All Your Duck Food Questions – Answered (70+ Foods Examined)

As backyard ducks grow in popularity so do the questions about what they can eat. Knowing what your ducks can and cannot eat is imperative. Even if you don’t own or intend to own ducks, knowing what to feed wild ducks in the park is critical in not hurting them.

This is not a professional advice. My aim is to provide the reader with enough information to make an informed decision. All content is for informational purposes only. If you’re concerned about the health of your pet or animal, you should seek medical advice from a vet. All links are affiliate links.

Make sure you read my 33 Duck Questions Answered (The Ultimate Duck FAQ) as well!

Table of Contents

Can Ducks Eat Acorns?

Acorns should NOT be fed to ducks as they contain high levels of tannins which when ingested by ducks, can cause severe gastrointestinal damage, kidney dysfunction, and possibly mechanical obstruction. Most of the time, signs of poisoning occur several days after being eaten by ducks. Acorns that fall of trees will remain toxic for several months.

Can Ducks Eat Almonds?

Almonds are not nuts, but seeds for the almond tree. Should ducks eat almonds? While they’re not dangerous because of anything that they contain inside them, they are still too big for ducks and present a choking hazard because ducks love to eat their food whole.

Can Ducks Eat Apples?

Apples are a great food source for ducks and they love them. There is something you should know before you feed your ducks with apples though. Apple seeds should be removed before giving apples to ducks as they contain cyanide that is dangerous to them and us. Apart from that, you can dice the apples with apple peel left on them, or you can feed them apple peels exclusively as well.

Apples contain fiber, vitamin C and K as well as potassium and calcium among other nutrients.

Can Ducks Eat Applesauce?

This American staple food is a more digestible form of apples and is great for ducklings and adult ducks alike. Applesauce, same as apples, contain fibers, potassium and vitamin C.

Can Ducks Eat Asparagus?

Asparagus are a great treat for ducks because they are a nutrient-packed vegetable. It is a very good source of fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as chromium. You can try cooked or raw asparagus, whichever your ducks will prefer. If you’re giving them raw asparagus, maybe it’s better to cut them up for easier swallowing and digestion.

RELATED: Do Seagulls Eat Meat? + Many Other Seagull Questions Answered!

Can Ducks Eat Avocado?

Avocados can be really dangerous to ducks and birds in general because they contain persin, a fungicidal toxin that can kill a small bird within 48 hours!

Can Ducks Eat Bananas And Banana Peels?

Bananas are not only the most popular fruit in the world for humans but are also a good treat for ducks. Bananas are a good dietary source of potassium and magnesium.

Banana peels are not poisonous, quite the contrary. They’re edible, and packed with nutrients as well.

Can Ducks Eat Beans?

Cooked beans are a favorite treat of ducks, but raw, dry beans can be extremely harmful to them. Uncooked beans contain a poison called hemagglutinin which is very toxic to birds.

Red kidney beans contain the highest levels of hemagglutinin. White kidney beans contain a third as many toxins while broad varieties of beans contain 10% as much hemagglutinin as red kidney beans.

Can Ducks Eat Beets And Beet Greens?

Beetroots are great for ducks and they can eat them raw (diced up) or cooked (easier to digest). Beet greens or stalks are good for ducks as well. Beets are dense with nutrients, including potassium, betaine, magnesium, folate, and Vitamin C and a good dose of nitrates. They are a “superfood” for humans as well.

Can Ducks Eat Bird Seed?

Ducks are birds, believe it or not, and they would love to have some bird seed. Commercial bird food is widely available for feeding wild and domesticated ducks, both seed combinations and pellets like this one on Amazon that meets the niacin requirements of growing and laying ducks.

RELATED: 33 Duck Questions Answered (The Ultimate Duck FAQ)

Can Ducks Eat Blueberries?

Blueberries are an awesome food source for ducks. Blueberries are among the most nutrient-dense berries and are often touted as a superfood. Blueberries contain fiber, folate, vitamin C, magnesium, and several other essential nutrients.

Can Ducks Eat Bread?

Can Ducks Eat Bread
Can Ducks Eat Bread?

Bread is only good in small amounts because it quickly fills up ducks tummies and doesn’t provide any nutritional value. Wild ducks fed in parks with bread are susceptible to this issue the most. The better option is to bring a bag of nutritious waterfowl floating pellets like this one to the park. The pellets will float for over an hour and they are formulated for waterbirds like ducks, swans, and geese.

