If you own a flock of ducks, then one thing that you constantly worry about is what they can eat.
I know I do too and all the time
But what about cheese? Is it safe for them? If yes in what quantity and what type of cheese can they eat?
Can ducks eat cheese? Ducks eat cheese and they enjoy eating it. It is packed with vitamins and trace minerals that are responsible for a healthy and strong bird. You want to ensure that you feed cheese and dairy products to your birds in moderation as a treat once or twice a week and in addition to their other diet.
Why cheese? What are the health benefits of cheese?
If you are to mention animals or birds that eat cheese, then ducks and waterfowl will definitely not come to your mind.
Things like mice and other small rodents are the first animals that comes to my mind, but cheese is actually good for your ducks
Cheese is packed full with vitamins A, D and K that helps improve the overall health of ducks
It also contains trace and essential minerals such as calcium, zinc and magnesium that helps improve your birds immunity and also bone strength.
The phosphorus that is present in cheese also helps in producing strong eggs shells
One thing I like about cheese is that it contains healthy proteins in the form of caseins which helps lower or reduce the blood pressure of your birds and upsurge the absorption of minerals
So if you find out that your birds are having difficulty absorbing calcium, give them some cheese to help correct that deficiency.
Cheese also contains healthy fat that helps build up the weight of your birds.
If you need your birds to increase in weight and size, then increase the amount of cheese that you feed to them weekly.
Here is the nutrition facts for one ounce or 28 grams of cheese
- Calories: 80
- Saturated fatty acids: 6grams
- Carbs: 1gram
- Calcium: 150milligrams
- Vitamin A:750 international units (IU)
- Cholesterol: 15milligrams
- Sodium: 380 milligrams
Calcium and vitamin D are essential nutrients that helps in the development of strong bones for your birds
And with strong bones, your birds will grow without any physical deformities
A lack of calcium and vitamin D in your ducks diet can lead to weak, fragile and porous bones and can cause fractures in ducks.
So you want to make sure that you include cheese into their diet plan.
2. Cheese can help our ducks gain weight
Even though too much weight is not a good thing for your birds, feeding them cheese can add some much needed weight and flesh to the skinny birds in your flock.
Adding weight will help increase the market value of your birds.
Cheese is rich in fat, proteins and contains more calories than other foods making it an energy dense treat for ducks.
But one thing you need to be aware of is that you want to avoid feeding them too much cheese as obesity is not good for your birds.
So feed them cheese in moderation and try to balance it out by including a balanced diet in their feeding plan.
3. Cheese is a good source of protein for ducks
As you know protein is very important in your bird’s diet as it helps in the repair, formation and protection of vital organs in the body.
First, it provides them with an immune system, proper fluid balance, and growth of fathers.
Lack of protein can result in so many health complications, such as shrinkage of some tissues and fluid retention
Since the bird’s body cannot store proteins, you want to ensure that you constantly supply their protein needs and feeding them cheese is one way to do this.
4. Cheese can also help in boosting a duck’s immune system.
There have been some studies and research which shows that feeding your birds with cheese can help improve their immune system.
This is because cheese is fortified with a large number of probiotic bacteria that helps boost the immune system of your birds.
When broken down, cheese releases probiotic bacteria which is essential for improving the health of ducks and strengthening their immune system.
What kind of cheese can I feed my ducks?
One thing you should know is that all cheeses are not the same and it depends on how they are made and the source of the protein.
In my opinion and experience, goat cheese is the best for feeding ducks and poultry
This is because it has less lactose, low sodium and also contains fewer fats that are easier to digest.
Shredded cheese is something you also want to consider when feeding your ducks as it is easier for ducks to pick and eat them.
If you are looking for shredded cheese then mozzarella is your best bet as it is less acidic and can be served plain or with other treats.
If you are looking for soft cheese to give them as a treat, then you want to pick cottage cheese.
It is very good for mixing with other treats so you want to make sure that you do not feed them alone as it can be quite mushy and difficult to eat.
Moldy cheese also known as blue cheese is very good for ducks as it contains antibacterial properties that help increase the immune system of your birds.
Are there any negative effects of feeding cheese to ducks?
While cheese is very healthy for your birds, you want to ensure that you feed them in moderation.
This is because cheese is very fatty and can make your birds obese if given to them in large quantities.
The fatty aspect of it also makes it very difficult to digest and can cause some problems for their digestive system.
Cheese puffs are particularly fattening, feed the chicken very sparingly if this is the only cheese you have at your disposal.
Can ducks eat dairy?
Most dairy food product are not good for ducks and poultry and you should ensure that you give it to them sparingly
This is because most dairy products contain sugar in lactose form and the duck’s digestive system is not designed to absorb dairy products in large quantities.
If ducks take a lot of dairy products it can affect them and they may develop gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea and abdominal pains.
But there are some dairy products that are safe for ducks.
1. Milk is good for ducks
Milk is made up of 90 percent water content and ducks can consume it without any problems.
You want to feed them skimmed low fat milk with a fat content of less than 6 percent as this is preferable.
Also go with goat milk as opposed to cow’s milk as it is easier to digest and does not give any issues to your birds.
2. You can also feed your ducks yoghurt.
Yoghurt is another dairy product that ducks will enjoy in limited portions
It contains vitamins and minerals that aids in the digestion of your birds
What you want to do is to make sure you feed them with plain yoghurt and not sweetened, as the sweetened one usually has preservatives and artificial flavours that are not good for ducks.
Ducks can eat cheese as it contains proteins, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals that are necessary for the healthy growth of your birds.
You want to ensure that you feed them in moderation and give it to them as treats.