What Do Baby Ducks Eat?


What Do Baby Ducks Eat?

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Raising ducks may be both enjoyable and challenging. Ducks are among the species that are most versatile and useful on a farm, regardless of how big or little it is, so it can also be pretty satisfying.

The upkeep of each animal takes time. Feeding, watering, and cleaning up after them will all require some time. Before taking them home, make sure you have plenty of that priceless resource. Remember that finding a duck sitter for a vacation is more difficult than finding a pet or cat sitter. And you cannot complete this in a short period of time. Ducks usually live between 9 and 15 years.

The need to hunt food is ingrained in ducks. They are omnivores by nature since they will consume anything they can get their beaks on. Whether you have a pet duck or are curious about how to feed the ducks in the pond, continue reading to learn more about ducks and their dietary requirements.

What Do Baby Ducks Eat?

Although your baby ducks should be fed a very specific diet from the day they hatch until the day they become completely feathered, backyard ducks can consume a variety of foods. Ducklings in the wild hatch from their eggs and head straight for their mother. She directs them to a location where they could come across food and water.

Depending on the season, a wild duckling will eat anything from algae and plants to earthworms and insects. They might eat all day if the weather is warm. Due to the nature of their diet, they will need to stay close to water in colder climates because their food will congeal.

They can develop diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and a number of other diseases. They need a lot of grass and weeds to munch on in the summer, which keeps them full and interferes with their digestion in the winter. This is particularly true if their stomachs do not grow as they start eating more meals.

However, if you’ve made the decision to keep a young duck as a pet, here are some food options to think about.

Baby Duck Food Pellets

On the day when the baby ducks hatch, take out your beginning kit. This container contains duck food pellets that are soft enough for their sensitive beaks to eat. Within your pond or water area, you can also locate vitamins, minerals, such as calcium, and a toy duck to play with.


When they are fully feathered or if the weather is extremely hot and you are worried about them remaining hydrated, give them fruit as a reward. Fruit is healthy for people and ducks alike. The treat must be tiny enough to float in the water for the baby ducks to easily reach it while they munch on it.

Fruits contain a lot of natural sugars, therefore you should only serve them occasionally. Fruits that can be offered to a duckling include tomatoes, pears, apples, bananas, cherries, peaches, strawberries, or raspberries.


For ducks, leafy greens are delicious! It’s typically preferable to break them into tiny pieces and let them float in water. Because ducks don’t chew their food, you don’t want bits of long grass or other treats to become stuck in their stomachs. Whether you are feeding young ducklings, this is essential.

Ducks particularly enjoy cut grass, swiss chard, lettuce, cucumber, peas, radish, and kale, among other vegetables and greens.

Dairy-Based Treats

You can start feeding your baby ducks these treats after they are at least 12 weeks old. It is preferable to avoid giving these treats to day-old birds. It is advised that you refrain from feeding them dairy because it could make their feces smelly.


Usually, it’s a good idea to provide your ducklings high-protein snacks. In actuality, dried shrimp or black soldier fly larvae are your best bets if you want to give your ducklings something other than their feed. Due to their ability to float on water and ease of processing, dried shrimp are a favorite among ducks. Ducks may easily capture them by filtering through their water.

You can also give young ducks high-protein treats like mealworms, crickets, eggs, and beetles.

How To Feed Baby Ducks?

How To Feed Baby Ducks?

Even if you merely wish to feed park-dwelling ducklings, you should still give them wholesome food. By feeding the infants the right food for ducklings and making sure they get enough of it, you can make sure they are content and healthy.

Step 1:

The ideal meal for ducklings is unmedicated duck or chicken feed. You should double-check the label on the carton because many feeds are medicated. Baby ducks who eat medicated food risk overdosing and dying. The majority of a duckling’s diet should consist of unmedicated foods.

Step 2:

Give the ducks some fresh produce and fruit. To prepare the fruits and vegetables for the ducklings, finely cut them. If you give them large meal portions, they can suffocate. Give your ducklings a side dish of lettuce, grapes, carrots, broccoli, pears, apples, and celery. Prepare some food in advance and store it in a plastic container if you plan to feed baby ducks at the park.

Step 3:

Mealworms are a favorite food of ducklings. Add a few mealworms to the mixture to provide the newborn ducks with more protein. Mealworms can be ordered online or purchased at your neighborhood pet store. For the ducklings to find baby ducks in a park, scatter some of the mealworms on the ground or in the grass.

