Can Ducks Eat Cracked Corn or Corn Cob Ricks and Benefits Associated While Feeding

Updated: 09 Mar 2024


Raising ducks and ducklings has been a journey of learning and joy for me. When it comes to their diet, one often wonders about the safe and healthy choices available. Cracked corn is a common food choice for many birders, but there’s more to it than meets the eye. But a question raised can ducks eat cracked corn?

It’s not just a filler like some might dismiss, cracked corn, with its carbs, fiber, and vitamins, can contribute to the well-being of your feathered friends. However, it’s crucial to understand its place in a varied, omnivorous diet.

Can Ducks Eat Cracked Corn?

As someone who has raised ducks and ducklings, I’ve often pondered whether cracked corn is a sufficient diet for these charming birds. Based on my experience and research, I can say that while ducks are omnivorous, relying solely on cracked corn or any corn-based diet is not advisable. 

Corn does provide a quick nutrient boost, especially during molting when ducks grow new feathers. However, it should be a part of a balanced diet that includes grains like wheat, barley, and rice, along with fruits and vegetables to ensure a comprehensive supply of nutrients.

Ducks are known for their adorable demeanor, especially the baby ducks or ducklings. As they grow into strong adults, their dietary needs change. Cracked corn provides essential nutrients but should be balanced with other grains like wheat, barley, and uncooked quick oats. 

Can Ducks Eat Craked Corn

These grains, along with cracked corn, should form part of a varied diet that also includes fresh, dry, tinned, or frozen kernels of corn. Remember to defrost properly if using frozen options.

It’s important to feed them in moderation to avoid any potential health issues. Corn varieties, whether on the cob or cracked, offer different benefits. As someone who has had the pleasure of keeping ducks, I’ve found that while they can certainly eat cracked corn, it’s best served as part of a more impartial and balanced diet. 

This approach ensures they remain healthy and happy, avoiding the common pitfall many birders overlook. Remember, feeding them shouldn’t just be about what’s available and affordable, but also about what’s best for their health. Implement these tips and tricks to keep your ducks thriving.

Which Type of Corn Duck Eat or Love:

As a duck owner and enthusiast, I’ve often been asked about what types of corn ducks prefer. Understanding the safe and suitable corn options for ducks can be vital for their health. Ducks can eat various types of corn, but cracked corn is especially popular among fowl fanciers.

Unlike whole corn kernels, which ducks might find difficult to swallow due to their large size, cracked corn is broken down into bite-sized pieces that are easier for ducks to pick and digest.

Another option is dried corn, which, like cracked corn, has been chopped into smaller pieces. However, one must be cautious with dried corn as it can pose choking and digestive issues if not properly ground down. 

Canned corn and popcorn are common in human diets, but they are not the best for ducks. Canned corn often contains added sugar content, and popcorn, whether popped or unpopped, can be a choking hazard for these birds. Therefore, these should be avoided.

The incredible, nutrient-packed grain in its safe form, like cracked or properly grinded corn, provides healthy carbs and fiber. Ducks love the sweetness of sweetcorn, a variant with a gene mutation for increased sugar levels, but it should be given in moderation due to the higher sugar content. 

When feeding corn to ducks, always ensure it’s cleaned and comfortable in size. As a duck fancier, I’ve noticed that they prefer corn in sizes they can easily grind down, digest, and eat without difficulty.

Remember, the key is to provide a variety within their diet, ensuring the corn is safe, digestible, and comfortable for them to eat. By understanding these nuances, you can ensure your feathered friends are both healthy and happy.

What Types of Corn Should I Not Feed My Ducks?

What Types of Corn Should I Not Feed My Ducks?

When it comes to feeding our feathered friends, ducks, certain types of corn can be more harmful than helpful. From personal experience in raising ducks, I’ve learned that canned corn, often loaded with chemicals and additives for human consumption, should be avoided. 

