What Do Ducks Eat In The Pond

What Do Ducks Eat In The Pond And In Wild? Food List in 2024

Duck is the name for various species of waterfowl. It is usually smaller than geese and swans. Let us see what ducks eat in the pond and in the wild. Ducks are omnivores and they eat everything they find in the aquatic habitat. Moreover, they consume aquatic plants, pondweed, molluscs, insects, fish eggs, frogs, and fishes. 

What do ducks eat in the pond and Natural Habitat?

Here are the things that ducks eat in the pond –

  • Ducks have omnivorous diet means they can feed on both plants and meat.
  • Along with waterside plants and weeds, ducks also eat small shrimps, crawfish, frogs, beetle larvae, etc.
  • The plant-based materials they eat include weeds, seeds, greens, roots, water plants, berries, grass, nuts, etc
  • Ducks love to include seeds and grains in their diet. Unprocessed and raw whole grains are a good option. Moreover, they are a good source of nutrients, vitamins, and energy for ducks.
  • Common grains ducks eat include Rye, Oats, Barley, Wheat, and Corn.
What Do Ducks Eat In The Pond

What do ducks eat in the wild?

Here are the things that ducks eat in the wild –

  • Plant life – Ducks consume various plants like fresh grass, mosses, algae, pondweed, and sedges. They also eat algae-covered rocks and other vegetation found near riversides.
  • Insects – Areas with water are full of insects. Moreover, they are high in protein and good for healthy growth. 

Some insects that ducks eat include:

  1. Mosquito pupae
  2. Beetles
  3. Grasshoppers
  4. Flies
  5. Spiders
  6. Ants
  7. Snails
  8. Earthworms
  9. Slugs
  • Aquatic invertebrates – Ducks love to eat aquatic invertebrates. This is the primary source of protein for ducks. The aquatic invertebrates include crustaceans and mollusks. Both the organisms live in aquatic vegetation. 
  • Fish – Ducks eat small fish that live in the water bodies. These include sunfish, atp, koi, sucker fish, frogs, catfish, eels, etc. 
  • Reptiles – Ducks usually eat reptiles like small snakes and lizards. In fact, they can eat non-venomous and venomous snakes without any health hazard. 

What Is Best To Feed Ducks At The Pond?

What Is Best To Feed Ducks At The Pond?


Grass is an easy-to-go food for ducks at the ponds. Moreover, it is high in protein and a good source of energy. It keeps the duck active, energetic, and healthy. 


Although this is a good food option for ducks in captivity, however, if there’s a pond nearby, you can go and feed the ducks out there. Oats provide good energy to help them live active and healthy. 


Lettuce contains calcium and iron and is vitamin-rich and heart-healthy. You can feed lettuce with other food items like grains and fruits. 


Corn is a very popular grain among ducks. However, you can also replace it with other grains. Corn is a good source of energy that keeps the duck healthy. 


Cooked rice is a great source of protein and energy and keeps the duck healthy. It also contains nutrients like manganese, Vitamin B6, and niacin. 

Frozen peas

Frozen peas are very nutritious and high in thiamine, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, iron, fibre, zinc, and niacin. They are also low in fat, which is a very beneficial aspect for good health. 

Tips for Feeding Ducks

If you wish to feed waterfowl or ducks at the local ponds, it is better to have occasional visits. Tips of feeding ducks include:

  • Avoid feeding if there are visitors already offering the treats. Too much food leads to health issues.
  • Stop feeding if the ducks are uninterested. The leftover food can easily rot and attract other pests.
  • Keep a safe distance from ducks. They have a potential to attack you and get aggressive. 
  • For your information, ducks do not chew. Therefore, offer a small size of pieces so that they can easily consume it without choking. 
  • Do not let your kids or pets chase or disturb the ducks. It can cause stress to the ducks.
  • Take care of the local ordinances and follow the laws that prohibit or restrict feeding waterfowls or ducks. 

What Should You Not Feed Ducks?

  • Popcorn
  • Chips and crackers
  • Baked things
  • Avocado
  • Chocolate
  • Raw potato
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Mango
  • Citrus fruits
  • Capsicum
  • Eggplant
  • Tomato

What Treats Can I Feed Ducks?

Here are the food items that you can feed the ducks-

  • Bridseed
  • Cracked corn
  • Milo
  • Uncooked oats
  • Grains
  • Mealworms
  • Chopped salad
  • Watercress
  • Veggies
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Fresh fruits

How Do I Attract Ducks To My Pond?

Here are the 3 ways to attract ducks to your pond –

  1. Add plants that ducks it. Ducks will get attracted to their food and will want to come and live in your pond.
  2. Keep the pond surrounding quiet. If ducks see frequent human activities near the pond, they will relocate somewhere else. 
  3. Increase the water clarity in the pond. It will encourage the aquatic snails, insects,and plants to sustain them. This will increase the chances of ducks coming to your pond. 

Feeding Pet Ducks 101 Schedule

Feeding a right diet is very important for the growth and development of the duck. Poor diet can highly affect them. Therefore, here are the 3 main stages of a duck’s life and what to feed them to be healthy. 

Week 1 Ducklings

  • Ducklings need 20-22% chick crumbles which are non-medicated.
  • Each cup you feed, add 1 and a half spoon of brewer’s yeast in it.
  • The crumbles must be made in a wet consistency to mitigate the choking hazard. 
  • Provide access to water an hour before feeding.
  • The depth of water must be less than ¼ inch.

Week 3

At this stage, you need to drop the protein content to 16-18%.

However, do not stop adding the brewers’ yeast.

Week 20

  • At this stage, your duck does not need brewers’ yeast. You can now change to pelted chicken layer feed 16%.
  • Provide clean, drinking water all the time. An adult duck can drink half a gallon each day. 
  • Ducks also like to wash their faces, paddling, and swimming.

The DOs and DON’Ts of Feeding Ducks

Feed the ducks oats, cracked corn, birdseed, sliced grapes, rice, etc. Do not feed the ducks junk food or bread. These foods have zero nutritional values and can cause painful deformities and malnutrition’s in ducks. 
You must clean the surroundings. Ensure to dispose of the twist ties, uneaten food, and plastic wrappers.Do not leave unfinished food lying around. This leftover food can rot and can cause algae affecting local wildlife. 
Maintaining a distance is a good idea. Moreover, ducklings are more likely to get injured around you.Do not pet wild ducks. They are not used to it. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Will Ducks Help Seal A Pond?

If you keep the water in a tub, ducks would not do the sealing work on the pond. Feeding the ducks greens is a good idea to make them work. 

What Does It Mean When A Duck Comes In Your Yard And Stays?

If you see a duck may indicate that you just need to take it easy and enjoy the moment. However, the duck is also a symbol of good luck, happiness, laughter, bonding, nurturing, travel, romance, intuition, emotional stability, and spiritual ascension.

What Do Ducks Eat In The Winter?

Ducks usually eat grass and insects. However, everything is frozen during the winter. Therefore, they feed on cabbage, lettuce, and kale. 

What Do Ducks Eat Naturally? 

Ducks naturally eat aquatic vegetation like pond weeds and seeds, worms, insects, snails, amphibians, etc.