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Ducks are omnivores. Regularly you see groups of ducks looking for food on land, but also on the water the ducks are looking for food. In the water, you often see the ducks on the ground. The duck then searches upside down in the water, looking for food under the water.
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Ducks in the wild eat what the season offers them. Their diet consists mainly of seeds and parts of plants. Especially water plants, grasses, peas, and grains are on the menu. In winter, the mallard ducks rely on plant food.
In spring, more animal food is added, such as insects, shellfish, worms, frogs, and small fish. In autumn, the ducks also eat fruits, which are then found. The ducks also eat acorns and garbage from the harvest (e.g., corn kernels and potatoes).
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For kept ducks, a maintenance pellet is the best thing to give. The waterbird feed is tailored to the needs of the duck. This can differ per type of duck. The range of duck feeds in pet shops, and webshops consist of rearing feed, maintenance feed, duck grain, and breeding pellets.
The latter, for example, provide good quality eggs and are given before the start of the breeding season. Here you will find a complete range of duck food.
In addition to the waterbird food, you can also provide the ducks with supplementary food such as oats, grains, corn, peas, vegetables, dried insects, or scraps of rice (although there is little food in this). Especially in winter, they can use these tasty snacks.
They also find duckweed a great meal, which can be found in most ditches and ponds. With a bit of luck, there are also all kinds of small insects. These insects are ideal for providing for the proteins of the ducks. To supplement the animal proteins, you can also offer ducks dried insects. Especially sea ducks need a lot of animal protein.
You often see residents feeding the ducks in the neighborhood bread. This is not recommended. Bread, crackers, rusk, and other foods rich in carbohydrates contain too many single nutrients.
This is not good for the ducks. It does fill the ducks, but because bread is so one-sided, the ducks don’t get enough nutrients. Bread also expands in the stomach, which can cause fermentation. This increases the risk of disease.