Do Ducks Need Food and Water at Night For Their Well Growth

Updated: 07 Mar 2024


In my experience with keeping ducks in my backyard, I’ve noticed a few ways to ensure they’re well-cared for, especially regarding their food and water needs during the night.

Unlike chickens, which seem fine locked up in their coop without needing a drink till morning, ducks tend to be a bit messier and have slightly different needs.

Ensuring they have access to water at all times helps prevent the bedding from becoming too messy with poop, as they often spill and play in their water, even at night. This, however, raises the reason to be diligent in caring for their living space, as a wet and messy pen can lead to health problems.

From my personal experience, giving ducks access to food and water throughout the night not only keeps them happy but also healthy. It’s crucial, especially when you’re raising ducks for pets or meat, to monitor their water intake and food availability closely.

Outdoor pens require regular cleaning to manage the mess, but the effort is worth it. The joy and enjoyment of watching your ducks thrive in a clean, safe environment are unparalleled.

Remember, caring for ducks goes beyond just providing food and water; it’s about creating a place they can call home, where they can enjoy their time without facing any problems.

Do Ducks Need Food and Water at Night?

Throughout the summer and on hot days, my approach to supplying water and food to ducks has evolved based on experience. I’ve observed that ducks, unlike chickens which are safely locked up at night without the need for drinking water, have different requirements.

By 7 pm, my ducks typically cut down on drinking, but I still ensure they have access to water and food until they tuck in for the night. This supply not only keeps them happy and healthy but also reduces the mess they can create in their pens.

Food and Water for Ducks in Night

I’ve learned that ducks forage out all day and aren’t likely to suffer from hunger or thirst overnight, yet taking up their food and water too early can lead to problems. Predators, rats, and mice are also less of an issue with this method, as there’s nothing to attract them.

Ducklings, however, need constant access to water and food, especially during their growth phases to avoid suffering.

While ducks are not interested in a midnight swim, they do enjoy the safety and comfort of their pens, and keeping them well-supplied is necessary for their well-being.

My strategy involves balancing access to resources while maintaining cleanliness and safety, thereby getting the best out of my ducks without unnecessary hassle.

Do Ducklings Need Food And Water At Night?

Raising ducklings has been both a fun and easy task, filled with love and joy from seeing them zoom around the brooder, nibbling on feed and waddling over to the waterers.

Providing water and feed at night presents a challenge, yet it’s crucial. Ducklings need both food and water during all times of the day and night, as their growth is fast and fueled by constant intake.

This need must be met to see quickly growing, hardier birds than chicks, capable of surprising results. Eating well and staying hydrated all times helps them grow faster and become more robust.

What Kind of Food Ducks or Ducklings Need at Night?

For ducklings to grow healthy and strong, a steady supply of the right types of feed is essential, especially at night. Mash with a minimum of 21% crude protein should always be clean and readily available.

Seeds, like chia and sunflower seeds, are rich in protein and very suitable for their diet. As for treats, vegetables such as lettuce or cabbage leaves can be left out for ducklings to peck on, while grains, mostly carbohydrates, should be given sparingly.

Insect treats, like mealworms and other insect larvae from feed mills, provide natural nutrition, making ducklings hardy and happy. As they get older, they can also enjoy other treats like fruits and bread.

Other Duck Behavior and Food

Other Duck Behavior and Food

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Do Ducks Poop in the Water?
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How Long Can Ducks Go Without Water or Food?

Many are wondering how long ducks can go without water or food. Surprisingly, ducks can manage for about eight hours without access, allowing them to sleep through the night.

When you wake up in the morning, providing fresh water and feed will be crucial. Owners often implement a system that offers consistent access to clean water to avoid health problems and ensure the ducks can dispense water from a trough or similar use.

Food For Ducks in Night

Ducklings are approached differently than adult ducks, needing constant access until they are six weeks old to not endanger their life.

The reason behind this approach to caring is to avoid any adverse amount of time without food or water, significantly altering the topic of their care.

Other Things Ducks or Ducklings Need at Night other than Food and Water:

A side with water and food ducks also need some other items that are necessary for them to live peacefully at night. Some of them are as follows.

Secure Shelter:

Ensuring ducklings feel safe in their brooder box or sleeping area is essential, especially if it’s out of sight but needs to be protected against predators like raccoons, foxes, and cats.

Utilizing wire mesh is one effective way to protect them from potential threats wind drafts or other factors that could make them uncomfortable at night. Having control over what can enter or leave the box is critical for their safety.

Source of Heat:

During their first week, ducklings require a brooder box temperature of 98° Fahrenheit. As they mature into the next week, it’s advised to reduce the temperature by 5° Fahrenheit each week until reaching room temperature.

If they still need extra heat, using a heat lamp to increase the temperature is necessary, especially when raising them during the winter to keep them warm both during the day and at night.


At their tender age, ducklings need comfortable bedding. Paper towels serve well in the first week, transitioning to wood shavings, straw, or shredded paper in week 2 or 3.

They must recognize that bedding is not food. Changing their bedding two or more times daily, especially at night, ensures they sleep in clean bedding and prevents it from becoming messy.

Other Ducklings:

Raising a lone duck is not advisable as ducklings that grow without seeing other ducks or ducklings can become less active and less hardy.

The presence of other ducklings at night can help make your ducklings feel secure, happy, and calm. If you have only one duckling, ensure it’s not too far from you at night and can feel your presence to feel safe.

Regular Checkups:

In the first week after hatching, paying close attention to your ducklings at night is crucial. Performing regular checkups to inspect the Feed if it’s depleted or messy and ensuring they have clean feed is key.

Similarly, if the Water becomes messy or ducklings are found playing in it, it should be changed. Using a thermometer to check the temperature inside the brooder box ensures it’s right for their age.

Observing the behavior of your ducklings can indicate if they’re comfortable, as they should be mostly calm or sleeping at night. If all seems all right, it signifies your ducklings are safe and comfortable.

How to Giving Your Ducks Access To Water at Night:

Providing water in your duck coop or duck house at night involves more than just leaving a bowl out. A hanging waterer, designed to be placed outside the coop or within as part of an exterior-to-interior waterer setup, is recommended.

This setup, often involving a fountain type or shallow drinking tray, ensures ducks have access to the liquid they need without creating too much dampness on the bedding from splashes.

It’s necessary to hang these waterers from a handle to keep them off the ground and possibly over a tub filled with rounded gravel to absorb any moisture.

A typical poultry waterer might encourage ducks to climb or fly onto it, getting their beaks and feet in the drinking tray area, which can turn nasty without proper care, like using work gloves to clean.

For ducklings, smaller waterers are better suited to their size, reducing the risk of accidents and ensuring they stay hydrated.

What About Nighttime Food Access?

Ensuring your ducks have access to food at night is crucial, especially if you’re raising them for meat purposes.

While ducks will do fine without constant access to food and water, providing non-stop access can lead to happier and more productive birds. It does require extra work to inspect and clean the coop more often, but this effort can really pay off.

Keeping in mind that food should always be paired with water access to prevent any issues, the commitment to maintaining a clean and accessible environment for your ducks at all times is essential for their well-being and growth.


Providing ducks and ducklings with access to food and water during the night is crucial for their health and well-being.

Implementing a hanging waterer inside the duck coop or house ensures they have continuous access to clean water, mitigating dampness and mess while accommodating their natural behaviors.

For food access, offering a non-stop supply, especially for those raised for meat, significantly impacts their growth and happiness, resulting in happier, more productive 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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