Feeding adult ducks is accomplished using several different methods and types of feed, depending on your preference. Adult ducks are often used as pets and egg layers. They are a low-maintenance pet with cage cleaning, watering and feeding being the primary requirements for a healthy life.
Allow your ducks to roam when possible and forage on natural plants and insects. The food source is free and the ducks appreciate the exercise and time outside the pen. Only allow ducks to forage during the day, in areas safe from predators, which could include domestic dogs. The ducks will return to their shelter and feed area when they have their fill of outdoor forage.
Types of Feed
Wet and dry feed options are available for ducks. Use a food source with 16 percent protein content. Layer pellets are available through feed stores in bulk sacks. The pellets are a good dry food option for egg-producing ducks. Layer mash is also available and is served mixed with water. The mash is a mixture of corn, soybeans and nutritional supplements. Mash is a good choice for twice-daily feeding schedules.
Ducks enjoy scraps from the table. Feed them leafy greens, vegetables, corn and fruit. Use this as a treat or supplement to their regular feeding schedule. It also acts as a great way to utilize leftover food without being wasteful. Do not feed the ducks meat products as they are difficult to digest. Give them oyster shells during peak egg-laying cycles to strengthen the eggshells.
Do not feed ducks onions, garlic or fish. This will have a negative effect on the taste of their eggs.
Feeding twice daily is one option for a feeding schedule. The option works well for people with day jobs because they will do a morning feeding and another after work in the evening. Fill the food dish with enough food to last for roughly 15 minutes of feeding. Do this two times per day and supplement with table scraps and foraging.
Ducks will self regulate when the food is always available. Fill the dish with enough food to last throughout the day and refill as necessary. Only do this with dry food as wet food will harden and make a mess of your pen. Supplement with the occasional wet mash, table scraps and forage sessions.
Water is critical for all fowl. Dehydration is a great health risk and you must have fresh water available at all times. Hang the water when possible to prevent the ducks from defecating in the dish. Supply a separate, large water area if possible for swimming. Ducks do not require a pond but they are natural swimmers and enjoy the water.