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What should I feed my pet ducks?

Article ID: 519
Last updated: 19 Nov, 2014
Revision: 10
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Feeding your duck a complete and balanced diet is essential to ensure they live a long and happy life.

Ducks should be fed a commercially prepared age appropriate food as their main diet. Ducks should be provided with suitable vegetables and fruits to supplement the commercial diet. Zucchini, peas, leafy greens, corn, vegetable peels, non-citrus fruit and worms are suitable. Check with your veterinarian and/or an experienced duck owner if you're unsure about the safety of a particular food stuff.

Up to three weeks of age

Duck starter crumbles are ideal. This is a high nutrient feed with a protein level of around 18-20%. Avoid chicken feed at this age as it is deficient in some of the nutrients that growing ducks need.

3 - 20 weeks of age

Ducklings can now be fed a good quality grower food suitable for ducks or for pullets (young chickens). Protein level for this food should be around 15%.

20 weeks and older

The ducks can now be fed a good quality layer or breeder food suitable for adult ducks or chickens. Pellets or mixed grain are best. They also need daily access to shell grit as a source of calcium to ensure strong shelled eggs.

Supplement the commercial diet with suitable vegetables and fruit.

Ducks need plenty of clean water provided to wash their food down with. Ensure the food and water bowls are close to each other.

Do not feed: Bread, popcorn, chocolate, onion, garlic, avocado or citrus fruit

Although bread is commonly given to ducks, excessive amounts are not good for them. Ensure any bread or bread products are only ever given as an occasional treat.

Please also note that feeding ducks is not the same as feeding chickens.

If you notice any changes in your ducks' eating behaviour please consult with your veterinarian.

Reference: Inner South Veterinary Centre

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Also read
folder How should I keep and care for my pet ducks?

Also listed in
folder Farm animals
folder Companion animals -> Caring for a new pet
folder Companion animals -> Small mammals, birds and exotics
folder Companion animals -> Pet Food

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