Perhaps my favorite creatures on my property are my ducks. Ducks are not just tougher than chickens, but they are also a lot of fun to watch. I enjoy throwing food for the ducks and watching them devour them.
The easiest method to make sure your flock of ducks has all the nutrition it needs is to provide them a diversified diet of goodies along with their layer feed. However, you may offer ducks limitless amounts of greens like weeds, grass, lettuce, and kale, but you should keep treats to no more than 10% of their daily diet.
Like people, ducks require a balanced, regular diet; treats should remain just that: treats. The majority of your duck’s diet should consist of high-quality feed.
When you do offer your ducks food, be sure to choose one of them.
Ducks scavenge for everything that will fit in their mouths since they are omnivores. You will note that ducks are gregarious animals who adore attention and rewards if you keep one as a pet. I’m here to help since there is a lot of confusing information out there on what foods to use as rewards.
To manufacture the protein needed for their muscles and feathers, ducks need amino acids. They just need the amino acids they contain, much like other birds, and not a lot of real protein. The disease known as “angel wings,” in which the bones expand more quickly than they should, is brought on by eating too much protein.
Bread and other carbs are bad for ducks because they induce malnutrition and weight gain. Generally speaking, they shouldn’t consume too many snacks. The percentage of snacks in their diet should not exceed 10%.
In my experience, ducks will eat anything that is either new or something they don’t often get as a treat. The good news is that most people are aware of when they are full, which prevents overeating. Our ducks adore the healthy treats we choose instead of the greasy ones. In fact, you may give your feathery companions anything on this list.
17 treats For Ducks
A few snacks keep your chickens content and healthy while also entertaining them. Here are several that are effective for chickens, ducks, and geese.
Many farmers look for strategies to keep their birds cool and content during these terrible months when the summer heat sets in. Though they’ll nibble at just about everything, waterfowl are frequently pickier than chickens and don’t always eat their fill. Particularly geese will vehemently refuse one item while chowing down on another.
The majority of poultry treats may be distributed among a mixed flock, however some foods are preferred by one species over another. Here are a few of the summertime favorites of our barnyard.
Mealworms are a good protein source and a favorite treat for both ducks and chickens.
The majority of feed retailers sell enormous sacks of mealworms, but they are pricey. Mealworms are too expensive to serve as a frequent reward for ducks, so I wouldn’t. Mealworms may, however, be raised at home.
Both ducks and hens enjoy grubs, which are available in huge quantities but are also expensive!
Algae is a relatively simple item to eat and is regarded as a superfood. It is really one of the superfoods with the highest nutritional density on the globe. Algae is a delightful and nutritious treat since it is packed with vitamins, proteins, minerals, and amino acids.
Algae has a reputation for boosting energy and the immune system among those who incorporate it into their diet. Additionally, they assert that it enhances eye, brain, and cardiovascular health. These assertions are supported by a National Institutes of Health article on the advantages of blue-green algae for health.
I use a colander to collect the algae from my pond and then offer it to my ducks in a dish of water. They are really enthralled by it! Although you may give them pills, they rather prefer fresh algae.
One of the finest summertime delights for fowl is watermelon. Everyone likes chomping on a few slices of watermelon on a hot summer day since they are so full of water and help avoid dehydration.
Watermelon is a favorite food of geese, and they like chewing it all the way down to the fruit’s leather skin. A goose will love everything that has to do with water, and watermelons are no exception.
Herbs, Green & Weeds
Leafy greens are my ducks’ absolute favorite food; everything green is their pal. That may be fresh peas thrown their way or some weeds I took out of the garden that day.
You can treat yourself to leafy greens every day, but you shouldn’t do the same with other vegetables. Once you are certain that your hens have consumed a sufficient amount of their normal food, you may feed them those as a treat.
Your flock can receive a variety of greens, including lettuce, kale, Swiss chard, and cabbage. Giving them uncooked, sliced, or whole is safe. You don’t have to bother about cutting up the stems of many vegetables, like broccoli and Brussels sprouts, because ducks consume them.
Your ducks will have lots of delights to eat if you put your trimmed weeds and grass into a container. All types of weeds are tasty snacks for ducks.
Ducks adore strawberries. They may be freeze-dried and fed by putting them in a water dish. Even better, simply give it to them raw. The antioxidants, minerals, and vitamin C in strawberries are in high concentrations.
Watching ducks plunge into a melon is the only thing better than seeing them eat strawberries, but that is a story for another day.
Any leafy green, like watermelon, has some moisture that aids in preventing dehydration. In contrast to chickens housed in a run, free-ranging birds might not be as enthusiastic about a greens meal.
You may either scatter greens from your garden about for the birds to eat, or you can hang a complete head of lettuce in the run and watch the birds pick at it all day.
Broccoli leaves, peas, and beet greens are all appropriate. But stay away from nightshade plant greens: Tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplant should not be offered. Additionally, stay away from spinach as it contains oxalic acid, which lowers calcium levels in bird bones.
Fruits are delicious to ducks! We feed our ducks a variety of delectable fruit delights, particularly the leftover pieces that my kids decide they don’t want to eat for some reason.
Citrus fruits including oranges, grapefruit, limes, and lemons should be avoided since it’s thought that citrus interferes with calcium absorption and causes fruits to have thin shells. Your ducks have acid reflux and gastrointestinal ache as a result of them.
Ducks shouldn’t normally eat mangoes because they irritate their throats. You could think about giving them to your ducks, but always keep an eye out for responses.
Dandelions & Clovers
Dandelions aid bones in their defense against aging-related harm. They also aid the liver and bladder, improve blood quality, and prevent constipation in addition to offering cancer protection. 1 Who knew this cannabis could carry such a punch?
