Treating your ducks is not only fun for them but for you too!
If you’ve never watched your feathered friends gobble up berries or plants in a frenzy, add it to your bucket list.
But you always need to double-check whether a food is safe for your duck first, like strawberries.
Strawberries are a perfect treat for ducks. They are high in Vitamin C and other nutrients, which help build your ducks’ immune systems. They are also low in calories compared to some other fruits and veggies. Ducks can partake in fresh strawberries!
Before you start treating your birds, there’s a lot you need to know about balancing their diet.
Keep reading to discover the best ways to treat your birds and keep them healthy simultaneously.
Are Strawberries Good for Ducks?
We know strawberries are an excellent treat for your ducks.
The fiber and Vitamin C content in strawberries help your birds’ digestive health and immune systems.
Moderation is essential, though. While giving strawberries to ducks is perfectly safe and even beneficial, in moderation, it isn’t so healthy if you do it too often.
Another thing to consider is how you prepare the fruit you feed your animals.
We have different recommendations for adult ducks and ducklings.
With mature ducks, pick a couple of strawberries, rinse them off, and cut them into a few pieces.
This makes them easier for your ducks to eat and digest.
Treating ducklings with strawberries is a bit trickier.
For one thing, it’s sometimes difficult to know just how much to give your baby ducks.
We recommend you keep treats to a minimum until they get bigger.
However, mashed strawberries do make an excellent first treat for your babies.
Watch them with it, and don’t feed too much at once.
If you see any negative reaction, contact your veterinarian.
You aren’t likely to have any problems, though, because, again, fresh strawberries are very good for the health of ducks.
Other Treats for Your Ducks
Many longtime owners of backyard ducks will tell you they eat a huge variety of foods outside commercial duck food.
While their daily diet does need to include some form of commercial duck food, many nutrients for ducks can come from other sources.
For mature ducks, a healthy diet will include some fruits and vegetables, duck feed pellets, or another form of adult duck feed.
Ducks love fruits and veggies. But there are some to stay away from.
Take a look at the table below to see some typical treats for animals and the effect they are known to have on adult ducks.
It’s crucial to prepare a range of fruits and vegetables in specific ways before you feed them.
Pit fruits, remove the seeds in fruits and vegetables as needed, and mash or cut fresh fruit or vegetables to a size your ducks will be able to consume easily.
For example, apple seeds are toxic to ducks and must be removed, and we recommend you cook peas to soften them before giving them to your birds.
There are, of course, many other fruits and vegetables not included in our list of treats, some of which are good for ducks and some of which are not.
Related Reading: Can Ducks Eat Watermelon?
A Balanced Diet for Ducks
As mentioned earlier, limited amounts of a variety of fruits and vegetables are quite good for your ducks’ diet.
Getting natural sugars, vitamins, minerals, and extra fiber into your ducks is a win in my book!
However, there is more your ducks need from you besides the occasional treat.
Giving strawberries to ducks is a great start, but a healthy, varied diet includes much more.
Good Duck Feed
Like baby broilers and other chicks, ducklings often enjoy a high-protein diet.
This helps them grow more quickly.
As they mature, your ducks will need more than a diet of starter feeds, which are protein-packed.
If you are raising egg-laying ducks, providing them with plenty of calcium is crucial to egg production.
Some farmers feed their ducks chicken feed, providing them with calcium and protein just as their feed pellets do.
A high calcium diet is also crucial to egg-laying chickens, and a deficiency of calcium can cause similar problems in both birds.
A nutritious diet is based on good duck feed pellets and only occasionally supplemented with fresh fruit and vegetables.
Things like Vitamin C and fiber certainly benefit your ducks’ health, and variation from their staple diet tends to make them happy.
Just don’t get too carried away.
The basics are essential.
Give them access to fresh water for drinking and maybe even a water bowl to swim in during the summer months.
When I was young, my mother’s ducks swam in one of our old kiddie pools.
It was hard work keeping the pool filled with clean water, but worth it to see the ducks having so much fun.
Regardless, access to water for drinking is most important.
Having feed available is a good idea, too, though some duck keepers prefer to feed at specific times.
How Many Treats Are Okay?
Daily treats aren’t necessary and sometimes aren’t healthy.
Getting additional nutrients into your baby ducklings, in particular, has to be done carefully.
A couple of times a week is okay.
With adult ducks, you might even treat them a little more often.
With baby ducklings, removing seeds, mashing fruits and vegetables, and feeding tiny portions are especially important.
Giving baby ducks spinach leaves and blueberries gives them a rich source of extra nutrients.
Avoid grapes at this age, though.
Further Reading: Are grapes OK for ducks?
But their starter feed is their primary source of protein.
At this age, protein is also the most critical aspect of their diet.
So, don’t get too caught up feeding them raw vegetables and other healthy treats.
These types of food are better for grown ducks than for babies, anyhow.
It’s also important to consider the health issues certain treats cause, especially when given in large amounts.
Enjoy the happy quacks at treat time, but don’t get carried away!
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