Find out more on bread and ducks here.

Can Ducks Eat Broccoli?

Ducks can eat both the stalks and flowers of Broccoli and Cauliflower either raw or cooked. Broccoli contains high levels of both calcium and vitamin K, both of which are important for bone health.

Can Ducks Eat Celery?

Ducks can certainly eat celery although they’re not mad about it. Celery is mostly made of water but it also contains vitamin C, beta carotene, and flavonoids among other nutrients.

RELATED: Why Are Ducklings Yellow?

Can Ducks Eat Cheese?

Cheese and other dairy products should be given to ducks in moderation as they were made for baby cows (and humans?) and not ducks.

Can Ducks Eat Chicken Feed?

Chicken feed or poultry feed is food for farm poultry, including chickens, ducks, geese and other domestic birds. You can get different kinds of feed and find the one that is best suited for your ducks.

Can Ducks Eat Chocolate?

Chocolate is one of those food that should NEVER be fed to ducks. Chocolate is not only toxic to dogs but also ducks. It contains substances called theobromine and caffeine which come from the cacao bean. Human bodies can detoxify and remove them, but to insects and wildlife, these substances can actually be toxic.

Can Ducks Eat Corn?

Can Ducks Eat Corn
Can Ducks Eat Corn?

Corn is great for ducks and they can eat it raw, cooked or defrosted. Cracked corn can be bought at wild bird stores or agricultural centers that offer animal feed, and it is often used as a filler in birdseed mixes.

Can Ducks Eat Cucumbers?

Cucumbers are made of 90-95% water and are great on a sunny day to help cool ducks down. Cut them down to small pieces and your ducks will be grateful. While most people think of cucumbers as vegetables, they are actually a fruit.

RELATED: Do Ducks Like Rain?

Can Ducks Eat Dill?

Dill has reportedly respiratory health benefits for your ducks. Other beneficial herbs for ducks include sage, basil, parsley, oregano, mint, calendula, and marjoram.

Can Ducks Eat Dog Food?

Dog food is made for, well, dogs and is mainly based on corn and rice products, but it contains meat to supplement a dog’s diet. While it’s OK to give ducks dog food occasionally, I wouldn’t recommend it as a staple food because dog food can contain too much protein for a duck. And that can lead to a condition called “angel wings”.

“Angel wing” or “airplane wing” is a condition where the last joint on the wing is distorted and causes the end feathers to stick out laterally instead of lying flat against the body. This prevents the bird from flying.

Can Ducks Eat Dried Mealworms?

Ducks love to eat worms and dried mealworms are no different. Mealworms are filled with a nutritious amount of protein, fat, and fiber. Each pound of dried mealworms if filled with 53 percent of protein, 28 percent fat, 6 percent fiber, and 5 percent moisture. The beauty is, you can re-hydrate them with some boiling water.

Can Ducks Eat Dried Fruit?

I would give dried fruit to ducks in moderation only as they contain high levels of sugar, especially store bought ones.

Can Ducks Eat Eggplants?

Feed ducks only the eggplant itself, the leaves are toxic and can lead to death. Eggplants or aubergines are rich in fiber and antioxidants. Apart from that, they’re a great source of vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, thiamine, niacin, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, copper, folic acid, potassium, and more!

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Can Ducks Eat Fruit?

Ducks enjoy a wide variety of fruits, many of which you can find in this post. Fruits to avoid are citrus fruits. Citrus fruits -lemons, limes, grapefruit, or oranges can interfere with calcium absorption and contribute to thin-shelled duck eggs.

Can Ducks Eat Flaxseeds?

Seeds of all kinds are welcome in ducks diet and flaxseeds are no different. They are rich in the omega-3 fatty acid ALA, lignans, and fiber, all of which have been shown to have many potential health benefits. It is good to mill them before you give them to ducks, as if given whole can simply slip through the digestive track and come out in poop.

RELATED: Do Magpies Eat Other Birds?

Can Ducks Eat Figs?

Yes, ducks can eat figs. As long as you only give them figs as an occasional treat, your flock will enjoy all the health benefits without any downsides.

Can Ducks Eat Food Scraps?

Ducks are a great alternative to composting food 🙂 They will eat any food, kitchen, or garden scraps as long as you do not include food scraps that are forbidden for duck feed.

