Ducks can eat slugs, yes. They are not picky on the kind of bugs and insects that they consume. However, there are some risks that your ducks are exposed to if they ingest slugs including worms and other parasites.
Do ducks eat slugs?
All ducks eat slugs. Typically, ducks won’t go out of their way to find and eat a slug; they really only do it if there are no other food sources around. But once they discover the slug, they will enjoy it thoroughly.
Ducks don’t have teeth so their digestive tract is made to break down their food very quickly. This allows them to enjoy several types of insects, including slugs.
Mallard ducks can eat slugs, but it’s not recommended. A mallard duck’s diet has a variety of natural ingredients and there are better slug alternatives.
Muscovy ducks do not eat slugs. They prefer to eat vegetation, insects, small fish, frogs, mammals, reptiles, and worms.
Pekin ducks certainly can eat slugs. This breed of domesticated duck is known for its meat production and has been used extensively in commercial agriculture.
However, there are some risks involved in ducks eating slugs, mostly having to do with parasites and worms that can harm their health.
Is it ok for ducks to eat slugs?
Ducks won’t get sick from eating most slugs but they will pick up dangerous parasitic worms that could damage their internal organs or even kill them. If any duck eats more than two or three slugs per week, the chance of worm infestation grows exponentially. Be sure to keep an eye on your ducks’ slug consumption.
Risks of worms and other parasites from slugs
Systemic Larva Migrans (SLM) is a very serious and common problem in ducks because of their slug eating. SLM is contracted by the duck ingesting many larvae at once, typically from one source such as slugs or feces. The larva then travels into the tissues and organs causing lesions where they lay their eggs. This leads to muscle degeneration, tissue decay, organ failure, weakness and in some cases death.
Slugs carry the lungworm parasite Aelurostrongylus abstrusus which can lead to coughing, respiratory distress and sometimes pneumonia if the ducks eat too many of them.
How often can ducks eat slugs?
There’s no exact answer to this question; it depends on where you live and how often slugs appear in your area. If the ducks only eat a few slugs per week, there shouldn’t be any problems. But if they eat more than two or three per day or week, watch them closely for signs of infection.
When can ducks eat slugs?
Ducks can eat slugs at any time of the year. They especially like to dine on them during the colder months when they don’t have access to as much food.
Do baby ducks eat slugs?
Most duck breeds will not hesitate to feast on a slug if they find it, regardless of their age. Baby ducks are just as eager to consume slugs as older ducks.
How to get rid of slugs safely without harming ducks?
The best way to get rid of slugs is by trapping them in a jar, then dumping them into a can with 1 tablespoon of salt and vinegar. After an hour the slugs will be dead, leaving you free to give them to your ducks or discard them responsibly. This process won’t harm your ducklings so they can eat any slugs that are trapped this way.
I use this trap that you can get on Amazon for a great price. All you have to do is place it at a location that slugs frequent, then pour some beer into it. You’ll find them trapped in no time.
Safe foods that you can feed to ducks
Slug eating isn’t considered normal behavior for most breeds of domesticated ducks but it’s not unsafe for them either if they don’t overdo it. So long as their diet consists mostly of good quality food pellets, plenty of fresh water and a few slugs here and there, they’ll be perfectly healthy. Make sure to keep an eye on them for any signs of infection or disease.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Anthony from Pexels, Image by Michel van der Vegt from Pixabay