This is our recommendation for a domestic duck diet, based on input from Avian Veterinarians, Wildlife Rehabbers and Ducksperts all over the globe. We list food choices that are readily available to consumers.
Avoid commercial diets designed to grow ducks fast for meat or commercial egg production. These diets often contain medications that prevent communicable diseases in large duck communities, and may be harmful to your duck. NOTE: Most newer formulations have improved – still best to be cautious.
Ducks do well on non-medicated pelleted mash as a staple, supplemented with fresh vegetable trimmings, chopped hard-boiled eggs, tomatoes, cracked corn (keep out of ponds if you have fish), garden snails (NOT if you use snail bait or pesticides), worms, night crawlers, bloodworms… They enjoy floating coy food occasionally. Most items are available at pet and grocery stores.
Protein levels are very important to your duck’s stage of growth.
Don’t forget adding oyster shell to the diet – especially if you notice thin shells in the waterfowl’s eggs
Ducklings need starter feed with 20-22% protein for 3 weeks.
Adolescents do best on 16% protein.
Adult ducks need 16-18% when they are laying and 14-16% if they aren’t laying.
Too much protein can cause a condition called “Angel Wing” where the feathers on the wings protrude upwards. Too little can cause nutritional deficiencies and serious health problems.
Generally a mixed diet of commercial pelleted food such as Layena supplimented with green forage (or lettuce or other greens if forage is not available) and scratch grains or cracked corn will provide for a healthy flock.
Adapted from Liveduck.com