Ducks, but also swans and geese should avoid being fed foods like avocados, onions, citrus, nuts, chocolate, popcorn, carbonated beverages, and of course alcohol. Pits from cherries, apples, plums, apricots, and peaches also contain cyanide, so never allow your ducks to chew on them.

Can Ducks Eat Fish?

Yes, wild ducks especially eat small fish and even fish eggs. Apart from fish, ducks will eat amphibians such as frogs or molluscs.

Can Ducks Eat Fish?
Can Ducks Eat Fish?

Can Ducks Eat Fish Guts?

Ducks eat small fish whole so giving them fish guts shouldn’t make a difference. Fish is a great source of protein and fish oil is a great source of Omega 3.

Can Ducks Eat Garlic?

Garlic is touted round the internet as a cure for everything from cancer to the common cold. But, is it any good to ducks? It turns out it is! Garlic can be given to ducks as an alternative to antibiotics. It is also proven to be active against viruses, including Salmonella, Colibacillosis and Cholera.

Although part of the allium family which includes shallots, onions and chives, all of which can be toxic, garlic has only 1/15th of the toxin that onions have.

RELATED: Seagull Quiz – Hold On To Your Lunch!

Can Ducks Eat Grass?

Ducks love anything green and plants like weeds, kale, and cut grass are staple food for ducks, domestic or wild ones.

Can Ducks Eat Grapes?

Grapes are a type of fruit that ducks simply adore and will chow down mercilessly. In fact, be careful not to give them big grapes as they could choke on them. Instead, cut the bigger grapes in half and offer them to ducks.

Can Ducks Eat Green Beans?

If you let ducks into your garden they might clean off all the green beans that are hanging there. Green beans shouldn’t be a staple food and should only be given in small amounts.

Can Ducks Eat Hay?

You can give ducks hay if there’s nothing else I guess, but not all hay is equal and I’d do some research before hand.

Can Ducks Eat Insects?

Ducks will eat any insect, bug, spider or creepy crawly under the sun. If you have an infestation of bugs in your garden a few ducks will take care of the problem.

Can Ducks Eat Kiwi?

You can give ducks kiwis in moderation, buy why would you give them kiwis from all the fruits?!

Can Ducks Eat Lettuce?

Iceberg lettuce has very little nutritional value but is not bad for ducks, it’s merely a filler food (same for us I guess). You’re better off giving ducks kale or broccoli or some other green veggies.

Can Ducks Eat Layer Pellets?

Ducks can indeed eat layer pellets, and in fact there are specialized duck and goose layer pellets you can buy that are produced with added probiotics to support gut health and aid digestion.

Can Ducks Eat Meat?

Ducks are omnivores and they eat their share of fish, frogs and slugs. But can you feed them meat like beef or pork? You can give them a small piece or two and see if they go for it, but anything that is processed for human consumption can harm them as it contains lots of salt, fat, and additives.

Can Ducks Eat Mealworms?

Mealworms are filled with a nutritious amount of protein, fat, and fiber and can certainly be fed to ducks fresh or dried. Here are some of the best mealworms on Amazon.

Can Ducks Eat Mushrooms?

There are many, many different types of mushrooms, and we all know some of them can inflict serious health problems to humans and animals alike. But if you want to treat your ducks to some mushrooms (aren’t you a star!), stick with store bought ones, like white button mushrooms. Mushrooms that are okay for human consumption should be okay for your ducks as well. If the ducks are actually going to like them and eat them is a different story.

Can Ducks Eat Muesli?

Muesli, granola, and oats are all safe to eat for ducks and they will love it. You have to be aware that some muesli (and granola and oatmeals) do contain shocking amounts of added sugar to make them taste better. Also, check the label to see if they contain any citrus fruits, as they are a no-no for ducks as well. Some bigger ingredients in muesli can also be a choking hazard.

Can Ducks Eat Nuts?

Because ducks literally swallow their food whole, you should be careful giving them nuts, as they represent a chocking hazard. If you grind them up into smaller pieces, they should be fine.

Can Ducks Eat Oats?

Oats are among the healthiest grains on earth. They’re a gluten-free whole grain and a great source of important vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants and ducks will love them. They are a great alternative to bread, so if you know someone that likes to feed wild ducks in the local park or pond, please inform them of this inexpensive alternative.

Can Ducks Eat Onions?

Onions in large quantities can cause anemia in ducks and other birds and shouldn’t be fed to them. Onions, shallots and other root vegetables in the onion family contain a toxin that destroys red blood cells in ducks.