These extras, especially extra salt, can make ducks sick. Similarly, popcorn, despite its popularity as a human food, offers little nutritional value to ducks. It’s mostly carbs and acts as a filler rather than a substantial part of their diet.

Moreover, the physical form of the corn matters greatly. While cracked corn is generally safe, frozen or hard kernels can be difficult for ducks to swallow. In my experience, ducks often find Indian corn, which is tougher than regular corn, harder to grind down properly. It’s not just about what they eat, but also how they digest it.

Feeding ducks corn chips or any corn product made for human snacking is unwise. These are often unsafe for animal consumption due to their processed nature and potential choking hazards. Remember, what seems like a harmless treat to us might not align with the dietary needs of our duck companions.

Is Cracked Corn Good for Ducks?

Is Cracked Corn Good for Ducks?

Cracked corn can be a beneficial dietary supplement for ducks when included as part of a balanced meal. Its convenient size makes it easily consumable by ducks, and it holds various nutritional values. 

Rich in fiber, particularly insoluble fiber, it aids in breaking down food in the digestive tract, promoting healthy bowel movements, and supporting a healthy digestive system. However, one must be cautious as overconsumption may increase the risk of hemorrhoids in ducks.

Cracked corn also contains essential nutrients like potassium and vitamin B, which are vital for muscle movement and maintaining blood pressure levels. These contribute to healthy heart functions. 

Moreover, it has a higher amount of vitamin A compared to other grains, which is crucial for cognitive functionalities and boosting the immune system. 

But, be wary of the adverse health effects that can arise from fungus infection in corn, leading to mycotoxins, which can be fatal, causing death. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that the dry kernels are free from contamination before grinding and to store them in a clean, dry place, away from moisture.

When feeding cracked corn to ducks, it’s important to do so frequently but in moderation. Cracked corn contains phytic acid, which can interfere with the absorption of minerals like zinc and iron, essential for their health. 

An imbalance in these nutrients can lead to fatigue and weight loss in ducks. Furthermore, for those concerned about gluten intolerance, cracked corn is a safe option as it doesn’t trigger an autoimmune response like other grains might. This makes cracked corn a viable, though careful, choice for supplementing a duck’s diet.

Dietary Needs of Ducks:

When it comes to commercial pelleted feed, which is a staple for many poultry species, it’s essential to check the protein percentage and the calcium: phosphorus ratio. This is particularly crucial for domestic ducks in different stages of life, be it growing ducklings or adults in maintenance. For instance, layer hens might need a different nutrient composition compared to ducks. 

Also, adding a bit of variety, like oats or cat kibble, can be beneficial. These additions can complement their grit intake, which helps them digest their food effectively, as their gizzard, a muscular organ in their throat, uses gravel or stones to chew food.

Ducks, much like other pets, need a diet that supports their overall health and egg production. Cracked corn can be a treat, but overfeeding it can lead to weight issues. Ducks should have access to a range of nutritious foods, including grains and green vegetables like lettuce, along with vegetable trimmings and peels to ensure a well-rounded diet.

Can Baby Ducks Eat Cracked Corn?

For baby ducks, introducing cracked corn into their diet should be approached with caution. It’s advisable to wait until they are at least three weeks old before incorporating it as a treat rather than a main meal. Cracked corn, while a good source of carbs, vitamin B, and vitamin A, lacks the necessary protein levels for growing ducklings. 

It’s beneficial in small amounts, especially in the winter months, as it offers heat when digested. However, feeding it more than twice or thrice a month is a bad idea. The best practice is to mix it in their regular feed or sprinkle it on the ground as a part of their staple food

Domesticated birds, especially ducklings, find broken kernels easier to maneuver with their beaks and swallow. Plus, its affordability makes it a popular choice among people who rear ducks.

Corn or Cracked Corn For Ducks and Ducklings

At Zero to Three Weeks: Duckling Dietary Needs:

In the initial stages of life, from newborn to three weeks of age, ducklings have specific dietary needs that differ significantly from those of adult or grown ducks.

