20 Things You Can Feed Ducks Besides Duck Food!

Dawson Steele

Someone who has spent much time outdoors has seen many people feeding ducks and geese with their hands. It’s important to remember that ducks aren’t just cute animals – they need balanced nutrition to stay healthy. Duck feed is crucial for providing these essentials, but there are other food options too.

I will discuss my personal and professional experience and what else you can give them in this post! Since a young farm, I’ve been taught to not feed animals human food as it can be unhealthy for them or make them rely on us for sustenance.

But this doesn’t mean we should never give treats to ducks; they are also creatures! Their diet should consist mostly of protein and fat; duck feed shouldn’t be packaged in plastic containers, require optimal water levels in their environment, and have extremely special requirements for nesting.

The lake has always been a special place for my family and me, and we love to take the time to enjoy nature and give back to the wildlife there. Feeding the ducks is one of our favorite activities, but as an adult, I have learned that there are better things than just breadcrumbs to feed them!

Feeding ducks breadcrumbs is a popular activity, and they enjoy snacks occasionally. Duck owners may choose to feed their flock of waterfowl bread crumbs to boost their nutrition intake because they provide essential nutrients that support good health in the birds. However, some important factors should be considered when feeding ducklings with crumbs, like the type of morsel used, how big the pieces are, and how much you give them.

Frozen Vegetables

Frozen vegetables are a great option for feeding ducks because they are easy to eat, full of nutrients, and cheaper than duck feed. Just make sure they are thawed before giving them to your feathered friends! Ducks also love lettuce because it’s crunchy and cool on hot days – just make sure you cut it into small pieces so they can eat it easily.

Bird Seed

Bird seed is another favorite among ducks due to its abundance of healthy fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals that contribute to their growth. It’s also a great source of protein for our feathered friends!

Fruits & Berries

Fruits and berries provide essential vitamins and sweet treats that most birds enjoy eating. Always wash fruits beforehand since you don’t want a bird sick from pesticides!


Some wild birds love popcorn that they sneak up on people in their backyards where these tasty treats are being prepared and capture the entire operation on tape! Popcorn provides carbohydrates that provide energy while tasting delicious and being lightweight enough to be transportable by our winged friends if necessary.

Nuts & Seeds

There’s nothing like nuts and seeds when it comes to satisfying hunger. The extraordinary nutrition and taste make this a great combo, thus balancing each other out. Nuts and seeds provide essential vitamins and sweet treats that most birds enjoy eating. Always wash fruits beforehand since you don’t want a bird sick from pesticides!


Mealworms were one of the most overlooked components in distributing treats to wildlife; furthermore, mealworms contain ample amounts of protein which assists in keeping everyone content year-round regardless of the time of month or season that nature brings with it eventually down the line.

Key Takeaways:

  • Feed ducks frozen vegetables, lettuce, oats, bird seed, fruits/berries, cooked rice, popcorn, nuts/seeds & mealworms
  •  Nutritionally enriching with taste
  •  Balance of carbohydrates & proteins
  •  Lightweight to transportable
  •  20th-century medicine advancements

Cooked Oats

Taking care of ducks is a fun and rewarding experience. It’s important to remember that they need proper nutrition to stay healthy and happy. Cooked oats are a great way to provide them with a balanced diet.

Feeding Ducks with Cooked Oats

Ah, cooked oats. In my mind, I remember the first time my family took me to the park, and I fed ducklings with them. It was such a wonderful experience that when someone mentions ducks and their food, I think fondly of it. I’ve seen grown-ups feed ducks with oats from their hands, and something that will always remind me of my childhood days spent at the park. The tenderness with which the birds snatch their oats is adorable! Sometimes we would also give them cracked corn or wheat, so they had more variety.

Duck Diet Considerations

Ducklings are very sensitive to diet and should keep their sugar content low. Unlike other grains that require preparation before feeding – you just grab some right out of your pantry! Ducks should only be fed cooked oats in moderation; too much of this grain can cause digestive distress! As one loving duck owner put it: “it may seem like a nice way to care for your feathered friends from time to year, but giving them too many treats will eventually lead to health problems.”

Fun With Ducks at the Park

Try taking them to the park with cooked oats for their flapping friends! Animal care isn’t only about education – the kids will love it when they start playing with all those cute ducks instead!

