Ducks will forage and eat almost anything that they find.
And if you keep ducks as pets or for eggs in their backyard farms, then you must be wondering what they can eat.
Are there specific foods and vegetables that they can eat without any issues?
Can ducks eat asparagus? Ducks can eat asparagus as either part of their main food or as part of their treats. Asparagus is a powerhouse of vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. Ducks generally will not eat it, but if they do, make sure they don’t eat too much as it can taint the taste of the eggs.
What are the health benefits of asparagus?
Now we know that asparagus is very good for ducks, here are some of the health benefits of asparagus.
1. Asparagus contains many nutrients but very few calories
Asparagus is one food that has a low amount of calories but also contains a high amount of vitamins and nutrients.
One cup of cooked asparagus contains the following
- Calories: 20
- Protein: 2.2 grams
- Fat: 0.2 grams
- Fiber: 1.8 grams
- Vitamin C: 12% of the RDI
- Vitamin A: 18% of the RDI
- Vitamin K: 57% of the RDI
- Folate: 34% of the RDI
- Potassium: 6% of the RDI
- Phosphorous: 5% of the RDI
- Vitamin E: 7% of the RDI
It also contains small amounts of micro nutrients and minerals like iron, zinc and riboflavin.
It is also a rich source of vitamin K which is important in blood clotting and bone health.
In addition, asparagus is high in folate which is important for essential processes in the body such cell growth and DNA formation.
2. Asparagus is a good source of antioxidants
One thing you need to know is that whatever you feed your ducks, you need to ensure that it contains antioxidants.
Antioxidants are compounds that protect the cells from the harmful effects of free radicals and oxidative stress.
Asparagus and other green vegetables contain a high amount of antioxidants such as vitamin E, C and glutathione.
These substances help boost the immunity of the bird, helps reduce high blood pressure and also reduces inflammation.
3. It helps improve digestive health
Asparagus contains digestive fiber which is essential for good digestive health.
It contains insoluble fiber which also adds bulk to stool and supports regular bowel movement.
It also contains a small amount of soluble fiber which dissolves in water and forms a gel like substance in the digestive tract and helps protect the digestive system.
So you want to make sure that you feed your ducks with asparagus as this helps in boosting the immune system of your birds and producing essential nutrients like vitamins B12 and K2.
4. It supports healthy growth
Asparagus contains folate, an essential nutrient that forms red blood cells and produces DNA for healthy growth and development.
Getting enough folate from sources like asparagus, green leafy vegetables and fruit can protect against neural tube defects, including spina bifida
So you want to make sure that you add enough asparagus and leafy greens to your ducks diet.
5. It helps to lower blood pressure
Research has shown that reducing your salt intake while increasing your potassium intake will help lower your blood pressure.
This works by relaxing the walls of the blood vessels and by getting rid of excess sale through urine.
Asparagus is rich in potassium and provides as much as 6% of a duck’s daily requirement in one serving.
6. It is very affordable and easy to get.
In addition to being very nutritious, asparagus can be easily gotten and very easy to prepare.
Also it can be prepared in a lot of ways such as boiling, grilling, steaming and roasting which makes it very affordable and widely available at most local stores.
Can ducks eat asparagus stalks?
Asparagus stalk is the stringy part of the plant and it contains some nutrients that are beneficial to ducks.
They are usually tender at the tips and then hard and woody at the end so you want to be aware of that before you start cooking.
The stalk can be eaten by ducks but you want to ensure that it is very soft so that it can be easily digested.
Can ducks eat asparagus berries?
Asparagus berries, though they bear the name asparagus, are a type of berry that is red in color with seed pods which hold 2 or more seeds.
Ducks should not eat asparagus berries as they are toxic and can cause harm to your birds
The young stems which is the part of the plant that humans love is perfectly good and can be eaten but make sure that you avoid giving them the red berries to eat.
If they eat them, then they may have cases of vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pains.
Can ducks eat asparagus stems and ferns?
The ferns and stems of asparagus are the healthy part of the plants that can be eaten by both humans and birds.
It has a high water content and should be used as both duck treats and also as part of their diet.
It is very nutritious and can be eaten by ducks without any issues.
How to feed ducks asparagus
You can feed your ducks with asparagus either cooked or raw.
Obviously, it’s a lot harder raw, so you might need to break it up for them.
They tend to peck away at it and break it up pretty well in my experience though.
Most people just hold out a piece and let their ducks snap away at the head.
Then you can just leave the stems on the floor and let them take what they want.
If you’ve left anything in a duck coop before you’ll know all too well that they’ll take everything they want.
Are there any things to be worried about when feeding your ducks asparagus?
As always you want to ensure that you feed your ducks a balanced diet and that they are fed in moderation.
Most times the ducks will be able to moderate what they eat and ensure that they do not overindulge.
But you want to limit the amount of asparagus that you feed your birds because it can have an effect on the eggs they lay.
It is a subtle change but a change nonetheless and it can be noticed by consumers
While it may not be a big deal for most people, it is something you should ne aware of and consider when feeding ducks asparagus
Asparagus is good for ducks as it contains essential minerals and vitamins that are very good for their growth.
They can eat the stalk, the stems and the ferns without any issues.