At this tender age, cracked corn is not suitable for these young birds. Instead, their diet should primarily consist of chick starters in the form of crumbles or mash, which is specifically designed to support their rapid development.

It’s essential to choose a non-medicated variety, as medicated feeds are intended for domesticated chickens and might not be appropriate for baby ducks. 

This starter feed is rich in protein, usually about 18 to 20 percent, providing the essential nutrients sufficiently supplied for their growth, be it for egg or meat production.

As a duck caretaker, ensuring that these rapidly growing ducklings receive the correct nutrition in their earliest weeks is crucial for their healthy development.

Other Food Ducks Can Eat:

Other Food Ducks Can Eat:

Can Ducks Eat Bird Seed?
Can Ducks Eat Shrimp?
Can Ducks Eat Cashews?
Can Ducks Eat Parsley?
Can Ducks Eat Chocolate
Can Ducks Eat Ham
Ducks Eat Pickles

What Are The Health Benefits Of Serving Cracked Corn To Ducklings?

Some of the other benefits for ducks and ducklings are as follows:


Corn is always a good source of carbs for ducks and ducklings. It helps them to digest food easily. It is also helpful in bowel movements by reducing the chance of hemorrhoids in the digestive system. In fact, corn gives required Carbohydrates to meet their daily requirements.

Vitamin A:

Cracked Corn has more value in vitamin A than other foods or grains. It boosts their immune system by enhancing their cognitive function. 

Potassium and vitamin B:

Corn have rich source of vitamins and energy. It helps maintain heart functions, muscle movement, and blood pressure levels by boosting vitamin B and potassium. 


Corn gives heat and required energy to ducks in winter. This is the only reason you avoid it in summer for ducks. It contain low levels of protein it is essential to give them but not regularly.

Eye Health:

Corn gives an extra boost to ducks and other bird’s eyes because it contains extra level of nutrients. It contains magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, and manganese which keep ducks eyes healthy.


With the many benefits, it has some disadvantages for ducks and baby ducks as well.


A side high in nutrients corn is also anti-nutrients which stop them from taking necessary nutrients like zinc and iron. That leads to vitamin and mineral deficiencies.


Dump and humid areas are a high source of Mycotoxins that cause illness and cancers in ducks. Unfortunately, it will be used highly in chemical and food processing.

Corn Intolerance

Ducks were not able to eat full corn due to gluten intolerance. It was difficult to spot a spot in ducks, But the most common symptoms are bloating lethargy, and weight loss.

How To Feed Cracked Corn To Ducklings?

Some useful methods for corn to give Ducks are as follows for well beneficial.

Sprinkle on the Ground:

When feeding cracked corn to ducklings, it’s important to consider the method as well as the food itself. Being a suitable feed for many ground-feeding bird species, including ducks, cracked corn can be easily incorporated into their diet. 

The best way to offer it is to sprinkle the corn on the ground in an open area. This can be over dirt, sand, gravel, or even short grass.

If you’re feeding them in a more controlled environment, like a deck or patio, that’s good enough as well. This approach mimics natural foraging behavior, allowing the birds to choose and pick at the grains at their own pace.

However, ensure that the area is clean and safe for the ducklings to peck at the cracked corn, providing a full yet balanced diet along with their regular feed.

Mix Corn With Birdseed:

When adding cracked corn to ducklings’ diets, it should be a minimal proportion of their feed. Mix cracked or whole kernels minimally into birdseed mixes. This ensures a balanced diet, providing variety without overwhelming their nutritional intake. Focus on a diverse diet for healthy development.

Grind Whole Corn Kernels:

Feeding cracked corn to ducks, especially ducklings, requires understanding their ability to chew and consume food. Unlike adult ducks, ducklings and grown yet smaller ducks may struggle with entire corn kernels.

It’s essential to offer corn that a bird can comfortably accommodate in its mouth. The corn should be grind into bite-sized pieces to prevent choking or struggling while eating.

This approach ensures that all ducks, regardless of their size, can safely and effectively consume their feed.

