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What Do Ducks Eat?

Have you ever been to a park or out camping and seen people feeding the ducks and other birds? This isn’t always a good thing. In fact, many times the people are feeding something that the ducks shouldn’t be eating. Wild species and domestic species of ducks have specific diets and should not be fed things outside of their feeding range. Ducks are opportunistic omnivores. This means they’ll eat a wide variety of plant and meat material that they find while foraging or exploring.


When examining the meat products eaten by ducks, we see they eat a wide variety of insects and other invertebrates, like flies, worms, beetles, and more. They will also eat larger meat sources like fish and crustaceans and sometimes frogs or other amphibians. Since they are opportunistic feeders they will usually spend plenty of time foraging. Ducks will eat anything they find as soon as they locate it. Ducks will also feed on a variety of plants along with filter feeding on debris floating in the water. Algae, grasses, and weeds are all on the list of plants a duck may feed on. As long as the plant is non-toxic or heavily fibrous then they will easily have a go at any plant.



Domestic ducks are usually fed a blended form of pelleted diet that has a mixture of plant material and protein necessary to sustain a healthy growth rate and body content. Ducks are migrating birds and due to their need to fly long distances and live in temperate climates they tend to pack on more fat than other birds. So, making sure you feed them the proper diet when in captivity is key to not developing obese ducks. To practice the safest habits when feeding a wild duck, always use standard pelleted food meant for domestic ducks. Although it can be considered bad to feed wild ducks anything at all, feeding them a domestic fowl pelleted diet, is far safer than any bread, chips, crackers, or human snack you may have on hand.


These pelleted diets are also what we feed all our ducks and chickens when living in the zoo and for lucky defenders, they are able to feed the ducks during their petting zoo events.  If you want to learn more about our bird and petting zoos packages you can see ducks in, then head to our booking website. You can also head to the Kids’ Zone bird center to learn all about the birds of the world. We have also included two amazing videos from our youtube channel called “What Do Ducks Eat?” and “Where Do Ducks Live?”. Our youtube channel all about animals has so many great videos you can watch there as well!


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