white and brown shell snail on green leaf

Do Ducks Eat Snails? (Answered)

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

Looking for things to feed your ducks can be really tiring.

On one hand you want them to have a balanced diet so they grow up into strong, healthy birds.

On the other hand you don’t want to feed them something that is poisonous and might make them sick.

Do ducks eat snails? Ducks love eating snails. For the most part, snails and other backyard bugs and insects are a rich source of protein and nutrition that is ideal for the growth of your birds. Most species of ducks are adapted to seek out and eat predominantly such aquatic creatures as snails, bugs and insects.

Why do ducks eat snails?

Do Ducks Eat Snails

From a nutritional standpoint, snails are very good for your birds

Also they are very good for humans also and in some parts of the world they are excellent delicacies

If you have ever been to France, then you must have heard about escargots as this is an awesome form of nutrition and delicacy for the people there.

Snails are usually found everywhere and while some people may dislike them, your birds enjoy eating them.

They possess anti cancer properties and also boost your immune system due to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Basically an average snail contains 80% water, 15% protein and 2.4% fat.

They also contain essential fatty acids, calcium, iron, selenium, magnesium and are a rich source of vitamins E, A, K and B12.

So you can see that feeding your birds with snails is sure to make them grow healthy and strong.

This is because feeding them snails will ensure you are providing them a balanced diet in the right proportions.

Are there any risks to ducks eating snails?

Even though I mentioned above the rich health benefits of snails, there are some risks that you need to be aware of

  • Parasites – most bugs and backyard insects carry parasites that might be harmful to your birds. This is a risk that is always going to be present if you keep backyard birds.
  • Snail pellets – another thing is that if you try to keep away snails and slugs from your backyard by poisoning them, then you may also be poisoning your birds

What about snails, gapeworms and your ducks?

One of the most common parasites that snails carry that is very dangerous to the health of your birds is gapeworms

It is a terrible parasite that affects your birds and lives in their windpipe causing respiratory and breathing issues for your birds.

They can grow as long as 1 – 2cm and can be very fatal if not treated

If you ducks have gapeworms in them, they will typically gasp for air, cough, visibly show signs of distress and when you come close to them, you will hear the “tracheal rattle”.

As the situation worsens, your birds may die due to choking and suffocation.

So you want to ensure that you address at the earliest sign of detection.

Another thing you want to be mindful of is using poisons to kill pests when you have backyard ducks.

Even if you keep the pellets and poisons away from your birds, if they eat a bug or something that has been poisoned, they can still get sick.

It is a small risk but still something you need to be aware of.

Personally I do not use and keep any harmful chemicals around my backyard as it is just not worth the headache.

Check out this detailed article I wrote on what do ducks eat

What other backyard bugs and insects can ducks eat?

In this article, I talked about spiders and if ducks can eat spiders

There are so many other backyard bugs and insects that ducks can eat.

In Fact ducks will chase and eat any bug they find that moves. Here are some of such bugs

  • Worms
  • Spiders
  • Centipedes
  • Millipedes
  • Ants
  • Flies
  • Slugs

Some of the other insects that are fine, but we don’t have them where I live:

  • Grasshoppers
  • Beetles
  • Stink bugs
  • Mealworms

Do mallard ducks eat snails?

Mallard ducks tend to have a very large appetite and will eat quite anything

Mallard ducks will eat snails and any backyard bugs and insects that they can find.

Mallard ducks are omnivorous and will feed on anything from nuts, fruits, rice, grapes, bananas, to small fish, worms and snails.


Ducks enjoy eating snails as this is a rich source of protein and nutrition for them.

Mallard ducks in particular have a big appetite and will chase and eat bugs and insects that they find around them.

Photo of author

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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