Foods Safe To Feed Ducks – What To Feed Wild & House Ducks

You can always see in parks kids throwing bread and popcorn at ducks enjoying how the ducks fight each other over it,the ducks seem to love it too!

However, is it really safe? Read more if you want to find out if bread, popcorn, and corn is safe for ducks.

In this article you will be able to find out everything what you can and can’t feed ducks.

What is Safe to Feed Ducks?

If you want to feed wild ducks, do it rarely. Safe foods to  feed wild ducks and domesticated ducks are rice, leafy greens, oats, corn, grapes, and earthworms. Foods that most people give to wild ducks are usually the worst ones for ducks.

Those foods are bread, donuts, popcorn, and chips. So don’t give ducks these foods in any circumstance.

Ducks don’t eat just these foods. There are many other things you can give them, and much more you can’t give them. Find out what do wild ducks, baby ducks, and house ducks can safely eat.

Best Things What Can We Feed All Ducks

There are many nutritious foods you can give ducks. Right foods will provide vitamins, minerals, and nutrients for them to grow and develop. Best foods for ducks are insects, seeds, grains, and plants.

Try to avoid feeding ducks bread and other bread-type products . Here’s a list of best foods you can give to ducks:

  • Rice
  • Oats
  • Nut pieces
  • Earthworms
  • Mealworms
  • Leafy greens (Not Iceberg salad)
  • Vegetable peels
  • Corn
  • Wheat (in minimum quantities)
  • Birdseed
  • Grapes

There are stores that sell food for ducks. If you love to feed them, this can be a great option too. This is the food they give ducks at zoos.

what is safe to feed ducks?

Is It Safe To Feed Ducks Rice?

There is a rumor that says: “Don’t throw rice at weddings, birds will eat it.” You can throw rice at weddings because rice is completely good food for birds and also for ducks. Ducks can eat cooked or uncooked rice, in small portions.

Try not to overfeed them and not give rice every day if they are wild ducks as they usually can find enough food themselves.

Is It Safe To Feed Ducks Bread?

White Bread is the most common food people will give ducks and other birds. Feeding ducks white bread is BAD because white bread has little to no nutrients and won’t make the ducks ”feel full” , if the bread is ”soft” the ducks might not be even able to digest it.

Feeding ducks Wholewheat bread which has been left outside to harden up is much better option . Other Bread-type products like crackers, donuts, chips, popcorn, cereal are even worse since they usually have lots of added salt/flavourings.

If you decide to feed bread to baby ducks – ducklings, it can harm their growth. Many people will give ducks mouldy  old bread which certainly shouldn’t be done as the mould can be fatal to ducks.

Can You Feed Ducks Popcorn?

Popcorn can be very dangerous for ducks. If not properly digested and when a large amount is accumulated, popcorn can rot in ducks’ stomach. This might require surgery for your duck or for wild ducks, it can be fatal. Like bread, popcorn has very little  nutritional value for ducks, on top of it Ducks can even choke on popcorn kernels.

Can You Feed Ducks Grapes?

One of the favourite foods for ducks is grapes. Ducks love to eat them when they ripe. You can feed wild and house ducks with ripe grapes cut in half. You have to cut them in half because ducks will try to swallow the whole grape at once and can choke on it. Also, make sure to give ducks ripened grapes, if they eat unripened grapes they can get a pain in their stomach and diarrhea.

Can You Feed Ducks Corn?

If you have to choose between bread and corn, Corn will be a much better option-  specially if it’s cracked corn which can be digested more easily by ducks. Corn is great not only for wild ducks, but you can safely feed corn to domesticated ducks as well- They really do Love corn!

Can You Feed Ducks Dog Food?

You can safely feed certain dried Dog Food to ducks, however this must be done in moderation and more as a snack. Choose a good quality dog food which has higher grain content and no artificial flavourings or other nasties added.

Since Ducks are omnivores the added meat in dog food won’t harm them either, make sure that the dried dog food kibbles aren’t large as otherwise ducks can choke on them..  You can also give ducks cat food, however make sure you don’t overdo it – This shouldn’t be part of their main diet!

