7 Foods Not to Feed Ducks (Including Bread!)

Foods Not to Feed Ducks

It’s best not to feed ducks these foods:

  • Bread or bread crumbs
  • Junk food (crackers, chips)
  • Food leftovers
  • Citrus fruits
  • Spinach
  • Eggplants, white potatoes, green tomatoes
  • Raw or dried beans

Ducks prefer a varied diet that relies heavily on corns as well as seeds. They also enjoy a range of vegetables and on occasion, fruits and other types of foods such as roots. For feeding ducks, you can even buy dedicated duck foods that mix in all these types of food. However, there are some foods that you should never feed your ducks.

Foods to Not Feed Ducks

While ducks have a flexible diet and can eat a variety of different foods, there are some types of foods that you should not feed them (or at least, not too many of these foods). Here are the main food types that you should avoid feeding your ducks.

1. Bread 

Yes, ducks can and will eat bread. However, it is not advisable to feed ducks too much bread, or else this can leave them feeling too full or it might lead to overfeeding. This will slow down the duck unnecessarily while also providing excessive amounts of carbohydrates, which can cause bloating in ducks.

You’ll see this happen in many public places such as parks that have ducks. People will feed them leftovers such as bread – it’s all done in a positive way, but ducks don’t usually respond well to bread – or at least, not too much of it.

Feeding ducks only bread is not a good way to go, since bread does not provide all the nutrients to ducks, but it will still leave them feeling full, so they will not have a craving for other foods. It’s best to refrain from feeding ducks too much bread and consider other food sources instead.

Related Article: How Much Does a Duck Cost?

2. Junk Food

Similarly, you should also avoid feeding your ducks too much junk food. Foods like crackers or chips should not be fed to ducks because these types of foods will also leave them feeling full without providing them with any nutritional value.

While this doesn’t often happen on farms, junk food feeding is very common in public places. Generally, try not to feed the ducks at the park. It makes them overly dependent on humans and changes their natural healthy diets.

Related Article: Do Male Ducks Sit on Eggs?

3. Food Leftovers

Additionally, feeding your ducks food leftovers from your lunch or dinner is also not a great idea.

Firstly, it’s because ducks don’t have teeth, so some foods would be quite hard for them to digest and consume. This goes for many types of human food leftovers, which will also not be good for your ducks.

In addition, many types of leftovers are low-quality foods for ducks, so you should avoid feeding them these foods. Junk food and other leftovers might contain a lot of fat and not that much protein, which is not good for the growth of your ducks. It’s better to consider other types of food instead.

4. Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits disturb the duck’s ability to absorb calcium from other foods, so feeding citrus fruits to your ducks will leave them low on calcium. This is not a good thing since calcium is an important nutrient not only for ducks but for all living beings. It provides the building materials for stronger bones and muscles.

Calcium deficiency might cause lethargy in ducks and it will leave them without energy, so they will appear stationary for most of the time. This is why citrus fruits should be avoided since they can cause calcium deficiency in ducks.

5. Spinach

Similar to citrus fruits, spinach will also disturb the duck’s body intake of calcium. It will cause calcium deficiency in ducks, so you should not feed spinach to ducks. While ducks will still eat this type of food, it should be avoided at all costs. Look for alternative vegetable sources instead.

6. Eggplants, White Potatoes, Green Tomatoes

All of these plants belong in the same category for one reason: they are all toxic to ducks. They contain specific toxins that can harm ducks. The toxins inside these vegetables will leave ducks unable to live normally and in the most severe cases, these toxins might cause the ducks to die.

7. Raw or Dried Beans

Raw or dried beans are also toxic to ducks. They contain certain insecticides that occur naturally in beans, and these are toxic to ducks, which might cause them to get really sick or they might even die if they eat too much of beans. So make sure that if you do feed beans to your ducks that they are cooked and not dried or raw.

Can I Feed Ducks Popcorn?

Ducks will eat popcorn if you feed it to them, but it’s not a good idea to give ducks popcorn. Popcorn has very low nutritional value while still leaving the ducks feeling full, which means that ducks would not get the essential nutrients while still feeling satiated.

Popcorn is fed commonly to ducks, especially in public places. Ducks do like corn, but popcorn is different from corn since it has been cooked in a lot of fat, which is also not good for ducks. Not only does popcorn make ducks fat, but it will also leave them satiated without providing any value to them.

What Do Ducks Eat?

Ducks naturally eat the following foods:

  • Grains
  • Grasses
  • Aquatic plants
  • Invertebrates
  • Corn 
  • Food supplements

If you have ducks and you don’t know what to feed them, then you should always consider feeding them grains. This will be their primary type of food since it provides them with all the necessary nutrients to survive. You should also consider different grasses and aquatic plants for ducks because they like to eat them.


In general, you should not feed bread and junk food to your ducks because those foods will leave your ducks feeling fed without providing any nutritional value to them. Additionally, ducks should also not be fed other types of junk food and food leftovers, as well as citrus fruits and raw beans.

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