Newly hatched ducklings do not require food for the first 72 hours, as they absorb nutrition from the yolk sac of the newly hatched egg. After the 72-hour period, they should be fed starter crumbs specifically designed for ducks and sold at most feed supply stores.
It is vitally important that the feed is nonmedicated, as other types can be harmful to baby ducks.
Ducklings should be fed a starter diet that consists of 18 to 20 percent protein for the first two weeks of life.
When they are around 10 to 14 days old, they can begin eating grower pellets, which are slightly bigger than starter crumbs, with slightly less protein. Ducklings benefit from the addition of chopped greens along with the grower pellets. Provide fresh water, as it helps ducklings to wash food down and aids their ability to swallow.
When they are 16 weeks, feed adult food designed for ducks. Use duck food as the main staple, to which thinly sliced vegetables and fruit may be added. In the wild, ducks eat cracked corn, oats, rice, earthworms and bird seed.