Although part of the allium family which includes shallots, onions and chives, all of which can be toxic, garlic has only 1/15th of the toxin that onions have

Can Ducks Eat Oranges And Orange Peels?

Ducks shouldn’t be fed oranges or orange peels or any citrus fruits for that matter as they can cause stomach pains for them. Opt-in for watermelon, peach or pears as an alternative to citrus fruits.

Can Ducks Eat Parsley?

Herbs are generally safe for ducks and they will even forage them themselves. Parsley is no different and can be given to ducks.

Can Ducks Eat Peanuts?

Peanuts are a source of protein and they contain a variety of healthful nutrients, such as antioxidants, iron, magnesium, and fiber. They are full of fat though and should be given in moderation in small pieces with or without the shell.

Can Ducks Eat Peas?

Peas are a great alternative to bread for any park goer. Wild ducks and backyard ducks alike love to eat this healthy legume that contains nutrients like iron, phosphorus, minerals and B vitamins.

Can Ducks Eat Peppers?

You can chop up peppers and give them to your ducks and they will love them. FYI, different colored bell peppers are DIFFERENT plants and not the same pepper at different stages of ripeness. For example, if you buy seeds for orange peppers and plant them, they will come out orange and stay orange. Makes sense for a lot of us, but people around the world had their brains “blown” by viral tweets that peppers are the same plant.

Can Ducks Eat Popcorn?

Although it may seem like popcorn or popcorn kernels could be a good food to feed your ducks, it is actually the opposite. The popcorn hulls and kernels are not digestible to ducks and the corn that they typically eat is different than the kernels that become popcorn. There’s only one variety of maize that will pop – Zea mays everta.

Can Ducks Eat Potatoes And Potato Peelings?

Ducks should not eat potatoes, ever. Potatoes and potato peelings or skins can contain a glycoalkaloid poison called solanine which can be toxic to humans as well and is represented by the green color of the potato and potato skins.

Most people can easily cope with the solanine in the average portion of potato and show no symptoms of poisoning because the body can break it down rapidly and excrete the products in the urine.

Sweet potatoes on the other hand are a good food source for ducks as they are from the morning glory family, Convolvulaceae, and white potatoes are nightshades or Solanaceae.

RELATED: 33 Duck Questions Answered (The Ultimate Duck FAQ)

Can Ducks Eat Pumpkins And Pumpkin Seeds?

Pumpkins and pumpkin seeds are an awesome food source for ducks. They will eat the meat and the seeds like there’s no tomorrow. Pumpkin is a great source of potassium and beta-carotene, and pumpkin seeds are a good source of B vitamins, magnesium, iron and protein.

Can Ducks Eat Quinoa?

Quinoa, which originates from the Andes, is packed with protein, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals that are great for ducks. Quinoa is a flowering plant in the amaranth family and is grown as a crop primarily for its edible seeds.

Can Ducks Eat Rabbit Food, ie. Rabbit Pellets?

The list of ingredients in commercial rabbit food like pellets is elbow long and the ingredients are targeted for rabbit consumption, that’s why it’s not suitable for ducks. There are specialized duck and goose layer pellets available, like this bestseller from Amazon.

Can Ducks Eat Radish And Radish Leaves?

Radish and other root vegetables (except potatoes) are a good food for ducks and even chopped up radish greens won’t go unnoticed by them.

Can Ducks Eat Raisins?

Raisins are OK for ducks to eat but they do contain high amounts of natural occurring sugar. If ducks eat raisins in moderation, they can aid digestion, boost iron levels, and keep their bones strong.

Can Ducks Eat Rice?

A common, so-called urban myth is that birds shouldn’t eat rice. The fact is, that rice, cooked or uncooked, won’t hurt wild birds, domestic birds, or ducks at all. Rice won’t swell-up and explode inside a bird’s stomach.

Can Ducks Eat Rice Cakes?

Rice cakes are typically made of 99 or 100% rice and are thus safe to feed your ducks with. Always check the label to see that rice cakes are indeed made of rice.

Can Ducks Eat Slugs?

Ducks not only eat slugs and snails but wild ducks prefer to eat them and domesticated ducks are even utilized as snail hunters in vineyards as you can see in this adorable video below.

Can Ducks Eat Spinach?

Spinach is super nutritious but there is a but. It interferes with calcium absorption which is not good for ducks or their eggs. You see, eggshells are made almost entirely out of calcium. To help with calcium absorption but other minerals and nutrients as well, try adding a splash of apple cider vinegar to spinach.

