Duck feed will always be a hot topic amongst duck owners, and one of the first questions you will have to ask yourself is, can ducks eat oats? Let’s clear this up.
Are you concerned about your diet and want to eat healthily? Or are you suffering from high blood pressure or have a problem with your cholesterol? Well, adding oats to your daily diet would be a great step towards a healthier lifestyle for you. Not only are oats nutritious but also low in fat, which makes them an ideal meal for you. Another perk of oats is that you can feed them to your pets as well. But what about ducks?
Can ducks eat oats? Oats are healthy and nutritious for your ducks, so you should feed them dry oats as well as cooked oats. Oats contain a large proportion of carbohydrates and have high levels of dietary fiber. Because of the complex sugar matrix they contain, ducks love oats. Furthermore, they can be fed to your ducks either from their daily feed or the treat jar.
Although oats are technically processed foods manufactured for human consumption, they are just as safe and nutritious for your ducks as well. Ducks can eat both dry and cooked oats, although we would suggest you feed them cooked oatmeal if you have the time. Oats contain a great deal of calcium, which is a good thing if you have drakes or hens that are laying eggs regularly. It will also give your ducks more energy and keep their feathers in tip-top shape.
In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about feeding oats to your ducks.
Can oats be healthy for ducks?
Although oats’ health benefits are no secret to us, it is natural to be nervous about tthese foods’ impacton your feathered pets. They are, after all, processed foods (and not a part of their natural diet in the wild).
To put all your fears to rest, we are here you tell you exactly how oats can benefit your ducks. But before we get to it, we have curated a table displaying the nutritional breakdown of oats. Check it out:
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)||0.763 mg|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||0.139 mg|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||0.961 mg|
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)||1.349 mg|
|Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)||0.12 mcg|
|Vitamin B9 (Folate)||56 mcg|
|Calcium, Ca||54 mg|
|Iron, Fe||5 mg|
|Magnesium, Mg||177 mg|
|Manganese, Mn||4.9 mg|
|Phosphorous, P||523 mg|
|Potassium, K||429 mg|
|Sodium, Na||2 mg|
|Zinc, Zn||4 mg|
|Dietary Fibre||10.6 g|
Serving size: 100 grams
As you can clearly see in the table, there are far too many nutrients in oats for them to be bad for your pets. And if you want to learn more about how your ducks can benefit from these nutrients, keep reading:
- Oats are known for their high fiber content. Your feathered pets can also benefit from fibers, as these nutrients play a key role in the smooth functioning of their digestive system.
- Oats have low-fat content, which is just perfect if you don’t want your ducks to become overweight.
- The high calorific count of oats can provide enough energy to your pets to sustain them throughout the day.
- JLikethe other poultry birds, ducks, need a substantial amount of protein in their diet. Protein not only strengthens their muscles but is also vital for their healthy feathers. Thankfully, oats have protein in abundance.
Dry or cooked oats: which one is better for ducks?
When it comes to feeding oats to ducks, many duck-owners are confused between dry and cooked oats; they have no idea which one should be better for their feathered pets. Today, we are going to help you overcome this dilemma.
Several studies have been conducted to determine the difference in the nutritional value of dry oats and cooked oatmeal. All of them have come to the same conclusion: there is no significant change in the nutritional value of oats after cooking them. Thus, cooked oatmeal is as healthy for you as dry oats. In fact, cooking oats release some nutrients for us that we can’t absorb from dry oats.
The same rule applies to your ducks as well. They can eat both dry and cooked oats safely, although the latter will benefit them. However, when you cook oats for your ducks, you must let them cool down properly before serving these to them. Otherwise, your feathered pets might end up burning the insides of their mouth in the process of eating it.
Can ducks eat steel-cut oats?
Also referred to as the “Irish Oatmeal”, the steel-cut oats are the most unprocessed oats that you can find.
The unhulled oat grains are chopped with large steel blades to give them a coarse texture and a somewhat nutty flavor to produce them. Most people soak these oats overnight before cooking them.
If you eat steel-cut oats and wish to share them with your feathered pets, you can do so by all means.
What about rolled oats? Can ducks eat them?
Most people call the rolled oats “old-fashioned oats” because people most widely consume them. These oats are simply a more processed version of the steel-cut oats.
In fact, the steel-cut oats are steamed, flattened, rolled thin, and left to dry to obtain rolled oats. As a result, they take lesser time to be cooked than steel-cut oats.
While your ducks can eat rolled oats just as safely as the steel-cut oats if they’ve tasted the latter first, they might like them better and refuse to eat rolled oats.
Can you feed quick oats to ducks?
As the name itself suggests, quick oats are processed so that you can cook them in almost no time. To produce quick oats, the rolled oats are processed even further (steamed and flattened for a much longer time) to give them a soft, almost mushy, texture.
If you want to feed quick oats to your ducks, you can do so safely, although we would recommend you to feed them a rawer form of oats.
Duck species and oats
Although most duck species (particularly the ones that are commonly kept as pets) have more or less similar dietary needs, there ought to be some differences. Therefore, we will talk about some of the popular duck species as pets and see if they can eat oats.
Can Muscovy Ducks eat oats? Muscovy ducks are a large tropical duck species that are endemic to Central and South America. Though omnivores, these ducks prefer eating fish, reptiles, insects (and their larvae and pupae), and worms to leaves, weeds, or grains. Therefore, while you can feed them oats safely, they will only eat them occasionally. If you start feeding oats to them regularly, they might begin to ignore them altogether.
Can Magpie eat oats? Magpie ducks are a British species of domestic ducks that are popular for their unique black and white plumage. These ducks are primarily foragers and like to eat grass, seeds, insects, and other smaller aquatic creatures. Although oats cannot be a part of their daily diet, you can safely feed them to them occasionally.
Can Cayuga Ducks eat oats? The Cayuga ducks are an American domestic duck species that were popularly reared for their meat but are now mainly kept for ornament. Just like the Magpies, these ducks are quite fond of foraging as well. They enjoy feeding on slugs, snails, and a variety of other insects. While they’re not very fond of plant material, they can safely eat oats without an issue.
Can Mallards eat oats? Mallards are often seen enjoying oats, so you can definitely feed these to them. However, it would help if you kept switching their diet on a regular basis, for they get bored of eating the same food pretty soon.
Mallards are a species of dabbling ducks that are endemic to the subtropical and temperate regions of the Americas, Eurasia, and North Africa. These ducks are omnivores, with a varied diet consisting of snails, mollusks, small fish, crustaceans, flies, bugs, grass, weeds, seeds, grains, and fruits.
Conclusion: Can ducks eat oats?
So, what have we learned so far? Oats are not only completely safe for our ducks, but are also quite nutritious for them. Both dry oats and cooked oatmeal are great alternatives for your pets, so you can feed them the one they seem to like more.