Ducks can eat yogurt, yes. It contains a range of nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and probiotics that are beneficial to their health. It’s fine to feed them yogurt in moderation. As with most treats, excessive feeding could cause some serious health issues.
Is it Healthy for Ducks?
Before feeding any food to your ducks, it’s important to check whether it’s safe.
The good news is that yogurt is perfectly safe. It’s great from a nutritional standpoint. Yogurt contains vitamins, calcium, and probiotics among other nutrients.
Probiotics have several health benefits for your waterfowls which include strengthening their immune system, treating diarrhea caused by antibiotics intake, improving digestion, and lowering blood cholesterol.
Calcium helps in strengthening your duck’s bones and the production of healthy eggs.
Generally, yogurt is good for ducks that are recuperating from an illness.
It’s worth noting that you should only feed your flock plain yogurt that doesn’t have artificial flavors and sweeteners and do so as a rare treat. Too much yogurt could cause constipation.
Do Ducks like Yoghurt?
Ducks like eating yogurt. It’s fun watching them dip their bills in it and then shaking their heads to get rid of the excess.
They are a bit messy and you’ll probably get splattered if you’re close to them as they enjoy their yogurt.
How to Feed Yoghurt to Ducks
You can use several methods to feed yogurt to your ducks. The easiest one is by pouring it into a dish. The dish should be wide enough to allow them to dip their beaks into it.
The second method is you can mix the yogurt with vegetables and fruits. In doing so, your waterfowl will obtain more nutrients from one meal.
The third method is mixing yogurt with oatmeal and other grains. Ducks love grains and they will gladly gobble up the mixture.
Can Ducklings Eat Yoghurt?
Ducklings can eat yogurt, yes. You can start feeding yogurt to baby ducks when they’re at least a month old in small quantities along with grit and lots of water. This ensures all their dietary needs are met as they grow before introducing other foods.
What Ducks Can Eat List
Wondering which other foods are safe for ducks to eat? Although this isn’t a complete list, here are common foods that duck owners feed their flock:
Fruits – Like vegetables, most fruits are safe to feed to ducks. The only concern is that seeds from some of them may not be safe as I will discuss later in the article. But generally speaking, fruits offer a wide range of nutrition that is essential for the optimal health of your flock. Try feeding them grapes, cantaloupe, bananas, etc. to see what they like.
Grains – Ducks, much like chickens, love to scratch around. Feeding them grains satisfies that need. Try feeding them wheat, maize, oatmeal, barley, etc.
Proteins – For optimal health, ducks require a well-rounded diet, and proteins form a significant part of that. Laying ducks and those undergoing molting need a good deal of protein as well. The most common sources include bugs and scrambled eggs.
Herbs – If you have some spare herbs from your garden, you can feed them to your waterfowl. Most herbs are perfectly safe and have amazing healing and wellness attributes. Try feeding them parsley, dill, cilantro, mint, etc.
What Ducks Cannot Eat List
We’ve all heard of the saying ‘Prevention is better than cure’ and that is the case with waterfowls. Here are foods that are potentially harmful to your ducks, but you should always confirm any other as a precaution.
Avocados – Most of us love eating this fruit and would be tempted to share some with our feathered friends. The flesh is fine to feed your ducks but the pit, skin, and leaves are toxic. They contain a toxin known as persin which can potentially cause health issues such as weakness, messed up feathers, and trouble breathing.
Citrus fruits – These fruits, lemons, in particular, add flavor to most foods we prepare in our homes but they’re not safe to feed to ducks. Other citrus fruits include oranges, limes, grapefruits, and limes. If ingested, they hinder the absorption of calcium and could also cause gastric problems. However, in most cases, a small amount is fine and won’t cause your flock any harm.
Coffee & Tea – If you’re used to composting tea bags or coffee grounds in your backyard, it’s best to prevent your ducks from helping themselves to that heap. Coffee and tea contain caffeine which can cause heart and lung complications as confirmed by a number of studies.
Chocolate – We all know that sugary foods (chocolate included) aren’t good for our health and the same is true for ducks. In addition to the obvious fact that chocolate can make them obese, it also contains a toxin called theobromine. Common symptoms of theobromine poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, and death. As if that were not enough, chocolate also contains caffeine which can cause further health issues.
Alcohol – I know you wouldn’t dare share your alcohol with your ducks. But in case you’re tempted to, it’s worth keeping in mind that alcohol will have some negative health effects on your flock. It will cause them to be disoriented, unable to coordinate, damage their organs and kill them.
Green Potatoes, Peppers, Tomatoes, and Egg Plant – I’ve grouped these together because they belong to the same family, nightshade. The green parts contain a toxin known as solanine which is produced naturally to ward off insects and fungus. If you must feed these plants to your ducks, wait for them to ripen, and only do so in moderation.
Raw Beans – I know you probably aren’t suspicious of raw beans being harmful to your ducks. I’m sorry to disappoint you but uncooked beans have a toxin called phytohemagglutinin. There’s evidence to suggest that this toxin can negatively affect the pancreas, intestines, and liver and even result in death.
Onions – If you have planted onions in your backyard, you shouldn’t let your ducks loose around that area. Onions have a toxin called thiosulphate which when ingested in large quantities can cause the red blood cells to have non-uniform sizes. In addition, it can cause weakness, swelling of the liver, and stomach upset amongst other health issues.
Moldy Foods – You shouldn’t feed your ducks moldy or rotten foods. These contain aflatoxins which when consumed are known to cause symptoms such as depression, breathing difficulties, and weakness. I know you wouldn’t poison your flock intentionally. Be sure to clear up any food that may have been left out for a long time to prevent your feathered friends from accidentally feeding on it.
Fruit seeds – You shouldn’t let your ducks anywhere near seeds from apples, apricots, peach, cherry, pear, and plums. They contain a toxin called cyanide which has been confirmed by several studies to kill cells by preventing them from accessing oxygen. It can kill your flock within a very short period.
Rhubarb & Spinach leaves – Both of these contain a toxin called oxalate whose effects in ducks include diarrhea, depression, and weight loss. Spinach is fine when fed in small quantities. Consumption of these plants can also cause hens to lay thin-shelled eggs which can break easily.
Summary – Can Ducks Eat Yoghurt?
If you have some spare yogurt, it’s okay to feed it to your ducks. Ducks love yogurt and would eat up as much as you provide. I’d recommend feeding them yogurt as a treat to prevent them from having any health problems. Ducks don’t really mind the form that you choose to feed them.
Image Credit: Images by Andreas Mock and Profet77 from Pixabay