Step 4:

Brewer’s yeast can be added to ducklings’ food to raise their niacin levels. Newborn ducks frequently have niacin insufficiency, which can result in bent legs. To ensure that baby ducks are receiving adequate niacin, add some brewer’s yeast to their meal.

Step 5:

Give the ducklings some bread, but don’t overdo it. Every ten ducklings, give no more than one slice per day. To allow the newborn ducks to eat it, make sure the bread is finely crushed. Ducklings need more nutrients in their food as a result. They won’t eat other meals that are crucial for their health if you offer them too much bread and fill them up.

Step 6:

Bring some water for the baby ducks if you’re bringing them to the park. Ducklings require water when eating to help with digestion. If you’re not feeding the ducks close to a pond or other body of water, place a plastic container down and fill it with fresh water. Make sure the ducklings can enter and exit the container with ease.

What Are The Natural Predators of Baby Ducks?

When it comes to controlling the food chain, ducks are the equivalent of rabbits in the avian kingdom; anything with eyes facing forward is for their flesh. Due to their immobility and the wholesome, protein-rich yolks they produce, ducklings are particularly vulnerable to predators. You can understand how susceptible duck eggs are to theft given their immobility and delectable, nutrient-rich yolks.

Red Foxes

Red foxes are one of the main predators of ducks in the prairie pothole region, where there aren’t many other natural predators. They have demonstrated a keen interest in duck nests, as opposed to merely stumbling onto them by coincidence like other animals. Before moving on to the next nest, foxes frequently take recently laid duck eggs and store them elsewhere.


Raccoons are not known to deliberately target duck nests, but if one is discovered while they are moving through prairie wetland margins, farm ditches, and other duck nesting places, they will consume the entire clutch or a portion of it. Although their egg devouring is substantially more detrimental to the autumn flight, they will also consume ducklings.


Another typical invading rodent species that eats mallard ducklings is the skunk. Similar to raccoons, skunks are foraging creatures that occasionally like to interact with ducks or consume their eggs. Skunks often destroy two or three duck nests every spring, according to study. When added together, this becomes a large sum.


Many people think that because coyotes are so big and numerous, they pose a risk to the public for ducks that are breeding. However, they also chase away foxes and other significant breeding duck predators. They will eat ducklings if they are available, scavenge eggs, and kill any hens they can catch. Therefore, whether or not coyotes have a favorable influence on the displacement of nest raiders, their presence has a net negative impact on duck breeding.


Mink are semi-aquatic rodents that kill a lot of ducklings in the prairie pothole region and eat eggs, just like muskrats and beavers do. When marshes recede from the surrounding flora and ducklings are left exposed during dry years, mink can have a particularly fatal effect on how many survive migration.


In remote island breeding regions around the world, egg-eaters like gulls and other predators pose a growing threat to the survival of eider eggs. In Maine and Canada’s maritime provinces, a new incursion of gulls and other predators is drastically affecting nest success and duckling survival. It is well known that black-backed gulls contribute significantly to the reduction of common eider populations in the Atlantic Flyway. The gulls wait in anticipation and pounce when hens leave their nests alone.

How To Protect Baby Ducks From Predators?

You can keep your pets in a gated yard if you live in an area where foxes and raccoons are widespread and you’re tired of losing your prized ducks to them. Foxes, stray dogs, raccoons, and other predators won’t be able to enter your yard as a result of this.

Due to their high jump, they may quickly jump over low fences, so make sure your fence is tall and constructed of durable materials, such as a metal wire that cannot easily be eaten.

To keep your ducks safe from predators, you may either construct a secure coop or utilize a cage with a solid roof. To keep them safe from predators, you must regularly check it for flaws and holes, though.

Predators like skunks and stray dogs will almost probably make repeated attempts to enter your ducks’ coop if you live in an area where they are common. Every night, your sleeping birds will finally get entrance to the coop by ripping the wires apart or making a dent someplace.

Are Baby Ducks Healthy To Eat?

Are Baby Ducks Healthy To Eat?

Duck flesh is rich in flavor, packed with nutrients, and packed with protein and good fats. Additionally, it contains a lot of micronutrients like niacin, iron, and selenium. The nutritional content of duck eggs is comparable to that of chicken eggs.

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Sarah Green

Wildlife and Nature Fan & Author