What To Feed A Baby Duck: A Comprehensive Guide

What to feed a baby duck? Raising a baby duck can be a fun and rewarding experience. However, it’s important to know what to feed them to ensure their growth and health.

Baby ducks, also known as ducklings, have specific nutritional needs that must be met for them to develop into healthy adult ducks. In this blog, we’ll discuss what to feed a baby duck to promote their growth and health.

When to start feeding a baby duck?

First, let’s talk about when to start feeding a baby duck. Newly hatched ducklings can survive for up to 48 hours without food or water, as they absorb the yolk sac from their egg during the incubation process. However, it’s best to start feeding them as soon as possible to ensure they get the nutrients they need to thrive.

You may also want to read about the best duckling starter feed.

What to feed a baby duck?

The first food you should give your baby duck is a commercial waterfowl starter feed. Duck starter feed is specially formulated to provide all the nutrients baby ducks need to grow and develop. It typically contains a high percentage of protein, which is essential for muscle and feather development. Duck starter feed also contains vitamins and minerals, such as calcium and phosphorus, which are necessary for bone development.

what to feed a baby duck

What to feed a baby duck?

Duck starter feed comes in two forms: medicated and non-medicated. Medicated duck starter feed contains a medication called amprolium, which helps prevent coccidiosis, a common and potentially deadly disease in baby ducks. Non-medicated duck starter feed does not contain this medication, so if you choose to go this route, you’ll need to be vigilant about keeping your ducks’ living area clean and dry to prevent the spread of disease.

It’s important to note that you should not feed adult duck feed to baby ducks. Adult feed contains different levels of nutrients and protein, which can be harmful to baby ducks. Stick to duck starter feed until your birds are about 8-10 weeks old, at which point you can switch to a grower feed designed for young ducks.


In addition to duck starter feed, you can also provide your baby ducks with treats and supplements. Here are some options:

  1. Fresh fruits and vegetables: Chopped up fruits and vegetables like grapes, peas, and lettuce can be a tasty and nutritious treat for baby ducks. Be sure to chop them into small pieces to avoid choking hazards.
  2. Mealworms: Mealworms are a great source of protein and can be a fun treat for baby ducks. You can buy them dried or live and offer them as a supplement to their regular feed.
  3. Grit: Ducks need grit to help them digest their food properly. Grit is made up of small stones or sand that ducks eat and store in their gizzards. You can provide your baby ducks with duckling-sized grit to help them digest their food.
  4. Probiotics: Probiotics can help promote healthy gut bacteria in baby ducks. You can buy probiotics specifically designed for ducks and mix them into their water or feed.
  5. Brewer’s yeast: Brewer’s yeast is high in B vitamins, which are essential for duckling growth and development. You can mix it into their feed or offer it as a supplement.

It’s important to remember that treats and supplements should not make up the majority of your baby ducks’ diet. They should still be primarily eating duck starter feed to ensure they’re getting all the nutrients they need.

Another important aspect of feeding baby ducks is ensuring they have access to clean water at all times. Baby ducks drink a lot of water, especially during hot weather, so make sure their waterer is always full and clean. You can add electrolytes to their water to help keep them hydrated and healthy.

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.