Can Ducks Eat Strawberries?

Strawberries are full of vitamins, fiber, and high levels of antioxidants. They are also a sodium-free, fat-free, cholesterol-free, low-calorie food that you can certainly feed your ducks as a treat or in moderation.

Can Ducks Eat Sunflower Seeds?

Sunflower seeds, especially shelled or whole-grained ones are a great and inexpensive treat or even food for ducks. They are great for backyard ducks and wild ducks alike. Take them to your local park or pond instead of bread and ducks and other birds will be grateful. Sunflower seeds are considered to be the best whole food source of vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps protect cell membranes.

Can Ducks Eat Sweetcorn?

Another great alternative to bread is sweetcorn. Sweetcorn is great for ducks and it doesn’t matter if it’s tinned or defrosted. Corn is rich is in Vitamin B12, folic acid and iron which helps in the production of red blood cells in ducks body.

Can Ducks Eat Sweet Potatoes?

Sweet potatoes are a good food source for ducks because they are from the morning glory family, Convolvulaceae, and white potatoes, which can be highly toxic to ducks, are nightshades, or Solanaceae. Sweet potatoes earned the name “superfood” because of the number of nutrients they have. They are high in fiber, vitamin C, potassium, pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), niacin (vitamin B3), vitamin B6, manganese, magnesium, and copper.

Can Ducks Eat Their Own Eggs?

By nutritional aspect, the duck eggs are better than chicken eggs. But should you let ducks eat their own eggs?! I mean it’s up to you, but e warned that once a duck acquires a taste for eggs, there’s no going back.

There are multiple reasons why ducks would start to eat their eggs. They could be bored. Give them chunks of vegetables like cabbage, lettuce, carrots, or beets to occupy them. Ducks could also be lacking calcium; ensure they get enough of it from their feed.

It is highly unlikely a duck will break and eat an egg on purpose. Normally they acquire the taste when an egg is accidentally broken and they find they like the taste. Make sure you have enough nests (a minimum of one nest for every four females), your ducks are not overcrowded (at least five square feet per duck) and each nest has at least two inches of wood shavings, sawdust, straw or hay in the bottom.

Can Ducks Eat Their Own Poop?

Ducks are known to eat their own poop and listen to this; a duck can defecate up to 96 times a day and one family of ducks will produce 365,000 poops per year! It’s no wonder they resort to eating them when there’s so many. Try giving them duck treats to occupy them and prevent them from eating what they shouldn’t.

Can Ducks Eat Tomatoes?

Tomatoes can be a tasty treat for ducks but they should only eat the flesh. Ripe tomatoes are the best and green ones should be avoided.

Can Ducks Eat Tomatoes
Can Ducks Eat Tomatoes?

Can Ducks Eat Tomato Leaves?

Tomato leaves and vines -all the green stuff- is very toxic to ducks and should not be given to them as food. Tomato plants and other nightshades are toxic because they contain solanine.

Solanine is a glycoalkaloid poison found in species of the nightshade family within the genus Solanum, such as the potato, tomato and the eggplant.

Can Ducks Eat Tuna?

Ducks do eat fish and you can try giving them tuna as well. Canned tuna could have excessive amounts of sodium, so be aware of that. There’s cheaper fish you can give to ducks and probably healthier as tuna and other saltwater fish contain lead.

Can Ducks Eat Turnip And Turnip Leaves?

Turnips are cruciferous vegetables rich in nutrients and low in calories. Due to their nutritional composition, turnips – and turnip greens – offer many health-promoting effects. They are also a great food for your ducks. Slice them into small pieces or grate them and make your ducks happy. If you see that they struggle with digestion, cook the turnip beforehand.

Can Ducks Eat Zucchini And Zucchini Leaves?

All parts of the zucchini or the courgette plant (fruit, seeds, leaves) are good for your ducks. Zucchini is also surprisingly healthy and packed with nutrients. This versatile vegetable (that is technically a fruit) is low in calories and makes a great addition to your duck‘s diet.

Ducks, but also swans and geese should avoid being fed foods like avocados, onions, citrus, nuts, chocolate, popcorn, carbonated beverages, and of course alcohol. Pits from cherries, apples, plums, apricots, and peaches also contain cyanide, so never allow your ducks to chew on them.

Add your opinion in the comments and share some missing foods that your ducks love to eat and I might include them in the post.

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