I have ducks! What do I feed them?

Ok, the title is a smidge misleading- I don’t personally have ducks, but I now live on a lake that is populated by many little waddling quackers. Ducks are some of my favorite animals because, even though they can be loud and smelly, they are just hilarious to sit and watch.

Today, one of the back doors was open and I walked into the living room to discover a duck. I shooed him and he did waddle back out, only after giving me a dirty look (no, really- it was a glare). I then looked outside and saw about 20 ducks, digging through the grass and quaking. I had some left over tortilla chips from the other night that had gone stale, so I crunched up some handfuls and tossed them to the ducks.

I’ve come to realize that feeding the ducks is something I’d like to do semi regularly (man, it’s relaxing), but I can’t imagine Mexican Dive Restaurant, three day old tortilla chips are particularly good for a duck diet. Am I wrong in this assumption?

If I’m correct, what is some good duck chow I can keep around for the purpose of feeding the adorable little guys?

Oh, and because I know someone will ask: here are two pictures I snapped from my phone of a few of them.

The ducks will come onto your lawn to eat the small shoots of grass and also insects that are in there. These are good healthy things for a duck. Trust me, they don’t need you to feed them more; just enjoy watching them eat what’s naturally good for them.

The problem with feeding wild ducks, besides the fact that they’re not motivated to eat duck-nutritious food, is that you can inadvertently sabotage their ducky instincts, bringing them into dangerous contact with not-so-well-meaning humans and domestic dogs, and screw up their migration cycle.

Now, knowing that you’ll probably ignore all that ;), cracked corn (available at pet stores) is a better bet than tortilla chips. Ducks will also eat vegetable scraps from your kitchen.

They are pretty simple to feed. Pinch little pieces of old bread off and throw it to them one by one. You can also feed them birdseed or, even better, chicken feed pellets. If you live near a good feed supply store, they might even have special feed for ducks.

underlining mine Nononono!! If there are any ducklings, which there often are with ducks, you’ll kill them with food meant for chickens. Food for chicks at the very least is medicated and extremely poisonous to ducklings.

They do make duck food, of course, and it’s grain-based and comes in little pellets like rabbit food does. You don’t need to buy any. As Whynot said, they’ll find what they need to eat on their own.

If you really feel the need to feed them, you can offer them small amounts of bread, but make sure that none is left behind. Ducks are prone to botulism and they can get that from rotted duck food or bread. Growing up, we lost more than one duck when they found a small bit of spoiled food and decided they must eat it.

It may take some effort to collect, but you will also be doing your garden a favor: ducks LOVE snails !
A lady I knew used to fill up these old milk cartons with snails as she did her gardening. Once she had filled a couple, she would take them to this park to give them to the ducks. It was the duck equivalent of a pirahna feeding frenzy !!!

Ahhh. A lake.

A lake with ducks. And you love animals. We all love animals

My family did this.

And if you want to recreate it? Get deer corn.

You will have so so so many ducks.

They are fun and pretty. And they poop everywhere. But that passed. (I don’t come from a family of hunters, but I’m thinking that some hunters enjoyed some very plump ducks.)

Now my parents are dealing with a family of so cute geese. They were.
So cute. Two parents. Seven chicks.

Not fun. Geese are big. And a bit scary.

Very large birds that want food now.

On a lake.

There’s been at least one case in Thailand of a wife cutting off her wayward husband’s penis while he slept and feeding it to the ducks outside in their yard, to prevent it from being reattached. I would not recommend this, however.