27 Safe and Nutritious Foods for Baby Ducks

27 Safe and Nutritious Foods for Baby Ducks

27 Things That Are Safe for Baby Ducks to Eat


Raising baby ducks can be a delightful and rewarding experience. These little fluff balls are not only adorable, but they also bring many benefits to your backyard. Not only do ducks provide natural pest control by eating insects and slugs, but they also help keep your garden free from weeds.

If you have recently acquired baby ducks or are considering adding them to your flock, one of the most important aspects of their care is their diet. What you feed them not only provides essential nutrients for their growth and development but also ensures their overall health and well-being. In this article, we will discuss 27 safe and nutritious food options for baby ducks.

1. Starter Feed

One of the easiest and most nutritious options for baby ducks is starter feed. This specially formulated feed is available at most farm supply stores and contains all the necessary nutrients for their growth. Starter feed is usually available in both crumble and pellet form, making it easy for young ducks to consume.

2. Freshwater

While not technically food, providing fresh and clean water is essential for baby ducks. Make sure to provide a shallow water dish or container for them to drink and swim in. However, it’s crucial to ensure the water is shallow enough for them to enter and exit easily to prevent drowning accidents.

3. Leafy Greens

Leafy greens such as lettuce, spinach, and kale are great additions to a duckling’s diet. Not only are they low in calories, but they also provide essential vitamins and minerals. Chop the greens into small pieces to make it easier for the baby ducks to eat.

4. Mealworms

Mealworms are a fantastic source of protein for baby ducks. These small worms are high in essential nutrients and can be easily purchased online or at pet stores. However, make sure to feed them in moderation as excessive consumption can lead to an imbalance in their diet.

5. Bugs and Insects

Ducks are natural bug hunters, and baby ducks are no exception. Allowing them to forage in your yard can provide them with a variety of insects and bugs to eat. Just make sure to avoid using pesticides or any chemicals on your lawn or garden that could be harmful to the baby ducks.

6. Grains

Grains such as corn, wheat, barley, and oats can be incorporated into a baby duck’s diet. However, it’s important to note that grains should be given in moderation as the main portion of their diet should consist of protein-rich foods.

7. Cracked Corn

Cracked corn can be a great treat for baby ducks. It’s a good source of energy and is enjoyed by ducks of all ages. However, remember that it should be given in moderation as excessive consumption can lead to nutritional imbalances.

8. Fruit and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables can make excellent treats for baby ducks. Some safe options include peas, watermelon, grapes, and cucumbers. Make sure to cut the fruits and vegetables into small, manageable pieces for the ducklings to eat.

9. Earthworms

Earthworms are highly nutritious and provide an excellent source of protein for baby ducks. If you have a compost pile or a garden, you’re likely to find an abundance of earthworms for your ducklings to enjoy.

10. Duckweed

Duckweed is a floating aquatic plant that is highly nutritious and beneficial for ducks. It’s an excellent source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. You can find duckweed in ponds or cultivate it yourself in a separate container.

11. Peanuts

Peanuts, either raw or unsalted, can be given to baby ducks as an occasional treat. They are a good source of protein and healthy fats. However, make sure to crush them into small pieces to prevent any choking hazards.

12. Shrimp and Fish

Shrimp or small fish can be given as occasional treats to baby ducks. They provide a good source of protein and healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Make sure to remove any bones and chop them into small, manageable pieces.

13. Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds, such as sunflower seeds or cracked walnuts, can be given to baby ducks in small quantities. They provide essential fats and nutrients. However, avoid feeding them salted or flavored nuts.

14. Cooked Rice

Cooked rice can be a great addition to a baby duck’s diet. It provides carbohydrates and can help fill their tummies. However, make sure to cool the rice before feeding it to them and avoid adding any seasoning or sauces.

15. Hard-Boiled Eggs

Hard-boiled eggs are highly nutritious and can be a great source of protein for baby ducks. Make sure to chop them into small pieces to avoid choking hazards and offer them as an occasional treat.

16. Pasta

Plain cooked pasta, without any sauces or seasonings, can be given to baby ducks as a treat. It’s a good source of carbohydrates and can provide them with some variety in their diet.

17. Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese can be a good source of protein and calcium for baby ducks. Offer it to them in small quantities as an occasional treat. The texture may be a little different for them, but most ducklings enjoy it.

18. Small Vegetables

Baby ducks can enjoy small vegetables such as cherry tomatoes, small peppers, or even tiny pieces of carrot. These can be a fun and healthy addition to their diet.

19. Mealtime Scraps

While it’s important to provide a balanced diet, baby ducks can enjoy small scraps from your mealtime as long as they are safe for them to consume. Some examples include small pieces of plain cooked chicken, rice, or vegetables.

20. Commercial Duck Treats

There are commercially available treats specifically designed for ducks. These treats come in various forms, including pellets, mealworms, or dried insects. Make sure to choose treats that contain high-quality ingredients and are specifically formulated for ducks.

21. Herbal Treats

Certain herbs such as parsley, sage, and basil can be given to baby ducks as occasional treats. Not only do they provide some variety, but they can also have added health benefits.

22. Snails

If you have a snail problem in your garden, you can turn it into a treat for your baby ducks. Snails can be a good source of protein and calcium for them.

23. Rice Cakes

Rice cakes, especially unsalted ones, can be a fun and easy snack for baby ducks. They provide some carbohydrates and can be a healthy alternative to processed treats.

24. Dandelion Greens

Dandelion greens are not only safe but also highly nutritious for baby ducks. These greens are a good source of vitamins and minerals. Just make sure to pick them from areas that are free from pesticides.

25. Grit

Grit is not food itself, but it’s an essential addition to a baby duck’s diet. Grit helps with digestion by grinding down the food in their gizzard. You can provide small-sized grit specifically designed for poultry.

26. Mealworm Treats

Mealworm treats, specifically made for ducks, can be a great option for providing added protein and nutrients. These treats are usually made with real mealworms and are an excellent supplement to their diet.

27. Fresh Grass

Baby ducks can enjoy munching on fresh grass. Make sure the grass is free from any chemicals or pesticides. It’s a great source of fiber and can help keep their digestive system healthy.


When it comes to feeding baby ducks, it’s essential to provide a balanced diet that includes a variety of foods. While starter feed should be their primary source of nutrition, incorporating safe and nutritious treats can add variety to their diet and keep them happy and healthy.

Remember to always provide fresh and clean water, as hydration is crucial for their well-being. Additionally, make sure to introduce any new foods gradually to observe how they respond to them.

With proper nutrition and care, your baby ducks will grow into healthy and thriving members of your flock.

My 2 Cents

Feeding baby ducks can be an enjoyable and educational experience. It’s important to remember that their nutritional needs may vary as they grow, so adapting their diet accordingly is crucial. Additionally, always ensure that the food you offer is safe and free from any potential hazards.

Remember, ducks are natural foragers, so encouraging them to forage for bugs and other natural food sources in your yard is beneficial for their overall nutrition and well-being. Providing them with a mixture of commercial feed, fresh veggies, fruits, insects, and treats will ensure a well-rounded and healthy diet.

Lastly, always provide plenty of fresh water for drinking and swimming, as ducks need it for proper digestion and to maintain their plumage. So, have fun and enjoy feeding your baby ducks with this variety of safe and nutritious options!