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What Do Ducks Eat in a Pond? (The Best Foods to Give Them)

What Do Ducks Eat in a Pond? (The Best Foods to Give Them)

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Ducks love living in a pond, as it helps them stay healthy and happy.

Aside from the fact that ducks love swimming, the pond water helps them get rid of harmful parasites and mites, as well as keeping their feathers healthy.

You’ve probably seen ducks picking something to eat while swimming in a pond. So, you might be wondering, what do ducks eat in a pond? And do ducks eat pond fish and algae?

In today’s article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about what pond ducks eat and what can you feed them. Let’s get right into the details.

What Do Ducks Eat in a Pond?

Ducks are omnivorous birds, which means they eat food of both plant and animal origin. Additionally, ducks are impressive aquatic foragers, and their diet varies a lot.

The ducks’ flat bills work as a sieve, which allows them to retrieve many types of food, especially small-sized food.

As a result, they can eat anything from tiny insects and small worms to amphibians. They can also eat aquatic plants and mollusks.

Do Ducks Eat Pond Fish?

While ducks aren’t natural fish hunters, they love to eat fish and fish eggs in ponds.

Most ducks only eat small fish that they manage to scoop up from the pond, as normal-sized fish can be too big for them to swallow.

On the other hand, large ducks can eat normal and large fish. However, it’s not the main part of their diet. The only duck species that eat fish as the main part of their diet are the Common Merganser ducks.

Do Ducks Eat Pond Algae?

Yes, ducks do eat algae in ponds. In fact, many people raise ducks to clean their ponds from algae.

Ducks can eat most types of algae found in ponds, like green algae, brown algae, and black beard algae.

However, blue-green algae are harmful to both ducks and humans. In fact, blue-green algae aren’t actually algae, as they’re a type of bacteria called cyanobacteria.

Generally, ducks don’t prefer these bacteria. However, it’s best if you regularly test for cyanobacteria in your pond.

There are many tests that are simple and will cost you almost nothing to check for blue-green algae.

Do Ducks Eat Pond Tadpoles and Frogs?

Yes, tadpoles are one of the pond ducks’ favorite meals. Ducks love to eat them whether they’re small, large, or even developed.

While they’re relatively easier to catch than frogs and toads, whenever a duck can catch a frog, it’ll eat it too. In fact, some mature ducks prefer frogs to tadpoles.

It’s possible for ducks to chase frogs deep down into the pond or even on land. Additionally, ducks find frog spawn delicious.

What Can You Feed to Pond Ducks?

There are many nutritious foods that you can give to pond ducks. These foods can provide them with nutrients and vitamins that they need for development and healthy growth.


You can feed pond ducks fresh corn, defrosted corn, and dried corn. However, before you feed them dried corn, make sure to coarsely grind the kernels.

It can be hard for ducks to eat a dried full kernel. So, by breaking the kernels into smaller pieces, it’ll be easier for the ducks to eat and digest.

Furthermore, you need to be careful if there are fish in the bond. Corn is hard for fish to digest, and it can cause many health issues to them.

So, it’s best if you feed the ducks on land, instead of throwing the corn in the water.


Ducks love to eat all sorts of bird seeds. That includes sunflower seeds, millets, and pretty much any birdseed mix.


Cooked and uncooked rice is suitable for ducks. Overall, rice is small in size and easy to digest.

However, It’s not high in nutritional value. So, you need to avoid feeding your ducks large amounts of rice.

Additionally, pond ducks might have trouble digesting large amounts of if it’s uncooked. As for cooked types, it’s best to avoid giving them seasoned or fried rice.

Oats and Similar Grains

Quick oats, uncooked oats, and rolled oatmeal are all great options to give to pond ducks. They’re nutritious and easy to digest.

That also applies to other similar types of grains, like wheat, millet, and barley.


Many types of nuts have a high nutritional value. Additionally, they contain essential fatty acids that ducks need to stay healthy.

So, you can feed them any type of nuts, as long as they’re in small-sized pieces. However, feeding pond ducks big amounts of nuts can be harmful, as most contain levels of fats.


Ducks love to eat many types of fruits. For starters, grapes are a favorite meal for most ducks.

The berry family is also safe for ducks. That includes strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries. However, you might need to cut any big grapes or berries in half or quarter-sized pieces. Otherwise, they might be too large for the ducks to eat.

Furthermore, you can feed ducks any type of melon, like honeydew and watermelon. You might also need to cut them into small pieces.

For fruits with seeds in the center, like cherries, peaches, and apricots, it’s best if you remove the seeds before feeding them to your ducks.

Here’s a list of other fruits that are safe for ducks:

  • Bananas
  • Pears
  • Apples
  • Kiwis
  • Pomegranates


Pond ducks can eat many types of vegetables.

For example, peas are one of the ducks’ favorite foods, as they’re small and easy to swallow. Also, lettuce is a great option as it contains fibers and water.

Of course, any type of vegetable must be chopped into small pieces. You can also feed them both cooked and uncooked ones.

However, you should avoid feeding them any seasoned veggies or salads.

Additionally, if you have veggies peels and scraps, you can grind them and feed them to your ducks.

Here’s a list of some safe veggies you can feed your ducks:

  • Cucumbers
  • Carrots
  • Radish
  • Beans
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower

What Types of Food You Shouldn’t Give to Pond Ducks?

There are some kinds of food that can be harmful to pond ducks. Let’s check them out.


It’s a common misconception that you can feed bread to pond ducks and wild birds. Most types of bread actually have low nutritional value, and they’re full of carbohydrates.

Feeding them large amounts of bread can be harmful. You’ll be basically filling their tummies with food that they don’t benefit from.

Canned Fruits and Sweets

All sorts of canned fruits are packed with sugar and preservatives, which can be really harmful to ducks.

Generally, you should avoid feeding them any sweets, desserts, or any type of food with high levels of sugar.

Citrus Fruits

All citrus fruits can cause various digestive problems to pond ducks.

Moreover, fruits with high acidic content, like mangos and pineapples, should be avoided too. They can cause stomach pain and digestive issues to them.

Dairy Products

Ducks usually have trouble digesting any type of dairy. So, you should avoid feeding them dairy products.

Spinach and Onions

Spinach affects calcium production in pond ducks, which in turn can cause egg-binding problems and overall health issues to them.

What’s more, onions can cause digestive difficulties in birds, including, stomach pain, diarrhea, and vomiting. They can also cause various health issues if ingested in high amounts.

Chips, Crackers, and Cornflakes

Many consider cornflakes, crisps, and chips to be a good treat for pond ducks. However, these types of snacks can do more harm than good.

Most of these products are high in sugar and carbohydrates. Therefore, they can cause various health issues for the ducks.

Any Spoiled Food

Some believe that ducks will have no problem eating spoiled or moldy food. Sadly, spoiled food can be awful for pond ducks.

So, if you’re planning to give leftover food to them, make sure that it’s still good to eat.

Final Thoughts

So, what do ducks eat in a pond? Pond ducks are omnivores. As a result, their diet can include many types of food.

That includes aquatic plants, algae, small fish, worms, snails, amphibians, and mollusks.

If you want to feed pond ducks, you have a lot of suitable choices. That includes corn, birdseed, rice, oats, as well as many types of fruits or vegetables.


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