Duck Diets: Can They Overeat?

I was completely amazed when I gave my ducks so much food that they devoured it all even though it was way more than their usual portion! I usually give them food twice a day in a certain amount that suits their nutritional needs.

I used to feed my ducks once in the morning and again in the evening. I thought for a moment, am I falling short in their rights and giving them little food so they have an excessive craving for food, or are they full and overeating out of a desire for food and not because of their hunger?

It was confusing for me, so do I have to continue with my usual regime with them, or do I have to offer them food in unlimited quantities?

Ducks usually shout and ask for food constantly, even if they are not hungry, and they may overeat as long as they see food in front of them.

In this article, we’re going to explain how likely ducks are to overeat. We will also provide some tips on a healthy diet for ducks so that they can enjoy good health. A balanced healthy diet is a key factor for ducks to enjoy a long life, good health, and high-quality productivity.

Can Ducks Overeat?

Black Ducks Are Eating

Yes, ducks can overeat. They often do not stop eating as long as food is available to them. They are always hungry even after feeding, and they love to beg and whine for food, especially in the morning and at night.

There may be some individuals in the flock of ducks who are smart and able to stop eating when they feel full. However, if one of the members of the flock begins to eat again, they go and imitate it, as they love to imitate and follow very much.

Therefore, you must feed your ducks according to a well-balanced and organized diet, as this is very necessary to ensure that they live a long, healthy, and happy life. You need to keep in mind that excessive random feeding of ducks is not a good thing, as some people think.

Some think that it would be beneficial for ducks to eat more food so that they grow quickly and carry meat well. This is true to some extent, but if food is necessary for the growth of ducks, this must be done according to a balanced system for the ducks to benefit and not harm them.

What Happens If You Overfeed Ducks?

Overfeeding ducks can lead to a range of health problems such as obesity which leads to movement problems due to the weight of the muscles on the bones, which leads to weak bones and an inability to move properly.

Also, overeating ducks lead to diabetes, liver failure, pressure sores, and suffering from restricted eggs. It may increase in severity as a result of excessive food intake and lead to the death of ducks in some cases.

To avoid these health problems for the ducks, a good feeding regimen must be maintained as this is essential to maintaining the health of the ducks.

How Often To Feed Ducks?

The number of feeding times for ducks varies according to the age of the ducks as follows:

For Ducklings

Ducklings have a high digestion rate in the first weeks of their life due to the rapid pace of growth that characterizes this period. So it is not a concern if the ducklings eat a lot of food as the ducklings will digest the food very quickly so they need to eat a lot compared to the adult ducks.

Therefore, food must be available to the ducklings at all times as this is a stage of development that requires a lot of food. If this is not possible for you, at least feed the ducklings 3 times a day.

The important thing is to provide a source of clean, fresh water for ducklings throughout the day, as ducklings or ducks, in general, do not dispense with drinking water constantly. Water is very essential for ducklings as it helps keep them hydrated throughout the day.

Choose the appropriate feed for the ducklings, as during the first two weeks of the ducklings’ life, you will have to provide the starter chicks feed to them, as it is the best option for them because it is softer and easier to digest.

The protein content in it must also be high, as ducklings need more protein compared to adult ducks, especially in the first two weeks. So the protein content should be 22% protein and then it can be reduced after the first two weeks to 17-18%.

After the third week, you can move to a lower protein feed. During weeks 3 to 12, you can use farm feed containing 16-18% protein. You should also provide your ducks with leftover vegetables, fruits, and cutlery to make fun treats for them.

For Adult Ducks

When they become adults, there is no need to have food available to them all day. When they grow up and become an adult, its stomach grows and can accommodate a large amount of food in one meal.

They will eat enough food during its main meal and the duck stomach will digest it throughout the day. That’s why it remains full and will not feel hungry until the next meal.

So once your ducks are adults, put them on a feeding schedule so that you can start feeding them less frequently but in sufficient quantities. You can only feed your adult ducks twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening.

Ducks are resourceful and will rise during the day to search for other foods that are normally found in its environment. It can also entertain itself by eating weeds, worms, caterpillars, slugs, spiders, and cockroaches.

These small meals will be fun and satisfying for the ducks, but at the same time, they will not cause them to be overly full, as they serve as snacks between the main meals.

The important thing is to make sure to provide your ducks with the appropriate fodder, along with vegetables and table scraps, so that the ducks get a balanced diet and are healthy.

When ducks grow up, you can put the ducks on less protein feed. Starting from week 12, you can feed the ducks a feed containing 14-15% protein, If this duck isn’t white.

But if you want them to lay eggs regularly and of high quality, you will need a feed of 16-18% protein throughout the laying period, and it must also contain a sufficient amount of calcium.

How Much To Feed Ducks Per Day?

An adult duck needs about 225 grams of feed per day, which should be divided into two meals, 40% in the morning and 60% in the evening.

As for the ducklings, they must have access to food throughout the day, so that each of them eats according to his needs, which may differ during the first weeks, but in any case, they are large because their body is still growing, so its nutritional requirements are many.


Will Ducks Stop Eating If Full?

No, Ducks do not stop eating if they feel full most of the time, as ducks have a craving for food as long as they are available. Even if it stopped for a while to take a break, it will go back to the food unit to complete eating, and so it will remain throughout the day between eating food, drinking water, taking a break, and then returning to repeat the same thing.

Therefore, food must be provided to the ducks according to an organized food schedule so that they do not overeat, which may expose them to health problems that may lead to their death at times.

Should Ducks Have Unlimited Food?

No, ducks should not have unlimited food.
Firstly, This will first be a waste of food, as ducks will eat and go quickly to drink water and scatter the feed in the water, which leads to the dirtiness of the water.

They will also return to the feed again with their wet mouth and wet the feed, which may lead to the rotting of food if the amount is larger than the needs of the ducks.

Secondly, offering the ducks unlimited food encourages them to overeat which can expose the ducks to dangerous health issues such as obesity, diabetes, and liver failure and may kill them in the end.

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Doaa Salah
The shy one (too shy to put her photo) and the only girl in our team! Doaa is a veterinarian who is passionate about writing content. She knows a lot about animals and birds, as she has been studying them for many years now. Her goal? She is researching and learning to convey to you all the knowledge she have and what's new about farming.