Don’t Overfeed:

Experts suggest avoiding overfeeding ducks with corn, as too much can be unhealthy and pollute their environment.

Instead, incorporate corn in moderation within a well-rounded diet to prevent nutritional deficiencies. Overfeeding can lead to excess waste, so focus on a balanced diet with mash, feeds, and crumbles.

FAQs Can baby Duck eat Cracked Corn:

Can Ducks Eat Whole Corn?

Ducks can indeed eat whole corn, both dried and fresh, as part of their diet. However, it’s important to note that this does not apply to ducklings due to the size and hardness of the kernels. For adult ducks, whole corn kernels, even with husks, can be a nutritious addition, provided they are fed in moderation and as part of a balanced diet.

Can Ducks Eat Canned Corn?

Yes, Duck can eat it but before giving it make sure to read the salt and sugar value print on the can. Give it to the duck according to the recommended value of it

Can Ducks Eat Dried Corn?

Yes, ducks easily eat dried food. This is the best and most recommended way to feed your duck. But, it required little effort to prepare and maintain nutritious value for ducks and baby ducks.

Can Ducks Eat Sweet Corn?

Yes, Sweet corn is the feed that a duck likes the most. Before giving it to the ducks make sure the sugar value of the ducks. Before and after giving sweet corn measure and monitor the behavior of the ducks.

Will Duck Need Grit Food?

Yes, hard food takes a longer time to digest for ducks. It makes ducks feel uncomfortable.

Can Wild Ducks Eat Cracked Corn?

Yes, wild ducks can eat cracked corn. It serves as a good source of energy, especially in colder months. However, it should be fed in moderation as part of a varied diet that includes natural foraging to ensure they receive a balanced mix of nutrients.

Can Muscovy Ducks Eat Cracked Corn?

Muscovy ducks can eat cracked corn, but it should be offered as a part of a diverse diet. Cracked corn provides carbohydrates but lacks in essential proteins and vitamins, so it’s important to supplement it with other nutrient-rich foods like greens and insects.

Can Young Ducks Eat Cracked Corn?

Young ducks can eat cracked corn after they are a few weeks old. Early in their life, they require a protein-rich diet for proper growth, so cracked corn should be introduced gradually and combined with high-protein feed like starter crumbles.

Can Peking Ducks Eat Cracked Corn?

Peking ducks can eat cracked corn as a part of their diet. It’s a good source of carbohydrates, but it should be balanced with other foods rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals to meet their dietary needs, especially considering Peking ducks’ robust growth rate.

Can Ducks Eat Corn on the Cob?

Yes, ducks can safely eat corn on the cob. It’s a healthy part of their diet and fun for snack time. They use their beaks to pull off kernels. Serve it boiled or roasted, but leave canned corn out. This way of serving saves time and energy and is easier to feed.


 while ducks can safely consume cracked corn and corn on the cob, it’s important to integrate these foods thoughtfully into their diet.

For ducklings, cracked corn should be offered minimally and in appropriate sizes to prevent nutritional deficiencies. Adult ducks enjoy whole corn and corn on the cob, which can be a healthy and entertaining part of their diet.

However, moderation and variety remain key to ensuring the overall well-being and nutritional balance of these delightful birds.

Nouman Ali

Nouman Ali

I'm delighted to introduce myself as the voice behind the diverse array of insights and information you'll find here. With a passion for animals that spans over eight years, I've immersed myself in the fascinating world of pets, exploring their lifestyles, behaviors, and unique needs. Growing up surrounded by various animals, I developed an innate curiosity and deep connection with our furry, feathered, and scaly friends. This early fascination ignited a lifelong journey of learning and understanding the intricacies of pet care. Over the years, I've had the privilege of sharing my knowledge and experiences with fellow pet enthusiasts through various platforms. Whether it's offering tips on nutrition, behavior training, or health management, my goal has always been to empower pet owners to provide the best possible care for their beloved companions.

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