In general, clover is beneficial to the blood system. They improve the immune system, lower cholesterol, lessen hypertension, and are excellent for the heart. Clovers operate as a blood thinner and can be hazardous if fed in large quantities, so you should only offer them to ducks sparingly. 2
Every year, these two weeds take over my yard, so I’m pleased my ducks like munching on them.
In general, it is advised against giving bread to your poultry. However, I don’t mind sometimes giving my birds a few crusts, and they like the food. There is never a crumb left since it is the ideal consistency for them to mush up in their beaks.
What makes bread bad? It’s comparable to a Big Mac for birds, I suppose. It offers nothing in the form of proteins or vitamins and is quite fattening. However, giving your birds the occasional indulgence of “junk food” won’t hurt them and they’ll appreciate it.
Your ducks may safely eat fresh, frozen, and canned veggies, but never dry beans because to their toxicity. Raw, roasted, or on the cob, corn can be fed.
When giving your ducks snacks, just a few veggies should be avoided. Egg binding and soft-shelled eggs may result from spinach’s interference with calcium absorption. In contrast to romaine lettuce, iceberg lettuce isn’t dangerous but also doesn’t have much nutritious value.
The nightshade family includes foods like tomatoes, eggplants, white potatoes, and rhubarb, all of which you should avoid. Ducks are thought to be poisonous to the entire plant.
The minerals and amino acids that your ducks require are abundant in chicken eggs. In actuality, the body is unable to manufacture nine of the amino acids found in eggs.
A highly absorbable type of iron and the highest-quality protein of any food may both be found in eggs. They also assist in enhancing memory retention, brain health, and vision. My ducks like them better scrambled.
For your ducks, whole grains are always preferable than white grains. You may feed your ducks whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, quinoa, and oats that have been cooked.
When it’s freezing outside in the winter, my flock always enjoys roasted oats. Although they don’t actually need the heat, it helps me feel better, and they seem to enjoy the treat.
It’s okay to sometimes give kids whole-grain cereals without added sugar.
However, you should refrain from feeding your ducks crackers, meals high in salt or sugar. Bread is dangerous because it causes ducks to gain weight and damages crops, which can be lethal when given in big amounts.
If your ducks have access to plenty of fresh water, whole-grain bread is safe.
I enjoy seeing ducks consume bugs. Wait for them to notice the crickets by placing a few in the midst of your flock. It’s amusing to watch them chase the bugs. A full amount of protein, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and other nutrients may all be found in crickets.
Small Bugs and Slugs
Slugs, snails, flies, earwigs, and other tiny insects are also favorites of ducks to consume. They probably will eat it if they discover it.
Ducks are therefore a great natural pest management option in gardens.
Ticks and mosquitoes, two creatures you definitely don’t want about your home, are both good candidates for their consumption.
My children are frequently sent outside to collect bugs in a little bucket. They then have access to our ducks. My ducks get so happy when they see them coming with the buckets because they believe it’s so much fun to collect bugs!
The nutrients in kale include folate, magnesium, iron, vitamin K, A, C, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and sulfur. Actually, kale is referred to be “beef” for vegetarians.
Along with helping with visual and lung issues, it also benefits blood health. Additionally, it strengthens bones and increases cartilage flexibility while enhancing metabolism, hydration, and the immune system.
Due to its nutritional content and health advantages, kale is fast becoming a highly popular meal among humans. Watch your ducks tuck in as you slice some up for them.
Fish have a lot of health and entertainment benefits. I love putting fish in my pond and watching my ducks compete for the fish.
Seeing fish tails sticking out of their mouths is extremely hilarious. One of my ducks was initially afraid of the fish, but once my favorite girl grabbed one out of the water and chowed down on it, they all joined in, and it quickly descended into an uncontrollable feeding frenzy.
Due to the abundance of frogs and newts in the stock pond, we also use them. Did you know that a duck can consume frogs as large as its head? It’s incredible!
It made sense to include them in their diet because they are the most typical items for ducks in the wild. The price of these fish is the sole drawback.
These slimy little suckers are packed with vitamins and minerals, much like grub worms. On my way to feed the ducks in the morning, I come upon them. An full flush of ducks may be attracted by the simple mention of “wormies.”
You will quickly be encircled by little feathered, tail-wagging quackers if you have earthworms in your palm. An paper from the National Institutes of Health outlining the advantages of earthworms for health may be found in the Library of Medicine.
Remember that worms used for fishing are distinct from worms raised in farms and may contain high levels of pesticides and chemicals.
Yogurt and Cottage Cheese
Surprisingly, giving your ducks dairy is a nice reward. Yogurt and cottage cheese are their favorites. Mixing it with oats or other grains is the simplest method to serve this delight.
They enjoy porridge that has been prepared with yogurt and fruit.
Even ducks occasionally appreciate a tiny cup of milk. For ease of consumption, you might serve it in a cup. However, since all birds have some degree of lactose sensitivity, it’s preferable to give them fat-free or low-fat milk. Never provide big doses as this will cause diarrhea and a bloated stomach.
Honestly, I wish my ducks enjoyed these a little bit more. Marigolds have antibacterial properties. They also aid in the treatment of wounds, the slowing of aging, and the prevention of ulcers, cancer, and eye illness.
3 As far as I’m aware, there are no documented negative consequences for either people or animals when preparing marigolds, which are prepared similarly to dandelions.
It’s interesting to note that ducks who eat marigold develop eggs with a more bright yellow yolk. I’m surprised that not many chicken diets, particularly layer pellets, contain marigold.