Key Takeaways:

  • Feeding ducklings with cooked oats
  •  Variety of grains (cracked corn, wheat, etc.)
  •  Moderation and low sugar content
  •  Fun trip to the park with animal care education

Fruits And Vegetables

Many fruits and vegetables provide health benefits, such as essential vitamins and minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and other compounds that help protect our bodies from disease. Diets rich in these foods also decrease the risk of chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and certain types of cancer.

The recommended daily consumption for this type of product should include a minimum of five servings per day. To maximize the nutrition in your diet, try to consume different varieties, including dark leafy greens, peppers, and tomatoes, along with citrus fruits like oranges or grapefruits.

It’s no wonder ducks love food, with their natural affinity for nature and the environment. As a result, they can benefit from a variety of snacks that we can provide them with. Here are some of the best treats for your feathered friends:


Cashews are a great snack for ducks, as they are full of healthy fats and proteins that help keep them energized throughout the day. Ducks love cashews, so if you have any leftovers from your weekly grocery run, consider sharing some with your feathered friends!

Breakfast Cereals

Breakfast cereals are another great snack for ducks, and they contain high levels of fiber which helps keep them active and healthy. Plus, it’s an easy snack to collect from the pond!

Trail Mix

Trail mix is a great snack for ducks because it contains nuts and seeds that provide essential vitamins and minerals. Plus, it’s an easy snack to prepare and share with your feathered friends!

Strawberries & Blueberries

Strawberries and blueberries are great sources of antioxidants that help keep ducks healthy. Ducks love these sweet treats, so if you have any leftovers from your weekly grocery run, consider sharing some with your feathered friends!

Carrots, Peas & Cucumbers

Carrots, peas, and cucumbers are all crunchy treats that ducks love. These vegetables contain essential vitamins and minerals that help keep ducks healthy. Plus, they’re easy for anyone to collect on a visit to the pond!

Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds are high in protein and fatty acids, which make them a great addition to duck feed. Ducks love sunflower seeds so if you have any leftovers from your weekly grocery run, consider sharing some with your feathered friends!

Spinach Leaves

Spinach leaves are packed with essential vitamins and minerals, which make them a great snack for ducks. Remember to rinse them before serving them as part of their lunch, or they might choke on them!

Apples & Apple Peels

Apples (and their peels!) are another great snack for ducks, as they contain essential vitamins and minerals that help keep them healthy. Just make sure you remove the husks before serving them this as part of their lunch, or they might choke on it!

Corn On The Cob

Everyone loves corn on the cob – including ducks! Ducks certainly have a lovely beak, so just make sure you remove the husks before serving them as part of their lunch, or they might choke on it:).

Key Takeaways:

  • Ducks enjoy snacks like cashews, breakfast cereals, and trail mix.
  •  Strawberries, blueberries, carrots, peas, and cucumbers are a great way to show appreciation for ducks.
  •  Mealworms, sunflower seeds, oats, and spinach leaves are nutritious treats for ducks.
  •  Apple peels and grapes should be given in bite-sized pieces.

Mealworms And Insects

In addition to mealworms, the insect species crickets and grasshoppers provide similar nutritional benefits with the bonus of being more easily grown than mealworms. They also require fewer feed-to-meat conversion ratios making them more ecologically friendly sources of nutrition.


Mealworms are a great source of protein for ducks, and they love to eat them! We kept a container in the fridge full of mealworms so that they were already waiting when we wanted to take some down to the pond. Not only are ducklings the target of mealworms, but hens and turkeys will also devour them! If you have any extra worms after feeding your feathered friends, why not give some to your backyard chooks?

Educational Experience

Creating an educational experience for children by doing a bug-themed treasure hunt in the garden is a great way to introduce them to the world of wildlife. It’s just important that you don’t overfeed your chickens or ducks, as this can destroy their health.

Fresh, Tasty, and Fun

If you’re looking for something fresh, tasty, and fun to feed your avian friends, look no further than mealworms or other arthropods – your birds will enjoy munching on these nature treats!

Key Takeaways:

  • Feed ducks mealworms + insects
  •  Keep mealworms in the fridge
  •  Ducks, hens, and turkeys like them
  •  An educational experience for kids
  •  Don’t overfeed birds

Commercial Birdseed Mixes

Birdseed mixes are convenient and easy ways to provide birds with the diverse food they need. These phrase variances typically contain multiple seeds, grains, fruits, and nuts, providing different flavors and textures that appeal to various bird species. The seed blends may also vary seasonally to accommodate changing tastes or migration patterns.

