Though we often picture ducks living on farms or floating serenely around your local park’s pond, they also make cute, amusing pets. If you’ve decided to acquire ducks as backyard companions, one of the most important considerations is what they’re going to eat. Ducks are omnivores and, in nature, usually eat a variety of things depending on where they’re living.
A duck’s natural diet includes water plants, fish eggs, seeds, grasses, and even amphibians. Of course, if they’re living in your backyard, this kind of diet just isn’t going to work. A commercial duck feed made up of all the nutrients your feathered friends will need may be the answer.
In this article, we’re going to look at and review the best commercial duck foods out there to help you figure out which brand is going to work for you and your budget.
A Quick Look at Our Favorites of 2023
|Best Overall||Kalmbach Feeds All Natural Duck & Chicken Feed||
|Best Value||Hudson Feeds Multi-Flock Complete Poultry Feed||
|Premium Choice||Scratch and Peck Feeds Organic Layer 16% Poultry Feed||
|Best for Ducklings||Bluebonnet Feeds Poultry & Game Crumble Bird Food||
|Mazuri Waterfowl Maintenance Duck & Geese Food||
The 10 Best Commercial Duck Foods
1. Kalmbach Feeds All Natural Duck & Chicken Feed – Best Overall
|Suitable for||Ducks, geese, poultry|
Kalmbach Feeds’ All Natural Duck & Chicken Feed is our top pick when it comes to commercial duck food. It’s packed with important nutrients including niacin and plenty of vitamins and minerals. In addition, it contains the probiotics, prebiotics, enzymes, and essential oils that ducks need to stay healthy. The pellets come in small, bite-sized pieces.
For smaller ducks and geese in the first few weeks of their lives, it’s recommended to crush the pellets to make it easier for them to eat. Overall, this is a nutritious, well-balanced duck feed that’s reasonably priced, so it takes the top spot on this occasion. On the downside, it’s a little smelly when you open the bag, so brace yourself if you react strongly to unpleasant smells!
2. Hudson Feeds Multi-Flock Complete Poultry Feed – Best Value
|Suitable for||Ducks, geese, chickens, turkeys, pheasants, game birds, quails, chukars|
Hudson Feeds’ Multi-Flock Complete Poultry Feed is the best commercial duck food for the money. For a few dollars cheaper than many other brands, you can feed not only your ducks but also your geese, chickens, turkeys, pheasants, and more. This crumbly food is easy to consume and contains 18% protein with vitamins and minerals to nourish a wide range of birds.
It’s also a grower/finisher feed—this refers to the feeding requirements for birds at different stages in their development. Hudson Feeds’ poultry feed is suitable for birds from the age of 7 weeks, so isn’t suitable as a starter feed.
3. Scratch and Peck Feeds Organic Layer 16% Poultry Feed – Premium Choice
|Weight||25-lb or 40-lb|
|Suitable for||Chickens, ducks, waterfowl|
Scratch and Peck Feeds’ Organic Layer 16% Poultry Feed is our premium commercial duck foods recommendation. If you have laying ducks, this is a brand you might want to consider. The feed contains 16% protein which contributes to strong shells and healthy eggs. As well as this, it contains calcium and omega 3 fatty acids. It is comprised of a blend of seeds and grains and does not contain corn or soy.
It comes in ground form and is suitable for chickens and ducks aged at least 20 weeks. On the downside, this feed is pretty expensive and is a little powdery, texture-wise.
4. Bluebonnet Feeds Poultry & Game Crumble Bird Food – Best for Ducklings
|Suitable for||Ducks, chickens, Chukars, emus, gamebirds, ostriches, pheasants, quails, turkeys|
If you’re raising ducklings, Bluebonnet Feeds’ Poultry & Game Crumble Bird Food is made for young birds up to 16 weeks old. It contains 30% protein and plenty of vitamins and minerals including calcium, niacin, and amino acids to help your young feathered friends grow healthily. Instead of coming in pellet-form, it’s crumbly to encourage young birds to eat.
Top ingredients include cornmeal, wheat middlings, and dehulled soybean meal. This high-protein feed is a decent option for young ducks but isn’t suitable for birds over 16 weeks old. If your ducks are older, you’ll want to consider a different kind of food.
5. Mazuri Waterfowl Maintenance Duck & Geese Food
|Weight||12-lb or 50-lb|
|Suitable for||Ducks, wild birds, geese, swans, waterfowl, chickens|
Mazuri’s Waterfowl Maintenance Duck & Geese Food is a little different from our other recommendations. Instead of feeding dry, this feed is designed to float on water instead. If you have a pond in your backyard or a trough that you can put water in, this is a brand you could try. It is made for adult ducks that aren’t breeding, so it’s not suitable for ducklings.
This feed was created with the intention to reduce waste and give ducks and geese a natural feeding experience. You do not need to provide supplements if feeding Mazuri’s duck and geese feed as it contains all the nutrients required for healthy birds.
