What Should I Feed a Duckling?

what should i feed a duckling

When it comes to choosing the right food for your duckling, the most important thing to remember is that they are young and not meant to eat large fish bones or small rocks. While ducklings do not have a strong stomach, they can ingest pebbles and gravel from the pond or yard. Stones can block the digestive system and kill the duckling within hours. If you notice the duckling eating gravel or stones, take it to the vet for a washdown in saline solution.

Chewy Online Pet Supplies

35% Off at Chewy.com

+ Free Shipping

Save Now

Foods that are toxic to ducklings

Unlike chickens, ducks cannot digest mangoes. Their tummys are also itchy. Try feeding your duckling fresh or canned vegetables. Dried beans can be toxic as well. Corn is a safe food, but avoid iceberg lettuce. Both contain high levels of thiosulfate, which can cause hemolytic anemia. Onions are toxic to ducks, but can be fed raw.

Red tomatoes are among the most harmful foods for ducklings. Red tomatoes contain a toxin called solanine, which attacks the red blood cells. Eventually, this leads to poor egg laying, thin eggshells, and death. Avocados can also cause deformities and weak eggshells. Other vegetables and fruits that can be toxic to ducks include rhubarb, which contains oxalic acid. Additionally, rhubarb can make eggs have thin shells. And, onions contain thiosulphate, which kills red blood cells and can cause anemia and jaundice in ducks.

Adding niacin to a duckling’s diet

Adding niacin to nymphs’ diet can be beneficial for the duckling’s overall development. Niacin helps your ducklings produce energy, process protein, and keep their vision clear. Niacin is also necessary for the proper functioning of their nervous system, skin, and feathers. A duckling’s need for niacin is much higher than that of chickens. Adult ducks need 12.5 mg of niacin daily, while chickens need only 10mg. It’s easy to supplement your duckling’s diet with niacin in liquid form.

You can mix niacin powder with water in an oral syringe or by giving the duckling a teaspoonful in a bowl of water. Ensure that the water is mixed completely and then hold the duckling in your hand to let the niacin dissolve in its beak. The duckling should be able to drink the niacin water easily.

Choosing the right feed for ducklings

One of the most important things to consider when selecting feed for your ducklings is how much protein they need. A good mix for ducklings is crumbled up chicken feed that contains 20% to 22% protein. Ducklings should also have fresh water available at all times. Ducklings need less protein as they grow older. However, it is not recommended to feed them cat food, avocado, spinach, or bread.

As you choose a feed for your ducklings, make sure you consider their age. Younger ducklings dive for their food less often and will be more vulnerable to predators. They will not eat as much as an adult duck, and can only dive for a small portion at a time. During this time, keep the ducklings warm to help them regulate their body temperature. Make sure to provide your ducklings with a steady heat source until they are fully feathered.

Avoiding high-fat foods

Ducklings are prone to illness and disease if they eat too much fat and high-fat foods. Avocados and spinach are poisonous for ducks, and they interfere with the absorption of calcium, which is important for egg laying. You can also feed your duckling dried meal worms, which are rich in nutrients and minerals. Avoid giving your duckling any food that contains the nightshade family. These include stems, leaves, tubers, and fruits. Additionally, crackers are very bad for ducks as they are very salty and high in fat. Also, ducks cannot eat the stems or leaves of eggplants.

Niacin, a B-complex vitamin essential for ducks, is an essential nutrient for growing ducks. Niacin helps develop strong joints and legs. Without adequate amounts of Niacin, your duckling will experience rapid decline in health and even die. Symptoms of Niacin deficiency include lack of motivation, inability to walk, and failure to thrive.

Providing fresh water

One of the first tasks you should do for your new duckling is to provide fresh water. The water should be cool and fresh at all times. For this purpose, you can purchase a quart or gallon fount. Ducklings like to take a mouthful of food and wash it down with water. It is important to provide them with a deep watering can as shallow waterers can cause impaction.

Ducks require a large amount of water for bodily maintenance. As such, their urine and feces contain 90 percent water. If you do not provide them with fresh water, they may try to find water by digging through the soil. You may have to remove some plants to provide enough water for your ducklings. A duckling’s watering needs will depend on how long it’s been in its new home.