Can Ducks Eat Apples? [A Guide on Feeding Apples to Ducks]

Can Ducks Eat Apples? [A Guide on Feeding Apples to Ducks]


Yes, ducks can eat apples. Apples pack a nutritional punch for ducks, offering antioxidants, carbs, fiber, sodium, and even a bit of hydration. Ducks love the sweet taste of apples.

But, you need to keep a few safety tips in mind before serving apples to ducks. One matter of concern is the apple seeds. These seeds hold a compound known as amygdalin. This amygdalin turns into cyanide inside the body after being chewed and digested. While it’s not usually a threat to humans, it can be risky for ducks due to their smaller size. So, when you’re feeding apples to ducks, it’s best to remove the core and seeds.

Also, big chunks of apple might lead to choking. So, cut the apples into small, bite-sized pieces. These chunks are easy for ducks to handle and eat.

Despite the nutritional benefits, apples shouldn’t be the main part of a duck’s diet. This is due to their sugar content. You should keep the fruity treats to just about 10% of a duck’s daily diet. This way, your ducks can enjoy the taste and health benefits of apples, without any health risks.

What Are the Risks of Feeding Apples to Ducks?

Feeding ducks apples may seem like a harmless act, but it does come with several risks. One main risk is choking. Ducks don’t chew their food but swallow it whole. Large pieces of apple can get stuck in their throat. To avoid this, cut apples into small, manageable pieces before you feed them to ducks.

Another significant risk is the presence of amygdalin in apple seeds. This compound turns into cyanide when chewed and digested. The amount of cyanide may not harm humans, but it could hurt ducks due to their smaller size. Always remove the core and seeds before offering apples to ducks.

Overfeeding is another danger when it comes to feeding apples to ducks. Apples have sugar, and too much of it can lead to weight gain in ducks. Overusing apples could also cause serious issues like cardiac stress and high blood pressure. So, treat apples as an occasional treat, not a staple in their diet.

Also, be cautious when feeding apples to young ducks. Ducks under 12 weeks old shouldn’t eat apples. Apples are hard and could be toxic for these young ducks. So, it’s always best to consult with a vet or a duck care expert before introducing new foods into their diet.

What Other Foods Can Ducks Eat?

Duck’s diet can include a wide variety of foods. Let’s take a look at the other foods that ducks can eat.

Grains and Seeds

Ducks love grains like sweetcorn, oats, rice, wheat, and barley. Seeds such as sesame and sunflower are also a hit. They can snack on buckwheat and brown rice too.


Ducks can enjoy a variety of fruits. These include bananas, blackberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, grapes, melon, peaches, pears, plums, raspberries, strawberries, and watermelon. But remember, avoid citrus fruits and avocados as these can interfere with a duck’s ability to absorb calcium and are hard to digest.


Ducks can munch on lettuce, cabbage, kale, broccoli, peas, cucumbers, zucchini, chard, squash, carrots, and radishes. But, keep spinach off the menu as it can block calcium absorption.

Protein Sources

Protein is a key part of a duck’s diet. They can get protein from foods like nuts, dairy products, and meat. Mealworms are also a great source of protein for ducks.

Other Foods

Apart from these, ducks can also eat cracked corn, birdseed, frozen peas, and sliced grapes. They can also consume algae, herbs, and greens.

While ducks can eat a wide variety of foods, remember these should be given as treats and shouldn’t make up the majority of their diet. Ducks need a balanced diet that includes grains, legumes, meat or fish processing by-products, and other plants. This ensures they get the necessary nutrients and amino acids.

And don’t forget, always ensure that ducks have access to water when feeding them to prevent choking.

Can Ducks Eat Other Apple Products?

Yes, ducks can eat other apple products, but there are some things to keep in mind.

Applesauce is a duck-friendly treat. Your feathered friends can consume it, but make sure it’s homemade with no added preservatives. Store-bought applesauce is often pasteurized, which robs it of many enzymes and vitamins. And don’t forget, it needs to be cooled down before serving.

Apple peels can be part of a duck’s diet too. Ducks can munch on apple skin if it’s attached to a small piece of apple. Just be sure the peels are free from pesticides or other harmful chemicals.

However, you should steer clear of apple cores. They’re just too tough for a duck to digest. And they contain seeds, which pose their own risks. Apple seeds have amygdalin, a substance that turns into cyanide when chewed and digested. It’s not typically harmful to humans, but it could be to ducks.

Remember, moderation is key when treating ducks to apple products. Too much fruit can upset a duck’s digestive system. Balance their meals with a mix of other foods. And always make sure ducks have water nearby when feeding them. It’s crucial to help prevent choking.

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