The family Anatidae is a collective term for what we commonly know as ducks. There are many different breeds in this family, such as the commonly represented mallard duck or lesser known breeds, such as the muscovy duck. Although we might think that ducks have a steady diet of stale bread and crust, they are in fact omnivorous animals. They have a flat beak, a short neck and a rounded body. Their legs with a floating membrane are completely flat and their smooth wings are tucked in to give them a unique portrait.
Most breeds of ducks can use these wings to fly, but they are commonly seen floating along the top of a pond or lake. This is where many people want to feed ducks, but first we should know more about the duck diet. We are also witnessing ducks being increasingly domesticated as pets. That’s why AnimalWised tells you that what not to feed the ducks so that you can choose the right snack for both the duck and its environment,
Before we think about what to feed the ducks, we should look at a duck diet. To know what ducks eat in the wild, we can think about their environment. Wild ducks live and develop in lakes, small canals and other bodies of water.
From these aquatic environments, wild ducks feed on plants, insects, seeds, algae and fish. Although they spend a lot of time on the water, ducks can forage on the ground. Ducks have a “teeth” crest on their beaks known as a Ridge. Ducks take food from the surface of the water and then filter the moisture through this pecten. It is strange that they also pick up pieces of sand from the waterbed or river bank, which helps to grind their food and aid digestion.
When thinking about raising a duck as a pet, one of the first concerns is to ensure that it is fed properly. Feeding domestic ducks requires an understanding of their nutritional requirements and the provision of and balanced diet. As mentioned above, ducks are omnivorous animals, so the range of food we can offer them is greater than for other pets. To understand what not to feed ducks, we can start by showing you what they should eat.
Although ducks are omnivorous, there are certain nutrients they need more than others. Proteins in the form of amino acids are very important, but they must be in balance with other vitamins and minerals. It is also important to feed the right amount and type of food at different stages of development.
Cereals, pulses and seeds for ducks
Cereals are an important part of what we can feed ducks to. It is contained in most commercial feeds, but a balanced feed can be made at home. You can do this by combining the following options:
- Green beans
- Sunflower seeds
Fruits and vegetables for ducks
Fresh and natural foods are an essential source of vitamins and should never be missing from our duck’s diet. Here are some of the vegetables for ducks that you can include in their diet:
- Green peas
- Fresh corn
- Alfalfa sprouts
- Bamboo shoots
Because the fruit is high in sugar, ducks will not be able to eat too much fruit. However, if given in moderation, you can provide the following for the duck diet:
The fruit will often be too large for the ducks to digest. You should wash them thoroughly and cut them into bite-sized pieces.
Insects and other non-vegetarian food for ducks
Remember that wild ducks will eat a lot of other food in their environment, including living creatures such as insects. These insects can be earthworms, grasshoppers, cochineal, crickets, snails or slugs. They can also consume crustaceans and fish found in waterways. If we feed them fish, it is best to remove the bones to avoid suffocation.
Another surprising but very beneficial food for ducks is eggshells. They are so good for them because they have concentrated calcium and protein. We can crush eggshells along with seafood shells and crumble into their feed. Another way to provide calcium is to feed sugar-free natural yogurt.
Feed for ducks
To complete our report on duck food, we can take a look at commercial feed for ducks. It is a feed that can be bought in specialized animal shops and is specially designed to provide sufficient nutrition for domestic ducks. We should emphasize that it is different from the feed that is given to farmed ducks. It is used to fatten ducks for meat and does not help domestic ducks for quality of life and well-being. The ingredients they contain are not designed to live long, but simply to be prepared as food.
When buying commercial duck feed, it is important to check the composition to ensure its quality. It should contain some of the above ingredients in variety, as well as plenty of vitamins and minerals. We should offer our ducks the amount recommended by the manufacturer, but keep in mind that some types of ducks are larger than others. In case of doubt, we can always consult a specialized veterinarian.
Tips for feeding ducks
However, it is necessary to emphasize that the diet of domestic ducks should not rely solely on commercial feed. We need to introduce some fruits and vegetables, unprocessed cereals and fresh meat or fish. They will also need to have some special crumb duck to help them digest.
Combined with their proper diet you will need to provide plenty of fresh water. We recommend renewing it at least once or twice a day.
Whether you keep ducks or have saved some duck eggs that have hatched, you will need to know more about diet ducks. It is important to pay close attention to their diet, as this will affect the proper development of ducklings.
After the first days of hatching, ducks should be fed feed for ducks soaked in water. Ducklings will not have the strength to feed on solid food. Soaking in water simulates the way ducks are fed their mother’s regurgitated food. How ducklings grow up ducklingsYou can start introducing some foods that would be incorporated into the diet of adults, such as peas, worms, cooked vegetables and more. It is ideal to provide a diet that is varied, natural and complete.
In most cities, towns or even zoos, it is common to see these beautiful birds living in peace with humans. Unfortunately, it is also common to see these people feeding ducks inappropriate food. While some of these foods can be obviously bad for ducks, such as candy, many people believe that bread is suitable for ducks. Even if ducks like to eat bread, it does not mean that it is good for them.
Bread is a food high in carbohydrates and therefore harmful to ducks. Excessive intake of carbohydrates from food can lead to a condition known as the “angel wing”. This is a condition that causes the last row of feathers on the duck’s wing to swing to the side. This can lead to the bird having serious difficulty flying.
If you are in a park or zoo and they want to feed the ducks, there are other options that do not harm their health. Zoos often provide food that can be given to ducks. You can also offer them small pieces of fish, fruits or vegetables, which we listed in our list above.
In all cases, you should ensure that the pieces are not too large. Also, remember that it is better to feed the ducks to the responsible people in your group. You can give children food to feed ducks, but it is not recommended to feed them on their own.
As mentioned above, there are some foods that we should not feed ducks. The following are food forbidden for ducks because they can seriously adversely affect their well-being:
- Sweet potato
Before feeding a duck, always make sure it is something you should eat. Also be aware that harder and larger pieces of food can eat ducks, they can still represent and danger of suffocation. If you have any experience with a duck as a pet, share your experience in the comments below. You can tell us if they have a favorite delicacy or just share some memories. You can also read more information with us if you want to think about having a duck as a pet.
If you want to read similar articles like What not to feed ducks – Diet for wild and domestic duckswe recommend visiting our Home Diets category.