What do ducks eat?
Did you know that ducks are found on every single continent in the world except for Antarctica? Ducks have special features that make it easier for them to get food. All ducks have waterproof feathers that protect their down under layer while they in the water searching for food. Ducks also have bills that are shaped differently depending on the type of food they like to eat. So what do ducks like to eat?
Some ducks are dabbling ducks. This means that they stay near the surface of the water to find food. If you have ever seen a duck with its head in the water and its tail in the air, then you were watching a dabbling duck catching its food.
Other ducks are diving ducks. These ducks put more than just their heads in the water. They actually dive down below the surface of the water to catch their food. Diving ducks eat more fish than dabbling ducks.
All ducks are omnivores, so they eat a combination of plants and animals. Some of the plants that ducks eat are grass, weeds, algae, seeds, grain, berries, fruit and aquatic plants. Some of the animals that ducks eat are snails, mollusks, worms, frogs, salamanders, small fish and fish eggs. Ducks also eat insects.
One species of duck called the Merganser, eats mostly fish. This is because the Merganser has a narrow shaped bill that contains teeth. This design makes it easier for the Merganser to eat fish.
Many ducks also eat gravel, small stones or sand. While these items do not provide any nutritional value for ducks, gravel, stones, and sand actually help ducks digest their food better. The rough texture helps break down the duck's food.
What do ducks eat in the wild?
Like humans, wild ducks must also maintain a balanced diet in order to get the nutrients it needs to grow and survive in the wilderness. A wild duck's environment is a big influence on what it eats, because a duck's available sources of food are limited by what is in its natural habitat. So what do ducks eat in the wild?
Most wild ducks are found living near water. This habitat offers a wide variety of plant and animal matter. Wild ducks often feed on aquatic plants, algae, grass and weeds found near the water's surface. Wild ducks also eat insects, worms, frogs and fish found in or around water. Diving ducks have a diet that includes more fish, so these wild ducks travel below the water's surface to catch their meals. Newborn wild ducks often travel for miles with their mother to look for food that is rich in nutrients.
Wild ducks will eat almost anything they can get their bills on, but this does not mean that all food is good for them. For example, bread is not a good source of nutrition for wild ducks, because it does not contain many nutrients. People who are interested in feeding wild ducks should offer cracked corn, chopped vegetables or lettuce leaves instead of bread crumbs.
What do pet ducks eat
If you have ever thought about owning a pet duck, then you are probably wondering what do pet ducks eat? Like wild ducks, pet ducks are omnivores, so their diet should include the nutrients provided by both plants and animals.
Many owners of pet ducks feed their ducks bird feed. For a few weeks, new ducklings, or baby ducks, should be given a bird feed that contains a higher percentage of protein, because ducklings need lots of protein for rapid growth. Adult ducks require less protein in general, however female ducks need a slightly higher amount of protein when they are laying eggs.
Pet ducks will eat fresh vegetables and fruits such as lettuce and tomatoes. Corn is a feeding option for pet ducks, however cracked corn is easier on the digestion process. Pet ducks are not limited to eating fruits and vegetables. Their diet can also include meats such as worms, night crawlers, insects and mealworms. Owners can either catch or purchase worms and insects for their pet ducks.
One important part of feeding a pet duck is providing it with plenty of fresh water to drink. Drinking fresh water is just as important as eating, because water makes it easier for a pet duck to digest its food. Pet ducks can be messy eaters though, and often get mud and dirt in their drinking water. Pet owners should be prepared to provide fresh drinking water frequently.