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You're Probably Feeding Ducks the Wrong Food—and It Could Be Hurting Their Health

Chances are, you've been feeding ducks the wrong food all these years (hello, bread). Here's what's safe to give them the next time you visit your local pond.

what to feed ducks
Written by
Tehrene Firman
Going to feed the ducks with my family was one of my favorite
activities as a kid
. We'd grab a loaf of bread, hop in the car, and have the time of our lives watching our cute feathered friends gobble up their treats. Unfortunately, contrary to popular belief, it's one of the worst foods you can feed the animal.

Why Is Bread Bad for Ducks?

is bread bad for ducks
Giving bread to ducks is equivalent to giving them candy. It causes them to fill up on something that lacks nutritional value instead of eating food that actually nourishes them. This can lead to an issue called
"angel wing"
—a wing deformity caused by an unhealthy diet that leaves the birds unable to fly.

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So if not bread, what's safe to feed your local ducks? While ducks are totally happy with what they can find in the wild—like
, snails, and aquatic vegetation—there are plenty of things you can feed them that provide the nutrition they need to stay healthy and strong. Of course, don't go overboard—even these duck-approved options should be given in moderation.

What to Feed Ducks: 7 Healthy Options

1. Greens

what to feed ducks
If you have extra
on hand that's about to go bad, reduce food waste by sharing it with your duck friends. They love greens of all kinds—
especially kale

2. Rice

—both raw or cooked, and brown or white—is a healthy option for these adorable birds. Instead of tossing your leftover rice in the trash, feed it to your local ducks.

3. Corn

Ducks love sweetcorn just as much as you do. Whether you cut corn right off the cob, defrost a bag of frozen corn, or have a canned version on hand, they won't discriminate—they'll enjoy it all.

4. Peas

what to feed ducks
Ducks are big fans of peas, whether canned or a frozen option that has been dethawed. They're a great source of protein for the birds, so sprinkle them around and they're sure to come back for more.

5. Broccoli

Ducks are huge
fans, whether it's cooked or raw. Just make sure it's in small enough pieces for them to swallow, as they don't chew their food.

6. Oats

what to feed ducks
(rolled or quick) are a delicious treat for ducks. They enjoy both dry and cooked oats and will be sure to gobble up every last one.

7. Fruit (Except for Citrus)

Citrus fruits (like oranges, grapefruit, and lemons) are a no-go for ducks, as they're high-acid and can cause digestive issues. Also avoid
, which can be poisonous. Instead, stick to duck-safe fruit like bite-sized pieces of
, watermelon, cantaloupe, berries, and