Commercial mixes are often found in hardware stores, garden centers, or online retailers. From commercial bird feed mixes to oatmeal, seed and nut mixtures, bread crumbs, fresh vegetables and fruits, mealworms, fish flakes, cat/dog food kibble, and sardines, there are plenty of ways to provide your feathered friends with nutrition, they need.


Ducks love oatmeal because it’s full of fiber and protein. Either you can use rolled oats or steel-cut oats, but they can’t be sweetened with honey or syrup, whichever you go for!

Seed and Nut Mixtures

Opening shells can be a fun activity for ducks and an excellent way to add extra nutrition for your birds; seed and nut mixtures are yet another simple yet effective option! Remember to go for unsalted ones since salt isn’t great for birds.

Fish Food Flakes

Fish food flakes contain many essential vitamins and minerals that aid the growth of healthy feathers, skin, and beak development in aquatic birds like mallards. So even though this might not be something you’d give wild animals in other circumstances, feel free to try sometime soon – let me know how it goes.

Cooked Rice/Pasta

Like oatmeal above, cooked rice/pasta is another starchy carb source that helps provide needed energy during cold winter, particularly when food is scarce. In other words… however, please note: never feed uncooked grains since choking hazards exist whenever they’re incorrectly eaten by our avian friends ;).

Cat/Dog Food Kibble

In truth, cat/dog food kibble also makes great supplemental food sources because many brands contain proteins, fats, carbs, vitamins, minerals, etc…


Last but not least, sardines and other small fish are packed with essential omega fatty acids, amino acids, etc. These have traditionally been found in the canned form on grocery store shelves, which is often quite affordable (something you might want to add to your weekly shopping list)!

Key Takeaways:

  • Commercial bird feed mixes
  •  Oatmeal, fruits/veggies
  •  Seed/nut mixtures, bread crumbs
  •  Mealworms, fish food flakes
  •  Cat/dog food kibble, sardines

Scraps From Your Kitchen Table

You may be surprised to learn that a tasty dish’s key ingredient is often right in front of you – your kitchen table scraps! This section provides advice and recipes for utilizing leftovers, from making chicken stock from bones to using onion cores and stale bread to make delicious soups. With a little imagination, you can enjoy healthy meals at reduced costs, so take advantage of the leftovers you might otherwise throw away!

Ducks are some of the most beloved creatures in nature, and feeding them is a wonderful way to show your love and appreciation. Ducks enjoy many different types of food, from kitchen scraps to specially designed wild waterfowl mixes. Here are some of the best ways to keep your feathered friends well-fed!


Why don’t you give them a few delicious leftovers from last night’s dinner? Ensure you avoid sauces or buttery toppings so they won’t get sick.

Fruits & Cooked Vegetables

Whether it’s an apple, orange, grape, or overripe banana, ducks will love eating small pieces! Avoid fruit that contains pits, like cherries, because they can choke birds if swallowed whole. Ducks love cooked vegetables, such as carrots, peas, and spinach—cooked veggies are ideal for a tasty treat. Be sure not to give them uncooked or raw items since this may cause digestive issues!

Wild Waterfowl Mixes

If you want a feed specifically for your feathered friends, try wild waterfowl mixes specially designed for them. This loaf mix of grains and seeds is a great source of nutrients (and flavor)!).

Kitchen Table Scraps

Whether it’s breadcrumbs or bits of fruitcake, kitchen table scraps are one of nature’s greatest gifts when feeding hungry ducks! Processed foods aren’t good for anyone – so try giving smaller quantities instead whenever possible.

Cracked Corn

I learned early on that cracked corn is a favorite among many species of waterfowl because of its sweet taste and crunchy texture. As a word of caution: too much corn can cause problems in birds-so use sparingly.


Ducks love greens as much as humans do! Rather than throw away wilted lettuce or limp celery stalks, why not make a delicious treat? Just tear apart the leaves before tossing them in the pond–they’ll disappear quickly!

Fish Scraps

Fish scraps – fish heads? Fish have tails? Even fish bones are studied to understand human diets! All these make great snacks for our avian friends. Just remember that you shouldn’t feed them raw fish because this will introduce parasites into their system, which could lead to severe health complications later on.

