Can Ducks Eat Mushrooms? (Explained)

Mushrooms are a favorite snack and meal addition for humans and you might be wondering if you can feed mushrooms to your backyard ducks.

The answer is yes, you can feed your ducks mushrooms but they cannot eat all types as some mushroom types are poisonous. Mushrooms possess a lot of nutrients for the ducks such as fiber and essential minerals and vitamins. 

However, feeding your ducks the poisonous mushroom species can be fatal to them as this can kill even adult humans.

Today we will discuss mushrooms and their health benefits to ducks, things to consider before feeding them mushrooms amongst other things.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Mushrooms To Ducks?

Can Ducks Eat Mushrooms
  1. Calcium 

Calcium is an important nutrient for bone and egg formation. For ducks, it helps to strengthen their bones and muscles as well as improve the quality of egg produced.

Baby ducks even require more calcium than their parents as they are just growing.

  1. Iron

Mushrooms also contain iron. Iron is important for circulating of blood throughout the ducks body system and aids the production of hemoglobin.

Abundance of iron helps to prevent anemia in ducks. 

  1. Vitamins

Vitamins are found in abundance in mushrooms. Ducks get vitamins such as vitamins C, B3, and B12 when they eat mushrooms. 

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Vitamin B1, is an essential nutrient that helps your duck’s heart, brain, stomach, and intestines function properly.

B3 helps to maintain the health of their legs and joints. Its absence from their diet can cause severe joint problems and have a long-term impact on their walking abilities.

Vitamin c on the other hand aids the conversion of food to energy, formation of red blood cells, and speeds up the healing process.

  1. Magnesium

Magnesium is also found in reasonable quantities in mushrooms. Magnesium helps ducks with nerve and muscle function, as well as regulation of their heartbeat. 

  1. Potassium

Mushrooms also contain the essential mineral potassium. Potassium helps to improve and maintain your ducks’ cognitive functions.

  1. Fibre

Mushrooms also have a degree of soluble fiber. Fibers are required to keep your ducks digestive system healthy and running smoothly.

Fiber aids the digestive process and reduces the incidence of constipation.

  1. Carbohydrates

Mushrooms are an important source of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy in most birds, including ducks.

Therefore feeding your birds mushrooms will ensure they have enough energy to get through their day.

  1. Protein 

Most mushrooms have a high protein content, usually between 20-30% excluding water content.

Protein promotes growth, egg production, and immunity. Proteins are also responsible for the production of enzymes and hormones in the body.

How Often Should I Feed Them Mushrooms?

Mushrooms are like every other supplementary food a treat for the ducks.

Mushrooms can be delicious and duck owners have reported their ducks mowing down raw planted mushrooms in their backyards. 

If they get too used to the delicious treats they might start ignoring their feed from time to time.

Always follow the 90/10 rule and restrict mushroom feeding to 10% of their diet. Mushrooms are healthy and most duck owners who feed it to their ducks have reported no ill effects.

Some researchers have even advocated adding mushroom additives to feed for poultry egg laying birds.

However, since this is not yet fully ratified you should stick to feeding your birds mushrooms once or twice a week.

They would love the treat and you can dish it out to them in various ways.

Here is a comprehensive list of the best foods to feed ducks

Can Baby Ducks Eat Mushrooms?

Some duck owners have asked if it is safe to feed mushrooms to their little ducklings and I would say yes, it is pretty much safe for them to have mushrooms.

However, feeding of mushrooms or other foods should be restricted till when they are 2-4 weeks old.

They should be placed on a duck or chick starter feed until they are over 4 weeks old. 

This is important to ensure that they get all the necessary nutrients they need to grow and survive.

Once they are past 4 weeks old, you can feed them mushroom treats about once a week. 

Can Ducks Eat Mushroom Leaves?

Mushrooms are not classified as true vegetables. They are fungi and as such do not grow leaves, seeds or roots.

They do not need light to grow and are known for thriving in dark and humid conditions.

Wild mushrooms sprout out to gain their funny shape and they do not contain chlorophyll.

That is why most mushrooms are whitish in color.

Researchers  however, classified mushrooms as vegetables because they contain nutrients which can be found in core food groups such as meat, vegetables and grains. 

So when your ducks eat mushrooms they get a whole range of nutritional value from it.

Can Ducks Eat Mushroom Chocolate Bars

Mushroom chocolate bars are not safe and healthy for ducks to eat. It is processed food and as such contain additives such as salt and sugar which are unsafe for your birds.

It is unhealthy to feed ducks processed food and foods like bread and chocolate have basically been ruled out.

The mushroom chocolate bar is basically made from chocolates to which psilocybin flour is added.

The mushroom variety used for these recipes are magic mushrooms called shrooms which have psychedelic properties. 

Some humans eat this stuff to get high and as such I would not recommend it for feeding to egg laying poultry birds where it can mix with their blood and cause adverse effects.

Can Ducks Eat White Mushrooms

White mushrooms are perfectly safe and edible to eat. They have a mild flavor and reasonably soft texture.

They are quite delicious and your ducks will eat them either cooked or uncooked.

They also have a wide range of nutritional benefits from selenium, vitamins, riboflavin and carbs to mention a few. 

Also check out this article I wrote on ducks eating figs

Things To Consider When Feeding Ducks Mushrooms

It is very important that you feed your ducks the safe and edible species of mushrooms. It is best to know which species of mushrooms are safe and I will list a few for you:

  • Crimini mushrooms
  • Chanterelle mushrooms
  • Portobello mushrooms
  • White button mushrooms
  • Porcini mushrooms
  • Oyster mushrooms
  • Black trumpet mushrooms
  • Morel mushrooms
  • Reishi mushrooms

These few species are safe to eat and can be found in most stores. 

Also check your backyard regularly to see if wild mushrooms sprout up. They always come up overnight and your ducks will go for anything.

Not all mushroom varieties are edible and when your ducks eat them, they can end up very sick or dead.

You should always be on the lookout for 

What Are The Ways Of Feeding Mushrooms To Ducks

You can serve mushrooms to the ducks raw or cooked. If you have mushroom plants around your house, they would most likely pull them up to eat.

But to give them a nice treat you can use this recipe:

  1. Make sure you wash your mushrooms thoroughly
  2. Cut them into tiny pieces that will not choke your ducks
  3. Boil them for about 15 -20 minutes to allow them to get soft and tender.
  4. Drain the water from the pot and let it cool so the ducks don’t burn their mouth while eating.
  5. You can serve the mushrooms in a separate bowl or feeder or mix them in with their feed to give them a delicious treat. 

Conclusion

Mushrooms are delicious treats enjoyed by both humans and animals. Their distinctive spongy texture and meaty taste makes them unique.

It is safe for ducks to eat mushrooms provided you feed them the safe and edible varieties.

Mushrooms have quite a wide range of nutritional benefits to ducks and have even been advocated to be added as an additive to poultry feed.

Mushrooms won’t grow leaves as they are basically classified as fungi.

It is not advisable to feed ducks mushroom chocolate bars because of the additives in it which could be harmful to ducks.

There are a variety of commercially grown mushrooms which are safe for eating and from which you can buy to feed your ducks. 

Written by 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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