If you keep ducks as pets and for rearing, you might have wondered to yourself what kind of foods to feed them with.
And the good thing is that they will eat almost anything without any issues.
This is because they are omnivores so they can eat plant based foods.
Do ducks eat grass? Ducks can eat grass. Generally, grass is perfect and safe for ducks to consume. It also contains lots of nutrients and minerals that a duck needs to obtain in it’s diet. One thing you need to note is that they should not consume any treated grass as the chemicals and pesticides in it might be fatal.
Can ducks eat grass?
Ducks are omnivores and as omnivores there are very few foods that these birds will not eat from either plants or animals
If there is something they have their eyes on to eat, there is literally nothing you can do to stop them.
They tend to eat whatever they want to eat
However grass alone does not contain enough nutrients and minerals to constitute a balanced diet.
So while your birds might be content enough to forage and eat grass, you need to make sure that you are not feeding them only grass
Ensure there is a mixture of other food so that they have a balanced diet in the right proportion
How much grass your ducks eat depends on the environment and the availability of the grass
If there is any particular type of grass that you want them to avoid eating in your backyard, then make sure you keep it out of their reach or you install a fence around it
Most times, you might have noticed a duck with a slice of grass in her beak
This is usually a sign of hunger and not for the fact that she is building a nest which is why when keeping ducks you want to make sure that they are properly and well fed.
So that when they eat grass, they just supplement it with their diet because seriously grass has very little nutrients to offer your birds.
Can ducks eat too much grass?
Most times ducks will eat a lot of grass, if there is really nothing else to feed on
But this is rarely the case as ducks can eat almost anything so they will alway find something to eat.
It is fine for your ducks to eat grass everyday as long as they also supplement it with other foods and nutrients.
A significant concern for grass eating birds is crop impaction and sour crop and this usually happens when they eat hard or stringy grass.
Crop blockages are usually as a result of overeating by your birds or eating stringy grass
A duck’s crop should be full by evening and empty by morning. If this is not so, then you have to find a way to clear it as this might cause massive discomfort to the birds
What types of grass can duck eat?
Ducks will generally eat any type of grass once it is tender enough for their beaks to tear into it.
One thing you need to avoid is feeding them dry stalks and grass as this might get stuck in their throat and cause choking.
Grasses like rye and wheat are very okay for ducks to consume as long as they are green and growing in your duck pond.
Plant material is typically high in vitamins and minerals as well as providing fibre, proteins, energy, carotenoids and Omega 3 fatty acids.
Forages are high in vitamins A, B6, E and K while exposure to the sun also helps your birds readily synthesize vitamin D in their skins.
The nutrient value of pastures will also change according to the time of the year and the growth stage.
In the spring, grasses will have a high sugar and protein content and relatively low fibre content.
In the summer, the sugar and protein content will fall only to resurge in early autumn while during winter the nutrient content is very low.
Here are some safe plants to feed you ducks
- Bee Balm
- Purple Deadnettle
- Fat Hen
- Bitter Cress
And here are some to avoid feeding your birds
- Black Nightshade
- Castor Bean
- St. John’s Wort
- Sweet Pea
- Trumpet Vine
Do domestic ducks eat grass?
Domestic ducks will eat grass that you provide them with as long as it is fresh and does not have any chemicals in them.
Leafy and fresh greens are an important part of a duck’s diet so you want to make sure that you feed them early with weeds and grass so they get used to it.
Also note that ducks will not eat wilted greens, so what you can do is to put it in their ponds or water tubs.
This way it stays fresh and nice and does not dry up while offering them some fun time dabbling for the greens
Also since they are domesticated, you will need to ensure you provide them with grass.
This is because ducks in the wild are used to feeding for themselves and as such have no issues getting to feeding on grass
The ones you keep at home may not be used to feeding on grass, so if you want them to get the nutrients from grass you need to provide it for them.
Can ducks eat mowed grass?
Ducks cannot eat mowed grass as it is already dry and stringy
This will be very difficult for them to chew and might get stuck in their throats which might also lead to choking
Also mowed grass might also contain some chemicals which might be bad for your birds.
What you can do is after mowing your lawns, especially in summer, while the grass is still fresh and has not dried up, you can take some clippings in a bucket and give to your ducks.
But like I mentioned make sure it is still fresh and not dry and stringy
Do ducks eat hay?
According to this Wikipedia article here, hay is grass, legumes and other herbaceous plants that have been cut up and dried and used as fodder to feed large grazing animals.
Now from what I understand in this article, hay is dried grass and like I said ducks cannot eat dried grass as this will get stuck in their throat.
Also hay might not be easily digested by your birds as efficiently as other herbivores
In my opinion, I will advise that you do not feed hay to your birds.
Will ducks eat weed?
Ducks in the wild will eat leafy greens and weeds.
Weeds especially the green ones are filled with nutrients and minerals that helps your birds row into healthy birds.
If you keeps ducks as pets at home, then you can also get leafy greens and weeds and feed to them as part of their balanced diet.
Ducks can eat grass as it contains lot of vitamins and minerals that are ideal your birds.
You want to ensure that you feed them only fresh plants as anything dry might cause issues digesting.