What Foods Can You Feed to Ducks?

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Although many people feed bread to ducks, it's better to consider more nutritious food options. Learn what to feed ducks.

what to feed ducksCourtesy Linda Dutchess
Do not feed bread to mallard ducks

Of course, we always want to do what is best for the birds. Unfortunately, sometimes what we think is best might actually be hurting them. This tends to be the case with bread and ducks. Bread pretty much offers no nutritional value to ducks, but they will still take an easy handout when available. Not only is too much bread bad for adults, it can be even worse for ducklings. They need a diet high in protein to grow and bread offers only carbohydrates. There are plenty of natural food sources in the wild, and ducks do not need our help to survive. But if you still would like to feed ducks, consider these options that are better than bread. Here are the best foods to feed ducks:

  • Cracked Corn – Attract ducks with cracked corn. Sprinkle a few kernels in a dry place under a bird feeder. Look for cracked corn, not whole kernel corn; it’s much easier for smaller birds to eat. You can find this at most bird feeding stores. It’s an affordable and good alternative to bread.
  • Duck Pellets – This is one of the better food options you can offer. Duck feed pellets can be found at many farming stores and online.
  • Bird Seed – Ducks will eat the same seed that many of your other birds eat. In fact, in my yard, they tend to clean up anything the other birds drop under my feeders. Check out the 3 types of seeds and feeders birds love best.

Remember, there is plenty of natural food around for ducks to eat. But if you want to know what to feed ducks, make sure to choose food that is nutritious and not harmful.

Next, check out 20 types of ducks to look for in spring.

Rob Ripma
Rob Ripma, a lifelong Indiana resident, has traveled and birded extensively throughout the Americas.