Can Ducks Eat Rice? (Answered)

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

If you are a flock keeper, you have probably heard that rice is bad for your ducks and other waterfowl as it makes their stomach swell and burst.

However, this is just a myth as ducks can not only eat rice, it is actually beneficial to them.

Rice in all forms whether cooked, uncooked, white or brown are all good for your ducks and you can always give them leftover rice as a tasty treat. 

As a new flock keeper it can be a little hectic keeping up with your bird’s diet so we decided to talk about rice and the health benefits to ducks.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Rice To Ducks?

Can Ducks Eat Rice

Rice has a lot of health benefits for your ducks and this is why you should give it to them as a treat from time to time. Here are some of the health benefits of rice to your ducks:

  1. Vitamins 

Vitamins are a s beneficial to ducks as they are to humans. Rice contains vitamins A and C.

Rice boosts your ducks immune system, improves egg quality and helps the general working of the body.

  1. Carbohydrates

We all know we need our carbs for energy for going through our day. This energy is also important to ducks.

Rice contains about 28 grams of carbs per every 100-gram serving. This is quite beneficial to your duck,

  1. Protein 

Proteins are really good for your ducks. It helps them strengthen their muscles and develop finer feathers.

Feeding your rice will give them the necessary protein boost they need.

  1. Fiber

Fiber regulates water in your ducks system and it helps the colon to flush out waste. Quicker.

Giving your ducks rice can prevent colon cancer and help them regulate the water level in their intestines.

  1. Minerals  

Let’s not forget the minerals. Iron, potassium, phosphorus, zinc and magnesium are all essential minerals required for your duck.

Rice gives your ducks these minerals in the quantities needed for them to remain healthy and function well. 

  1. Low Fat and Sugar Content

Our cute ducks can be quite the eaters, they eat a lot and can easily put on weight.

Luckily for them, rice is low in fat so eating rice will not make them gain unnecessary weight or become obese. 

Rice also has a very little sugar content and as such it cannot mess with their blood levels or create an imbalance for them. 

Related: Here is an article I wrote on can ducks eat oats

How Often Should I Feed Them Rice?

Rice is good in any form for your ducks whether cooked or uncooked. However you shouldn’t give your ducks large piles of rice regularly as it can cause constipation for them.

Rice absorbs water from your duck’s body and makes its droppings more hard and dry and too much of that makes your duck uncomfortable and causes constipation. recommends serving your ducks about 2 ounces of rice a day. It also helps when you spread out the rice on the ground as the ducks have to move slower to reach the rice.

By giving them in this manner, you help your ducks get their nutritional benefits while not overfeeding them at the same time.

Can Baby Ducks Eat Rice?

Ducklings should typically only be fed a starter non-medicated feed as this provides them with all the necessary health requirements they need to grow. 

Baby ducks should not be fed rice in any form. It has been established that rice has water absorbing qualities which could cause health issues for the smaller ducklings.

There are healthier treats you can feed your duckling to replace rice. You can add oats and grit to their feed, you can also give them worms, peas, chopped grass and greens. 

The little ducklings will love this and they are also healthier than rice for them as their body can process it properly. 

To be on the safe side it is not advisable to feed rice to ducklings under 4 weeks of age.

Can Ducks Eat White Rice?

As we have established, ducks can eat all types of rice whether wild, brown or white rice. Brown rice is more nutritious and healthy for your duck. 

This is because brown rice has gone through less processing and thus retains most of its nutritional value. 

Ducks can also eat white rice however and they will gladly scoop it up if you have that at hand.

Of all the rice types, white rice is the least nutritious however it is easy to come by and less expensive to buy.

Here is a comprehensive list I wrote on What do ducks eat.

Is It Ok To Feed Ducks Uncooked Rice?

As we mentioned earlier, you can feed your duck any type of rice whether cooked or uncooked. 

Just like in the case of brown rice versus white rice, uncooked rice is more nutritious than cooked rice.

In terms of the health benefits and nutritious, uncooked rice is more beneficial to your ducks as the rice loses some of their health benefits after being cooked.

Sometimes though you might have to feed your ducks tasty leftovers or warm them with a steaming bowl of hot cooked rice on a cold morning.

Uncooked rice is also harder to digest and absorbs more water from the ducks bodies.  

Can Ducks Eat Rice Krispies 

Feeding your duck rice, krispies or any other cereal is not healthy for them. Salt and sugar are not so great for your ducks as it messes with their balance and can cause them to grow overweight.

The ducks will eagerly accept the krispies treat however in the long run it is not safe for them. 

Ducks should not be fed processed rice at all to prevent ill health.

The reason for this is, most processed rice and other products include ingredients such as spices, colors and preservatives which your duck’s dainty system cannot process.

To be on the safe side, give your birds healthy treats such as greens and grains and even unprocessed rice and you will not have to worry about them falling sick.

Also check out this article I wrote on the best duck breeds for backyard

Things To Consider When Feeding Ducks Rice

As much as rice is a great addition to your ducks diet, just like every other thing it should be done in moderation.

Giving your ducks rice is great but it shouldn’t be an everyday event and it shouldn’t replace their everyday diet.

You should also know how to properly feed rice to your birds so as to get the best nutritional value for them.

While ducks can eat rice in all its unprocessed forms including white, brown, wild, cooked and uncooked rice, brown and wild rice are the most nutritious for them.

Also uncooked rice has been found to be more beneficial than cooked.

That being said, rice should always be given with control. Never forget that rice is a treat to your birds and it should remain so.

Give your birds rice about one to two times a week or according to your discretion but definitely not everyday.

You do not want your birds to be harmed from eating too much rice so give them the treat and let them enjoy themselves. If you follow these precautions your birds will thank you for it.

What Are The Ways Of Feeding Rice To Ducks

Your ducks will eat the rice offerings whether cooked or uncooked. Cooked rice is easier for them to digest but has reduced nutritional content due to the cooking process. 

If you are offering your ducks cooked rice then you can make it plain and avoid spices and even salt.

These elements are not healthy for your duck’s systems. . 

To spice up the rice you can throw in a mix of vegetables with the rice.

Carrot, cucumber, collards, alfalfa and cabbage are perfect veggie options you can add to the rice to make it more appetizing.

You can also serve them serve them crushed rice if you are going with the uncooked option, this helps them picks the rice grains easily from the floor.

Do not forget that rice is a treat to your birds which they should enjoy occasionally but never to replace their main diet. 


For years a lot of birdkeepers have believed the ‘rice is bad for birds’ myth and it has made domesticated birds miss out on this great offering.

However now you know better and can not only feed your birds rice but can prepare it in different delicious ways that will appeal to 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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