware of foods that should be avoided. Some foods can be harmful to ducks and should never be fed to them. Avoid feeding ducks:

  • Bread: Contrary to popular belief, bread is not suitable for ducks as it lacks essential nutrients and can cause digestive issues.
  • Junk Food: Avoid feeding ducks processed foods, salty snacks, sugary treats, and any food high in fat or additives.
  • Toxic Foods: Certain foods are toxic to ducks and should be strictly avoided. These include chocolate, caffeine, avocado, onion, and garlic.

Feeding Tips and Guidelines

To ensure proper feeding practices for your ducks, consider the following tips and guidelines:

  • Provide Fresh Water: Ducks need access to clean, fresh water at all times. Water is crucial for digestion, hydration, and overall health.
  • Monitor Feed Consumption: Observe your ducks’ feed consumption and adjust the amount accordingly. Be mindful of overfeeding or underfeeding and makesure to provide enough feed to meet their nutritional needs.
  • Avoid Contamination: Keep the feeding area clean and free from contaminants. Remove uneaten feed to prevent spoilage and the attraction of pests.
  • Introduce New Foods Gradually: When introducing new foods or making changes to their diet, do so gradually to avoid digestive upset. Ducks may take time to adjust to new flavors and textures.
  • Consider Grit: Ducks require grit to aid in the digestion of their food. Provide them with small stones or commercially available poultry grit to help them break down and absorb nutrients effectively.
  • Observe Behavior and Health: Pay attention to your ducks’ behavior, appearance, and overall health. Any significant changes or signs of illness should be addressed promptly.

What Can You Feed Ducks: Conclusion

What Can You Feed Ducks? Feeding ducks a balanced and nutritious diet is essential for their health, growth, and productivity. Whether you choose commercial feeds, homemade feeds, or a combination of both, ensure that their nutritional needs are met. Additionally, offering supplementary foods in moderation can provide variety and enrichment for your ducks. By following proper feeding practices and providing clean water, you can contribute to the well-being and happiness of your feathered friends.


1. Can ducks eat lettuce?

Yes, ducks can eat lettuce. Leafy greens like lettuce can be included in their diet as part of their supplementary foods.

2. How often should I feed my ducks?

Ducks should have access to food throughout the day. It’s recommended to offer feed twice a day and monitor their consumption.

3. Can ducks eat rice?

Ducks can eat cooked rice in small quantities. Ensure the rice is plain and not seasoned or mixed with harmful ingredients like onions or garlic.

4. What is the ideal protein content in duck feed?

The ideal protein content in duck feed should be around 16-18%. This helps support their growth, development, and egg-laying capabilities.

5. Can ducks eat insects?

Yes, ducks can eat insects as part of their diet. Insects provide protein and can be a natural source of nutrition for ducks.

About the Author
The Poultry Feed Team

The Poultry Feed Team

I am Ehsan from The Poultry Feed Team. We all started out as poultry novices ourselves, so we know just how confusing it can be to try and figure everything out on your own. That's why we're here! We want to help you become the best caretaker of these lovely feathered animals.