Can Ducks Eat Elderberries? (Answered)

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

Elderberries are OK for ducks to eat, but the trees and leaves are poisonous.

Ducks will eat elderberry fruits, whether dry or raw, right off the tree, and both options are generally well-liked by the birds.

However, due to their naturally high sugar content, elderberries should be given to these birds in moderation and only as a treat.

What Are Elderberries?

Can Ducks Eat Elderberries

Elderberry has long been regarded as a therapeutic herb and nutritious food in a wide range of civilizations.

Flowers are followed by berries as the plant matures into a small tree or shrub. The fruit can be harvested in the fall; however, the color varies.

While the unripe berries are somewhat poisonous when they’re fresh, they can be used to make jams and jellies, chutney, and a variety of sauces when cooked.

Elderberries are grown for a variety of reasons, including the production of wine and cordials from the sweet elderflowers.

What Are the Health Benefits of Elderberries to Ducks?

Here are a few benefits of elderberries: 

Elderberries provide a good calcium-to-phosphorus ratio for ducks, which is especially noticeable.

This is because the chicken must have both phosphorus and calcium in its body simultaneously for it to be able to use the calcium properly.

You can get both of these nutrients from a single serving of elderberries.

Aside from the fact that these birds can produce their own vitamin C, supplementation is often required during stress or other internal/external taxing conditions.

An elderberry-rich diet helps ducks maintain a healthy digestive system.

Your flock’s feed consumption ratio can be improved due to fiber’s ability to improve digestion.

Feathers that are healthy and well-structured can also be beneficial to chickens.

In terms of their antioxidant content, elderberries shine! In addition to preventing many chronic diseases, antioxidants have also been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects.

Elderberries contain antioxidants that are thought to be more potent than vitamin E’s.

These advantages can have a huge impact on your flock! Using these advantages for your flock will be covered in greater detail later in this post.

Here is a comprehensive list of foods that ducks can eat

How Often Should I Feed Them Elderberries?

As a treat, elderberries are best consumed in moderation and in small amounts.

Generally, it’s recommended that you drink about two-thirds of a cup once a week (dried or fresh).

Although they include a wide variety of nutrients, they also contain a significant amount of sugar. With additional fruits as treats/scraps, especially.

You also need to make sure that your ducks are still getting their high-quality and balanced poultry feed.

In no way should elderberries be substituted for or supplanted as the cornerstone of a dog’s diet.

Can Baby Ducks Eat Elderberries?

Baby ducks can eat elderberry can eat elderberries inasmuch as it is not the toxic part.

Can Ducks Eat Elderberry Syrup?

Yes, but only if you know exactly what you’re making!

In order to reap the benefits of elderberry syrup, you need to be sure it has the right ingredients.

Organic elderberries, raw honey, and a few other spices like cinnamon or cloves are all that is needed to make healthy elderberry syrup for ducks.

Your flock will benefit greatly from the inclusion of each of those ingredients.

A brief cooking period is supposed to liberate more of the elderberry’s health-promoting chemicals.

As a result, cooking elderberries with water results in two favorable outcomes.

First, there are no poisons present, and the berries’ health advantages are enhanced by this process.

Your flock will benefit from the healthful elderberry syrup’s natural honey.

Antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and rich in antioxidants, raw honey has all of these properties in spades.

In addition, prebiotics assist maintains a healthy digestive system by promoting the growth of good bacteria in the gut, which helps keep out the harmful bacteria.

Finally, both cinnamon and cloves are good for hens. Cloves are another excellent source of disease-fighting antioxidants in addition to cinnamon.

You should definitely include elderberry syrup in your poultry first aid kit!

Can Ducks Eat Elderberry Jam

Ducks can eat elderberry jam in moderation, but they should do it in small amounts.

A diet high in high-sugar foods could cause damage to their internal organs in the same way that humans can become diabetic or suffer other health problems as a result of overeating sugar.

In addition, birds’ diets may become unbalanced if too much sugar is consumed, causing them to seek out jelly rather than scavenge for more diverse food sources. 

Also check out this article I wrote on can ducks eat avocado

Will Ducks Eat Elderberry Leaves?

Elderberry leaves are harmful to ducks because they contain cyanide-inducing glycosides.

Small amounts of glycosides can be harmful, even if they’re in trace amounts. 

Things to Consider When Feeding Ducks Elderberry

They are dangerous if given stems, leaves, and roots, therefore avoid them.

Each one contains a glycoside molecule, which can be harmful and even lethal to your birds in even little doses.

Don’t overfeed the birds. Your birds’ feces will change if you feed them too many of these berries. 

What Are the Ways of Feeding Elderberry to Ducks

Elderberries are a nutrient-dense snack that is simple to prepare for your backyard birds. It is possible to present them in three ways:

  • Fresh. It’s up to you whether or not you want to go out and pick these yourself or buy them from the shop. Also, if you can, buy organic wherever possible and choose to. Pesticides and other potentially dangerous compounds should be less likely to be carried by them as a result of this. In order to eliminate any dirt or debris, it is recommended that you wash them first.
  • Dried. To make things even simpler, you have the option of buying these items either online or from a physical store. Drying elderberries from a tree/bush or buying them dried is also an option. If you choose to serve them dry, keep in mind that they will be denser and that you may unintentionally serve greater portions.

In addition, dried berries have a sweeter taste, so your birds may be more willing to eat them, or they may find it difficult to stop once they start.

Combine with other food. Elderberries can also be mashed and mixed with other meals as the last option for serving.

Alternatively, it may be oatmeal or even a portion of their normal poultry feed.

Incorporating this strategy into your bird’s diet can help spice things up, provide more variety, encourage them to eat more of a certain food, and provide additional nourishment.


Ducks can eat elderberries, but only fruits. The rest of the plant must be avoided. Your birds will be at risk if you serve or allow them to eat the stems, leaves, and/or roots.

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About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books


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