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Feeding Ducks With Proper Nutrition

feeding ducks

Feeding Ducks With Proper Nutrition


Probably one of the most common images conceivable while strolling on a lovely summer day in a nearby park with adorable little ducks in a pond is of the passersby throwing these creatures crumbs of bread or crackers, or even pieces of doughnuts or bits of popcorn. What most people do not know about feeding ducks is that these types of tidbits are potentially dangerous to them. Bread, for ducks, is equivalent to junk food, and therefore an excessive amount can lead to malnutrition and weight gain. Bread is acceptable if given in moderation but it is extremely difficult to judge the amount of their intake if everybody keeps on throwing them these morsels.


Waterfowl such as ducks can thrive beautifully on aquatic plants, grass, even snails and insects. If the urge of feeding ducks must be satisfied, one can give them chopped hardboiled eggs even with the shell on, vegetable greens, or tomatoes. Otherwise, the urge should be curbed.

As for pets and domesticated ducks, unmedicated mash pellets are the recommended staple food. It can be supplemented with the above mentioned duck snacks such as vegetable trimmings, tomatoes, boiled eggs with shell on, and even some cracked corn. Cracked corn though must not be used as a staple as it does not supply the proper amount of protein, which can pose health problems. It is also important to always read labels because the level of protein is crucial to a duck’s growth.


Here is a brief summary of the advisable protein levels for feeding ducks according to their age requirements:

- Ducklings to three weeks: 20-22% protein
- Adolescents (3 to 6weeks): 16% protein
- Females over 6weeks (laying): 16-18% protein
- Females over 6weeks (not laying) or Males over 6weeks: 14-16% protein

When feeding ducks, always make sure they have fresh drinking water. Ducks have no teeth, so the water is essential for them to swallow their food. Pellets and crumbles are ideal because they are very simple to use and do not make much of a mess.


Here is a quick look on what to feed your domestic duck:

- Staple foods: Mash, crumbles or pellets
- Supplements: Vegetable greens, tomatoes, carrots
-> chopped hardboiled eggs with shell on
-> worms, snails, slugs, insects
- Avoid: Bread, seeds, nuts
-> human food that even humans should not consume in large amounts such as fatty, salty, and sweet foods

Remember to consult your veterinarian for more explicit instructions on feeding and raising ducks, in order to provide your ducks with optimum care.

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