Can Ducks Eat Meat? Is It Healthy?

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

Over the holidays, I had family and friends come over and as a result there was a lot of leftover food.

And as someone who has ducks as pets and also rearing them for eggs, I could not help but wonder if I can feed meat to my ducks.

Can ducks eat meat? Ducks can and do eat meat because they are omnivores. The high protein content in animal meat means that it is a highly nutritious food source for ducks and it is completely safe to eat. Always ensure to feed them cooked meat and cut it up into smaller chunks to avoid any problems

What are the health benefits of meat?

Photo by Pixabay on

If you think about ducks and feeding duck, I guess the first picture that comes to your mind is not duck eating meat.

But ducks are omnivores and this means that it is perfectly safe for them to eat both meat and plant based diets.

A balanced diet will generally result in healthy birds and nutritious eggs and asides from that, meat also contains lots of minerals and nutrients that birds need to grow

Here are some of the health benefits of meat

1. It helps increase metabolism

Ducks basically have a fast metabolism and as such they consume a lot of food and poop a lot.

This is good for the birds as it allows them to eat a lot and grow into healthy birds

So eating meat as part of their diet will ensure that the metabolism of your birds are in good condition.

Basically there is nothing wrong with feeding meat to your birds as it help maintain health metabolism for them

2. Eating meat helps your birds retain their muscle mass

Taking in animal proteins like meat is consistently linked to an increase in muscle mass.

So feeding your birds meat will generally increase their muscle mass making them into big strong birds.

3. It gives them stronger bones

If you are keeping ducks for their meat or their eggs then you definitely want them to have strong bones

One way to ensure that they have strong bones is to feed them meat as part of their diet

Meat will improve their bone density and strength making them strong, healthy birds.

4. It helps your birds with better iron absorption

Finally iron is an important nutrient that your birds need to grow strong and healthy and it can be gotten from meat.

It also helps improve the feather and eye sight of your birds

Is it healthy to feed meat to ducks?

This is actually a cause for debate among most people as some say that ducks should be allowed to stick to the natural diet

Which usually includes plant based food, bugs, fruits and insects

But in my opinion and just like I mentioned earlier, ducks are omnivores and you definitely want to feed them a balanced diet

So ensure that you feed them meat and plant based diet as this will satisfy the requirements for feeding them a balanced diet.

What kind of meat can ducks eat?

One thing I noticed is that my birds are not as fussy when it comes to the type of meat they want to eat

Unlike in humans where we have to choose between red meat, white meat and processed meat, ducks will eat any type.

To get the full benefit of animal protein, what you can do is to mix the normal duck feed with meat based cat food.

This will ensure that your birds get the right amount of nutrients in their food while also getting it in the right proportion

Ducks can eat any type of meat without it affecting them and most times you will find them eating bugs, frogs, mice, small fishes and even dead birds that might end up in your backyard.

With this in mind, I think it is less important to focus on the meat that ducks can eat and instead look at the types of meat that they should not eat.

Are there any unhealthy options?

Much like anything else, whatever you are feeding your duck you should be careful about the type of meat you give them

Generally you want to avoid giving them any type of processed meat as this could end up making them ill

Unhealthy meat options include salty meat (so anything ham, bacon), any meat cooked with grease (they can’t properly digest greasy foods), and any form of processed meat should be avoided.

Processed meat usually has a high percentage of salt and artificial preservatives which is bad for your birds and can cause them to suffer from dehydration, digestion issues and egg shell issues.

Another thing to note is that you want to avoid giving them foods that will trigger or cause cannibalism behaviour in your birds

So things like raw eggs or eggs shells should not be given to them as they might get comfortable to eat and start eating their own

When this happens, you find out that it is much harder to break this habit

Can ducks eat beef jerky?

Ducks cannot eat beef jerky as this is processed meat and it is not good for them

Beef jerky is meat that has been thoroughly dried but then it contains a high amount of salt and artificial preservative that is not good for your birds.

Do not feed your ducks human processed meat as it contains a high amount of salt and artificial flavourings that is bad for them.

Can ducks eat raw meat?

Ducks can eat raw meat but you want to make sure that is not spoilt, moldy or foul smelling.

Basically as a human, you will not eat any type of meat that i rotten so make sure you do not feed them to your ducks

If they are not good for your own consumption, they will not be good for consumption by your birds

One thing you should know is that feeding them raw meat can also lead to food poisoning if done in excess

My advice will be do do so in moderation, make sure the meat is cooked at least and to ensure that you feed them a balanced diet in the right proportion with other nutrients

Can ducklings eat meat?

Before they become mature, duckling can eat a wide range of food including meat

But you want to make sure that you cut it up into smaller pieces for them to avoid them choking

Aside from that, you should have no issues feeding them meat.


Ducks are omnivores and as such can eat meat. It contains lots of minerals and nutrients that are good for your birds.

One thing you need to note is to avoid giving them any processed meat

This is because it contains a high amount of salt and preservative that is bad for them.

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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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