Can You Feed Ducks Chicken Feed?

Both ducks and chicken are birds, so they can eat the same food. Maybe you raise ducks and chicken in the same space, or they run freely together in your yard, so you have to feed them all together.

One thing to note is, Chicken feed is often high in protein, to ensure their fast growth. Fast growth however is not the best thing for ducks as it can cause various problems in ducks such as your duck can get  Deformed foot or weak legs, which would be a huge problem for heavy bird such a duck.

A condition called “Angel wing” can develop – their wings will curve away from their body making them unable to fly. House ducks can’t fly so it isn’t a ”huge problem for them, but for wild ducks, it might mean life or death.

If they can’t fly they will soon die in the wild, they wouldn’t be able to escape predators and won’t be able to migrate with other ducks.

It would be ideal if you could find  Duck Feed Pellets , It’s a excellent mixture that gives ducks all the nutrients they need.

If you aren’t able to find duck feed pellets and still want to feed your ducks chicken feed you can solve this high protein problem of chicken feed by adding oats to the chicken feed.

The oats would lower the total protein content of this mixed feed and your ducks will be able to avoid the problems associated with feeding them chicken feed.

Ducklings ( baby ducks) , on the other hand, can eat regular chicken feed for about the first 2 or 3 weeks as they do require higher protein levels in their diet ,however make sure that the chicken feed does not have any added  medications added to it.

Ducks aren’t susceptible to the same parasitic diseases as chicks, so they don’t need those medications. After a duckling is 1month+ Old you should however switch to duck feed.

What ducks can’t eat

Here is a list of foods you absolutely can’t give ducks – home or wild ducks:

  • Popcorn
  • Citrus fruit
  • Iceberg lettuce
  • Potatoes and tomatoes
  • Dried and raw beans

Other Foods You Shouldn’t Give Ducks

If ducks are given citrus fruit it can cause thin-shelled eggs. Citrus fruit will also stop ducks from absorbing calcium which is highly important to them.

Iceberg lettuce in small amounts is okay, but if you give them a little too much they can suffer from diarrhea. That’s why it would be best to avoid Iceberg lettuce for ducks.

Fruits, leaves, and stems from tomatoes and potatoes are very harmful to ducks. Eggplant is also in the same family as potatoes and tomatoes, so avoid it as well.

Dried and raw beans can also be harmful to ducks, it is better to avoid these foods at all.


What is Safe to Feed Wild ducks? Can you feed them?

Wild ducks can be seen on ponds, streams, calm rivers, or in the local park swimming around. Ducks come to urban areas because people feed them.

Most people throw them bread, but as I said earlier it’s can be one of the worst things you can give to ducks. It is advised that ducks don’t need to be fed in the summertime when they have all sorts of things to eat in nature. Your best bet is helping the ducks in winter when they can’t find plants and weeds.

The right food for wild ducks are leafy green foods such as spinach and celery.

You can give them carrots, rice, peas, wheat grains, and oats as well. To make easier for ducks, chop up foods that are big, or shred them.

Always give them food in small pieces, so there is no risk for a duck to choke on your food. A great snack for them would be  worms if you can find them.

In Winter time If you see a lot of people feeding wild ducks in your usual place, go to a place where there are fewer people feeding them, ideally none so you can feed the ducks who haven’t been able to get any food.

Usually, ducks don’t need to be fed, as they can find all they need in nature. When you feed them, don’t throw food onto the land, throw it on the water ,also make sure that you scatter the food over the water, not in one place as there is a chance the feed will sink and no duck will be able to get it.

What is safe to feed baby ducks?

The best food for baby ducks would be starter food for ducks, many local farmer stores should have it. If you can’t find one that stocks it, you can give them starter food for chicks.

As a snack, you can give them little earthworms,  however don’t do it too much, every 2-3 days is fine. Fruit is also good baby for ducks, and they will love it.

Make sure you split the fruit in smaller pieces beforehand , different Fruits which you can give them are bananas, strawberries, cherries, apples, and peaches.