Petkeen is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commision. Learn More

Can Ducks Eat Carrots? What You Need to Know!

Nicole Cosgrove

You may have heard that bread and other high-carbohydrate products are bad for ducks, especially in large quantities. But what about carrots? In short, the answer is yes, ducks can eat carrots. In this article, we will go over a few things you should keep in mind before feeding carrots or other foods to your ducks.

duck-divider

Do Carrots Have Any Nutritional Benefits for Ducks?

Carrots_tommileew_Pixabay
Image Credit: tommileew, Pixabay

First things first: are carrots even good for ducks?

Like humans, ducks need to eat a certain amount of carbohydrates for energy. Also, like humans, ducks need to stay hydrated. Since carrots are primarily comprised of water and carbohydrates, they are a great snack that can help ducks satisfy their nutritional needs.

If you are raising ducks for their eggs, the vitamins and minerals in carrots can also contribute to nutritious eggs.

How Often Should You Feed Carrots to a Duck?

white ducks_ Elsemargriet _Pixabay
Image Credit: Elsemargriet, Pixabay

Although carrots offer nutritional benefits to ducks, they can have too much of a good thing. Carrots, don’t provide all of the nutrients your ducks need, and should only make up about 5-10% of their overall diet. That is, carrots should be considered treats, not something ducks should be eating every day.

If you’re raising ducks, be sure to cultivate a varied diet for your ducks that will meet their nutritional needs. The best way to make sure your ducks are getting an adequate diet is to give them commercial duck feeds. Treats such as carrots should be given only after your ducks have eaten their regular duck feed. Think of it as their dessert!

How to Feed Carrots to Ducks

ducks on grass_ Joachim Süß_Pixabay
Image credit: Joachim Süß, Pixabay

Whether you are raising your own ducks, or you like to feed the ducks at your local park, it’s important to know the basics about how to feed them. Consider a few of the tips below.

The number one tip for feeding ducks is to make sure you don’t overfeed them. Ducks at the park may get multiple visitors a day, and while offering them food may be a fun way to interact with them, it could spell trouble for the ducks. This is especially true for food products such as bread, but it applies to all foods that should be considered treats, including carrots. As with other animals, overeating can cause health problems in ducks. If you see others feeding your fowl friends, hold off on giving them that carrot so that they can stay healthy.

Another good thing to know is that ducks don’t chew their food. You need to make sure to give them bite-sized pieces of whatever you are giving them, including carrots, so that they don’t choke. Grated or cooked carrots will be even easier for ducks to eat, but avoid canned carrots, as they can contain lots of sodium and added sugars that are not good for your ducks.

Finally, consider giving your ducks the scraps you don’t eat (but do your research about foods you should avoid, discussed below). You may not tend to eat carrot tops, but they are rich in Vitamins K, A, B6, and C. Ducks need Vitamin K for blood clotting and bone health, but it’s only found in the leafy greens, not the actual root, of the carrot.


Foods You Should Avoid Feeding to Ducks

flock of ducks_Kim Loan Nguyen thi_Pixabay
image Credit: Kim Loan Nguyen thi, Pixabay

While it is true that a varied diet is healthy for ducks, there are some foods they absolutely should not eat. You should avoid feeding your ducks the following foods.

  • Citrus fruits, such as grapefruit and oranges: These can give ducks acid reflux and cause them to have stomach pain. They also may prevent calcium absorption, which could result in thin eggshells.
  • Mangoes: Mangoes may cause an allergic reaction in some ducks, so to be on the safe side, avoid them.
  • Avocados, white potatoes, green potatoes, eggplant, and pepper leaves: These foods contain toxins that are not harmful to humans, but can be poisonous to ducks.
  • Fruits that contain pits or seeds, such as cherries and apples: These fruits contain small amounts of cyanide. If you remove the pits or seeds, these fruits are fine for ducks to eat.
  • Large whole nuts and seeds: Protein plays an important part in ducks’ diets, but certain foods, like large nuts, can be difficult to eat. To prevent choking, grind these first before feeding them to your ducks.
  • White bread, chips, crackers, cereal, or other high-carbohydrate, bread-like products (especially foods with added sugar and fat): As discussed at the beginning of this article, feeding ducks too much bread or other high-carb foods can be harmful. Not only can they lead to weight gain, but these foods have very little nutritional value and can ultimately cause malnutrition in ducks. Cooked whole-wheat pasta and other whole grains are good alternatives, but they should still be given in moderation.

duck-divider

In Summary

Carrots are a nutritious treat that can contribute to a well-balanced diet for your ducks if eaten in moderation. Ducks can eat the whole carrot — both the leafy greens and the root — but keep in mind that you should grate, chop, or cook the carrot before giving it to your ducks to minimize the risk of choking. And don’t just stick to carrots; there are lots of healthy fruits, vegetables, grains, and proteins out there that your ducks will love snacking on!


Featured Image Credit: Pallav.journo, Wikimedia

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.