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Can Ducks Have Chocolate? (Is It Bad for Them?)

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

Raising healthy ducks requires feeding them properly and giving them adequate care.

What you feed your duck determines its life span, the quality of eggs it produces and how often it produces them.

In addition to  their main meals, you can give them treats.

Healthy treats supplement their meals and keep your ducks happy.

Not all treats however is good for your pets.

Treats like chocolate bars should be avoided at all costs as they are not good for them.

Chocolates are dangerous to their health and I’ll be telling you why.

Is chocolate toxic to ducks?

Can Ducks Have Chocolate
Photo by Ella Olsson on

Yes, chocolate is toxic to ducks.

Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine which poses a great danger to ducks.

The cacao beans or seeds used in making chocolate is what contains these items.

The human body can easily detoxify them but ducks find it hard.

Chocolate also contains sugar and fat which is not advisable for your ducks to have as it can lead to them getting overweight. Obesity in ducks leads to a lot of ailments which eventually results to their death if not managed.

What happens when ducks eat chocolate?

Theobromine and caffeine which is present in chocolate can affect the digestive system of ducks after intake.

This can lead to vomiting, diarrhea and even a break down of their central nervous system.

Caffeine raises their blood pressure and can lead to cardiac distress and possible arrest.

A large intake of chocolate can even lead to a duck’s death.

It should be avoided.

Treats like chocolate that contain fat can also lead to irregular feeding in ducks.

These treats make them full and they are unable to eat their main meal which contains the proper nutrition they need to grow well and healthy.

Can baby ducks eat chocolate?

To be honest, no they cannot.

I have explained how dangerous it is for ducks to eat chocolate.

It will be more disastrous for ducklings because of their small size.

Their digestive systems will not be able to process the chocolate well.

A tiny bit of chocolate could cause serious harm for your baby ducks so better to avoid it.

It is even advisable to feed ducklings only the required diet for their nutritional needs.

You should avoid giving treats to baby ducks that are only a few days old.

Stick to their main diet for the time being.

Is there a safe type of chocolate?

Well I would advise that you avoid chocolate altogether but there are some chocolates that contain less of cacao seeds.

This means they contain less of theobromine and caffeine.

Chocolates like milk chocolate are examples of these.

Chocolates have different sugar contents.

Some chocolates are even unsweetened, which means they contain no or very small amount of sugar and fat.

You could give your ducks these as they wouldn’t be in danger of becoming overweight.

You have to note however, that the darker the chocolate the more dangerous it is for your ducks.

Darker chocolates contain more of cacao seeds which means they contain more of theobromine and caffeine.

What about chocolate treats?

Treats are what you give to your pets occasionally to supplement their main meals.

Treats are not main meals and should not be considered as such.

Once in a while, you could give your ducks unsweetened chocolate or milk chocolate as treats if they love them.

The best advise I can give however is that you don’t give them at all.

Keep those chocolate bars for yourself.

There are a lot of other healthier treats that your ducks would enjoy eating.

Treats like edible leaves (potato leaf is an example), strawberries, blueberries, grapes etc. are good for your ducks and nutritious to them.

How much is too much?

Since chocolate contains elements that are toxic to ducks, a tiny bit is too much in my opinion.

However, you could give them sparingly and occasionally.

A small cut of unsweetened or milk chocolate could be given to your duck once in a week or two.

It shouldn’t hurt them.

You should however be watchful so you can immediately spot changes in them and call your vet.

You should avoid giving chocolate to your baby ducks however because of their size and delicate nature.

What to do if accidentally eaten?

In case your duck accidentally ate some drops of chocolate and you don’t know what to do, relax.

First thing to note is how much of the chocolate your duck consumed.

If it is a small piece, chances are it won’t get hurt.

Keep watch over it so you can monitor it for changes or signs of toxicity.

The signs of toxicity are vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, tremors etc.

When your duck start showing these signs, call your vet immediately or take it to a nearby vet clinic.

If you note immediately however, that the duck actually ate a large amount of chocolate, don’t wait for the signs of toxicity to show, take it to the vet clinic immediately.

Better safe than sorry.

Can ducks eat chocolate chip cookies?

No, ducks cannot have chocolate chip cookies.

This is why. Chocolate chip cookies are made with butter, salt, sugar (brown and granulated), eggs, flour, baking soda etc.

Looking at these ingredients, you should immediately know why your ducks can’t have them.

The fat and calories it contain can lead to obesity in your ducks which can in turn lead to other health conditions.

The sugar in it can cause your ducks to have diarrhea.

Eating these cookies will also make them feel full which will make them ignore their main diet, leading to malnutrition and poor development.


In as much you love chocolate and you would love to share them with your pet ducks because you care about them, it’s better to keep it away from them.

The disadvantages far outweigh the advantages and it isn’t worth the risk.

There are more healthy treats you can give them which they will appreciate more.

When eating your chocolate bars, try to stay away from your ducks so they won’t accidentally eat the pieces that fall off.

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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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