Do you have a pet duck? Maybe you want to get a pet duck. If so, you may be wondering what you are going to feed it. The good news is that it doesn’t take much to feed a pet duck. There are many great duck feed options. There are even different brands of duck feed for different types of ducks. However, the main thing you need to know is how to feed your duck based on its age.
Early Duck Stage (0 to 2 Weeks)
The majority of baby ducklings will be fed baby duck food. There are starter feeds that you can get for your ducklings. One of the most important things that you need to make sure of when feeding 0 to 2 week old ducklings is that they get enough protein. During this age range, ducklings should be getting 20 to 22% protein. The feed that you get should be non-medicated. The reason for this is because most ducklings don’t know when to stop eating, so they will over medicate.
You should also make sure that your ducklings are getting enough niacin in their diet. If they don’t have enough niacin in their diet, they could develop joint issues and bowed legs. If you put brewer’s yeast in their food, this will help a great deal.
Your ducklings should get enough water to help them digest their food, as well. For the most part, you should be making sure that your baby ducks are getting fresh and clean water every day. While dirty water isn’t necessarily going to harm your baby ducks, clean water is much better for them.
Next Duckling Stage (3 to 20 Weeks)
Once your ducklings get into this stage, your duckling will start growing much faster than they did from 0 to 2 weeks old. You will want to make sure your ducklings aren’t getting too much protein. There are lower protein duck pellets that you can get for your ducklings. Make sure your ducklings still aren’t eating the medicated baby duck food.
At this stage, you will still want to put brewer’s yeast in your duckling’s food. You should have this in their duck diet until they are 20 weeks old. Continue making sure that your ducklings are getting enough water. Your ducklings should also be getting some grit (dirt or sand). If they are getting this, they can start having some treats at this age. Some treats would be lettuce, peaches, mealworms, or scrambled eggs.
Be sure that you aren’t overfeeding your duck with treats. This could cause them to not get enough regular pellets. By not getting enough of these pellets, they probably won’t be getting their nutritional needs met.
Adult Ducks (21 Weeks and Older)
Once your ducks are 21 weeks and older, they don’t need to eat baby duck food any more. In fact, your duck will be ready to have their own ducklings. At this age, you can feed your ducks adult duck feed. You also won’t need to give them brewer’s yeast.
Once your ducks reach 21 weeks old, they will need a duck diet of about 16% protein. In addition, adult ducks don’t generally overeat. They will stop eating after they are full, so you can leave their feed out all the time. Make sure you leave water out for your ducks, as well.
Adult ducks can have more of a range in their duck diet. With this being said, you will still need to make sure your adult ducks are eating well. You will want to make sure they are getting enough vitamins and nutrients in their diet.
Other Great Treats for Your Ducks
If you are going to give your ducks treats, some of the best options include live fish, bugs, cooked pasta, cooked rice, cooked oatmeal, plain yogurt, scrambled eggs, berries, some fruit, and vegetables. These are treats that most ducks enjoy. Just remember, you don’t want to overuse treats. Your ducks need to keep getting the proper nutrition from their duck feed.
Things Not to Give Your Ducks
Now that you know more about what should be in a duck diet, it is also important to know more about what you shouldn’t be giving your duck. For a long time, people thought it was great to give ducks bread. Other similar foods that many people fed their ducks are chips, crackers, and cereal. However, these foods are often filled with fat and carbs. They don't have the minerals and vitamins that ducks need to be healthy. While these foods do fill up ducks, eating them will cause your duck not to eat the food they actually need to be eating. Keep this in mind the next time you consider feeding your duck bread or cereal.
These foods could also cause your duck to gain a lot of weight. Obesity in ducks can cause many different health issues, just as it can in humans.
Now that you know what to feed your pet duck and what not to feed them, you can properly fill your duck’s dietary needs with healthy duck pellets and other healthy food options.