Key Takeaways:

  • Feed ducks cooked veggies, oatmeal, leftovers & fruit.
  •  Wild waterfowl mixes, breadcrumbs & bits of fruitcake.
  •  Cracked corn, wilted lettuce & limp celery stalks.
  •  Mealworms for woodpeckers, wrens, jays & robins.
  •  Fish scraps (not raw) for avian friends.

Seeds From Wild Plants And Flowers

In the wild, duck species eat seeds from wild plants and flowers for their essential nutrients. Ducks will eat grasses, grains, weeds, and aquatic vegetation seeds. Wildflowers are also an important source of nectar to attract pollinators and feed ducks. Some duck species use plant stems and leaves as shelter or nesting material. By introducing native wild plants into a pond area or wetland habitat, you can help create a healthy environment for your local duck population.


Many free plants and flowers bear delicious seeds that ducks are fond of devouring? These seeds provide essential vitamins and minerals that can help keep your duck healthy and happy, ranging from dandelions to yarrow. They’re better yet free! Next time you are out in nature, gather some wildflower seeds for a delightful surprise treat.


Duck food in the form of bread is excellent! Your waterfowl will likely enjoy this tasty treat, whether the white sandwich loaf or fancy sourdough loaves from the farmer’s market. Ensure the type of bread you give them doesn’t contain raisins or chocolate chips that could adversely affect them if ingested.

Corn & Rice

While wheat and barley are terrific protein sources for ducks (and humans), one little secret is that corn has more! In addition to that, brown rice should be eaten occasionally since it contains vital vitamins and minerals such as niacin and thiamine, which promote proper brain functioning, among other things…Considering how smart our weird friends are, this is not bad at all?!

Fish Meal

It could be argued that fish meal is vital for birds to maintain a healthful and evocative brain, which boasts the capacity to feed both their bodies and minds…Who knew? Probably not many?! Simply add to their usual feed once a few days (or weeks), dependent on which brand of flake you purchase…. they’ll thank you later.

Cracked Corn

Dried cracked corn is another healthy choice for the wild waterfowl that enjoy the tasty morsels…During winter, ducks love hot cooked grains and fiber-rich food; it’s full of carbohydrates plus good for keeping those bellies full and satisfied for hours afterward.

Leftover Veggies

Don’t let those leftover veggie scraps go to waste—rather, convert them into treats for your local flock by boiling them up into soup or mash, then spreading them out near where you usually see the birds hanging around; your feathered friends will greatly appreciate having something fresh to peck at during the day:).

Live Insects

Did you think I’d be listing live insects here? When do we say most duck species love to hunt live bugs whenever they have the chance? Believe us? They’ll be eternally grateful for such an exciting addition to their meals.

Key Takeaways:

  • Free wildflower seeds for vitamins and minerals
  •  Sprinkle oats for fiber and protein
  •  Fruit, spinach, carrots, and green peppers
  •  Bread varieties, mealworms, and corn
  •  Fishmeal for brain health
  •  Dried cracked corn in winter
  •  Boil veggie scraps into soup/mash
  •  Live insects are an exciting addition

Uncooked Rice Or Grains

Ducks require a diet consisting of grains and unsprouted cereal, such as uncooked rice or grains. These products provide an excellent source of protein for the ducks, which aids in feather maintenance. However, care should be taken when feeding unpressed rice or grains to ducks: if left uneaten, they can spoil quickly and lead to health problems for the duck. Additionally, the grain portion of a duck’s diet should not exceed 25% per day; otherwise, the duck may become overweight or develop nutrient deficiencies.

Benefits of Unprocessed Rice and Grains

Uncooked rice or grains are a great way to feed ducks without breaking the bank. They contain plenty of carbs and amino which provide energy for their day-to-day activities. It’s a good protein source for developing birds too! Ducklings enjoy this snack as much as their mothers do, and it’s actually good for them too.

Where to Buy Unprocessed Rice and Grains

Suppose you’re looking for a specific place to buy grain or rice. In that case, I recommend checking out health food stores like whole foods market and trader joe’s – both are sure to have sustainable options that will make your feathered friends happy. One duck enthusiast who goes by “Donald” on Instagram says unprocessed rice or grains are a superb way to give your feathered friends something awesome without busting your budget.