6. Purina Duck Feed Pellets
The Purina Duck Feed Pellets were created specifically with duck development in mind. One of the best things about this feed is that you can feed it to your ducks at every stage of their lives—from the time they hatch right up to their senior years. As such, its ingredients were selected to support the nutritional needs of tiny hatchlings as they’re growing as well as to maintain good immune and digestive health in adult ducks.
It comes in pellet form and contains probiotics and prebiotics as well as niacin and other crucial vitamins and minerals. Where this duck feed falls short is in its pricing—it’s far from the cheapest option available.
7. Blue Seal Home Fresh Extra Egg Layer Poultry Feed
|Weight||25-lb or 50-lb|
|Suitable for||Ducks, chickens, turkeys, geese, gamebirds|
The 16% protein Blue Seal Home Fresh Extra Egg Layer Poultry Feed is another option if you have laying ducks. It’s a complete food made of grain fortified by calcium that’s high in energy but low in fiber. In addition to this, it contains amino acids, vitamin E, selenium, and marigold extract to help produce bright yellow-colored yolks. There are also no animal proteins in this feed, only vegetable products.
It comes in pellet form and is designed to contribute to healthy egg production, beautiful feathers, and a strong immune and digestive system. In terms of areas it doesn’t do so well in, it’s a little dusty in the bag.
8. Manna Pro All Flock Crumbles Duck Food
|Weight||8-lb or 25-lb|
|Suitable for||Ducks, geese, chickens, game birds, and mixed flocks|
Manna Pro’s All Flock Crumbles Duck Food is a good choice for mixed flocks and a variety of birds as well as ducks of all shapes and sizes, making it a good choice if you’ve got a variety of feathered friends. It has a protein level of 16%, no artificial colors or flavorings, and it supports a healthy digestive system. In addition to this, it contains probiotics. It’s crumbly, too, so your ducks won’t have a hard time chowing down!
There are a few things we’re not so keen on when it comes to this feed, though. One is that the bag size is pretty small compared to our other recommendations and is expensive for the size you get. It’s also pretty dusty in consistency rather than crumbly.
9. Dr. Pro High Protein 28% Poultry Pearls Complete Bird Feed
|Weight||6-lb or 30-lb|
|Suitable for||Ducks, pheasants, geese, chickens, turkeys, laying hens, broilers, game birds|
Dr. Pro’s High Protein 28% Poultry Pearls are so-named because of the “pearl-like” shape of the pellets. The shape is designed to help reduce waste by making the pellets easier to eat and more appealing to birds. Enriched with calcium, phosphorus, and minerals, this feed is fine to give to your ducks or other birds if you have a mixed flock.
The Poultry Pearls contain no added antibiotics or hormones and can be fed to hatchling ducks as their sole diet—but should only be given as a supplement to adult ducks. If you only have adult ducks, you may want to consider a different brand.
10. BROWN’s Bird Lover’s Blend Duck & Goose Food
|Suitable for||Ducks, geese, waterfowl, wild birds|
In recent years, it has become pretty apparent that bread isn’t healthy for ducks. If you want to treat your local park ducks to something that’s good for them, you might want to try BROWN’s Bird Lover’s Blend Duck & Goose Food instead. It comes in pellet form and contains nutrients and minerals to keep ducks’ feathers looking beautiful and shiny, strengthen bones, and support digestion and immunity. What more could a pond or park duck possibly want?! If you come across a goose at the pond or even other wild birds, they can eat this product as well, so be sure to pack some if you’re going on a nature ramble any time soon.
The only issue with this feed is that it’s not really suitable for your backyard ducks as it doesn’t last very long. It comes in a 7-lb bag, so you’ll likely need something more substantial for your own brood. This is the only reason why BROWN’s Bird Lover’s Blend comes in last on our list.
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Commercial Duck Food
When buying commercial duck food, the first thing you need to consider is the age of the ducks. If, for example, you’ve acquired some adorable hatchlings, a food marked “grower” or “layer” won’t be suitable. Likewise, if you’ve got a duck that you’re hoping will lay healthy eggs, you don’t want to be giving them something for “starters”. Always check the label to make sure the food is suitable for the age of your ducks.
You’ll also want to make sure the food you choose will provide the right nutrition, vitamins, and minerals that ducks require at different stages in their development. If the brand is reputable and high-quality, this shouldn’t be an issue but it’s always a good idea to check out the ingredients and reviews of a product before you buy.
The final thing to consider is whether you intend to feed your own ducks or just feed the local ducks at the pond now and then. Some feeds come in much smaller bags and are only intended for occasional feeding, so some won’t be suitable for your backyard ducks.
To review, Kalmbach Feeds All Natural Duck and Chicken Feed is the best overall commercial duck food, Hudson Feeds Multi-Flock Complete Poultry Feed is the best pick for the money, and last but not least, Scratch & Peck Feeds Naturally Free Organic Layer 16% Poultry Feed takes the premium spot.
We hope you’ve enjoyed checking out our best commercial duck food reviews. We also hope that your gang of quackers will be suitably impressed by your choice!
Featured Image Credit: epic_images, Shutterstock