Ducks are omnivorous aquatic birds whose diet includes a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and small fishes. For ducks, they must have highly nutritious food that is rich in proteins and calories. This is why you can see most domestic ducks happily feeding on kitchen waste, fruits, and vegetables. But can ducks eat fruits such as strawberries? Is it safe for them to eat strawberries?
So, can ducks eat strawberries? Yes, ducks can eat strawberries, and it is safe for them too. Strawberries are rich in calories, carbs proteins, Vitamin-C, and manganese that are vital for ducks. In fact, in general, ducks are found to be fond of fruits such as berries, melon, peaches, plums, and pit fruits for their nutritional value.
That being said, it is important to note that you shouldn’t feed them strawberries or other fruits as a staple diet. Ducks need to have a balanced diet to stay healthy.
Apart from this, the nutritional requirement of ducks varies with their age. For instance, ducklings need a high protein diet, whereas an egg-laying adult would need a high calcium diet. As a responsible pet owner, you should first know their exact nutrient requirement before feeding them.
In this article, we will look at the benefits of strawberries for ducks, the best ways to feed strawberries to ducks, and some other interesting facts about them.
Let us first begin with understanding the diet of a duck.
Diet of a duck
Ducks are aquatic birds that need a highly nutritious diet, and their nutrition requirement varies with their age. For instance, a duckling might have an entirely different nutrient requirement than adults.
Ducks are omnivorous and feed on a wide variety of food ranging from small fishes, worms, slugs, aquatic plants, algae, seeds, grains to fresh fruits and vegetables.
It is also interesting to note that ducks are commonly found to eat sand, shell, and gravel. This is done to ensure that the food that they eat properly breaks down inside their stomach. Apart from helping in better digestion, they are also found to be an additional supplement for critical minerals, such as calcium.
As said earlier, the nutrient requirement of ducks changes with their age, and so does their dietary pattern. For instance, ducklings tend to be attracted to foods rich in proteins because proteins are crucial for growth. At the same time, egg-laying ducks tend to focus more on foods that are rich in calcium.
In the case of ducks living in their natural habitat, their dietary pattern also varies with species, season, and the habitat in which they live.
Is it safe to feed strawberries to ducks?
Yes, it is perfectly safe to feed strawberries to ducks as long as it is given as an occasional treat. As said earlier, ducks are birds; they need a highly nutritious diet for survival.
Strawberries are rich in Manganese, Potassium, fiber, and other antioxidants that are vital for ducks. But as always, you shouldn’t feed them strawberries as a staple diet. For a duck to remain healthy, they must have a balanced diet. Even the slightest imbalance can have a serious impact on their health.
The best way to feed a domesticated duck is to replicate its diet in the wild. In their natural habitat, fruits and fresh vegetables such as strawberries are not easily available. Even if they were, it is a luxury that entirely depends on the luck of the duck.
So you must limit the number of strawberries that you feed them. You shouldn’t feed them strawberries often, and you should also limit the quantity you feed them. Ideally, strawberries and other treats should only make 10 to 20% of their diet.
Is it safe to feed strawberries to ducks as a staple diet?
No, you shouldn’t feed strawberries as a staple diet to ducks. As said in the previous section, strawberries should only make 10 to 20% of the duck diet.
Anything more than that can lead to an imbalance in their diet apart from the risk of digestive disorders.
Apart from these, a major threat associated with feeding strawberries in excess is the high concentration of sugar.
Excessive sugar can cause obesity and malnutrition in ducks, which can seriously impact the health of ducks.
This isn’t the case with just strawberries any fruits in excess can be fatal to the ducks.
Can I give strawberries to baby ducks?
Unlike mammals, ducklings are precocial birds, and they do not need to be weaned. Their digestive system is fully capable of digesting fresh fruits and vegetables.
Similar to adults, most ducklings love fresh fruits. When you feed them the yummy strawberries, be ready to hear the happy quacks.
While feeding strawberries to ducklings, make sure that you clean it thoroughly. You don’t want the duckling to risk ingesting the pesticides that may be present on strawberries. Apart from this, you also need to chop the strawberries before feeding to the ducklings to avoid chances of chocking.
Most baby ducks love strawberries that they would happily eat them irrespective of how much you give. But you need to keep in mind that strawberries in excess can cause malnutrition and bloat in ducklings.
You can give them strawberries once or twice a week as a treat and not as a staple diet.
What are the other fruits that I can feed my ducks?
Ducks irrespective of their age and species are always ready for a treat. They would greet you with their happy quacks the moment you step in with the yummy treats. But are all fruits safe to be fed to ducks or not?
Here goes the list of fruits that you can feed your ducks.
These fruits are yummy and, at the same time, nutritious, which makes them a perfect treat for your ducks.
Fruits and vegetables to avoid feeding to ducks?
Though fruits are an essential nutrient supplement to ducks, not all fruits are safe for them. There are certain fruits such as avocados, which you should avoid completely while there are some which you can feed them once in a while.
For instance, avocado is poisonous to ducks, and it should be completely avoided for the diet of a duck.
Next comes the citrus fruits such as lemons. Though they are not poisonous like the avocados, you should limit the quantity that you feed your ducks. Citrus fruits are acidic in nature and can cause severe acidity in ducks and other birds. Acidity triggers bloating, which can be painful for them.
Apart from causing acidity, citrus fruits can hinder the calcium absorption by ducks, and it can also have fatal effects on the egg-laying ducks. A drop in calcium levels would be reflected in the thickness of the eggshells.
It is not just the citrus fruits; there are certain fresh leaves and vegetables which you need to avoid feeding your ducks.
For instance, spinach leaves. You should also be cautious while you feed you ducks spinach leaves. Spinach in excess can also hinder calcium absorption.
Similarly, you should also be careful if you were to feed beans to ducks. You should never feed them raw beans as they are toxic to ducks. Only feed them beans that are fresh or sprouted.