Feeding Ducks with Unprocessed Rice and Grains

You don’t always have to buy duck feed when it comes to feeding ducks. They love a lot of other things too! Uncooked rice or grains are at number 8 on the list. When I was a child, my grandmother took me to the nearby lake every weekend, and we’d bring raw rice to pour into the water for all the ducks swimming there. The ducks were so excited when they saw us coming with food that it made me want to feed them continuously for the rest of my life!

Key Takeaways:

  • Uncooked rice/grains as duck food
  •  Affordable alternative to duck feed
  •  Good source of carbs and amino
  •  Available at health food stores
  •  Suggested by “Donald” on Instagram

Fish Food Pellets/Flakes

Fish food pellets and flakes are essential to many fish diets since they add critical nutrients that natural foods like worms or live insects lack. They can also provide extra nutrients when live bugs aren’t as enticing. In contrast, bubble foods may boost appetite when fish don’t like eating. To ensure your fish receive the necessary nutrients, invest in high-quality pellets and flakes designed specifically for their species and adjust amounts accordingly.

Benefits of Fish Food Pellets/Flakes

No doubt ducks love to treat themselves with a special gift every now and again, and fish food pellets/flakes make a great choice for your feathered friends. I recall as a child that when we were going to the lake with snacks for ourselves, we also brought fish food pellets to drop in the water. I had so much fun watching the ducks come over! I still take some fish food pellets when I go duck hunting. They love it, but there’s something therapeutic about throwing them into the water and seeing how quickly they fly over.

Health Considerations

Remember to keep your duck friends (like I do)! I believe this is a good way of doing that! I also ensure that my kids know why feeding them other types of food can harm their health. Fish food pellets/flakes offer an attractive alternative that won’t harm fish while allowing us to interact safely.

Sleep Considerations

While many of us love the long summer days, they do present some challenges in terms of getting enough sleep recently discovered a great quote from dr Seuss: “you can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn a lot on your own while sitting alone in a room.”When it comes to an understanding of what’s best for our animal companions, like providing them with healthy treats such as fish flakes/pellets!

Key Takeaways:

  • Providing ducks with fish food pellets/flakes
  •  A fun way to interact in a safe manner
  •  Dr. Seuss quote: “Learn on your own while sitting alone”
  •  A healthy alternative to other snacks

Frozen Peas Or Corn

Freezing peas and corn makes them a convenient option for including vegetables in meals since they are a good source of fiber, vitamins a, b6, and c, potassium, iron, and magnesium. They can be cooked by steaming or sautéing with garlic or onions. Frozen corn is ideal for adding to soups and salads, while frozen peas work well in pasta dishes and stir-fries. Peas are also great for smoothies since they provide an additional source of protein besides dairy products.

Frozen Vegetables

Frozen peas or corn are always a great choice if you want something to offer your local feathered friends. As a child, my mother took us to the pond near our house, and we would throw ice bags full of vegetables, and the ducks went wild for them! Wild birds need essential vitamins and minerals to stay healthy, and frozen veggies are also great for geese. They can also be stored easily in the freezer until you’re ready to feed the ducks – no preparation needed!

Benefits of Feeding Ducks Frozen Vegetables

I love feeding ducks frozen vegetables because it’s so interactive. They seemed to appreciate it. As soon as one duck grabbed his treat, another came over, hoping for more! Frozen vegetables last longer than other types of food and don’t spoil quickly, so if you have leftovers after a duck-feeding session, just throw them back in the freezer until next time. So you won’t have to waste it, and the ducks will be happy too! Get your little ones in on the fun too!

Where To Get Frozen Vegetables

Why not go to your local store and grab a bag of frozen peas or corn? The ducks in the neighborhood will thank you for it! As my grandmother always said: “feeding wildlife should be seen as an honor – a very real opportunity to connect with nature.”

Key Takeaways:

  • Feeding ducks frozen veggies
  •  Easy to store and prepare
  •  Provides essential vitamins and minerals
  •  Interactive for kids
  •  No waste or spoilage


We hope you enjoyed our list of items you can feed ducks besides duck food. From fresh fruits and vegetables to pieces of bread, there are many delicious goodies that ducks can enjoy! We encourage all duck lovers to remember that these creatures need a balanced diet just like we do. While it’s fine occasionally to spoil your feathered friends with a few special treats, be sure not to overdo it. After all, good memories come from happy ducks! 

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