Can Ducks Eat Cheese? [Everything You Should Know]

Can Ducks Eat Cheese? [Everything You Should Know]


Ducks can eat cheese like mozzarella and cottage cheese but it must be shredded for easy consumption and fed in moderation. Overfeeding cheese to ducks can lead to stinkier poop and health problems.

Another point to note is that ducks aren’t exactly lactose fans. The lactose content in cheese can be tough for ducks to digest. This can lead to health issues like constipation, obstructive disease, allergic reactions, and can even be fatal.

So, while ducks eat cheese, you should give it in moderation and with caution.

Always balance cheese with ducks’ regular diet. Shredded mozzarella and cottage cheese are their favorites, but don’t let them make up the bulk of your ducks’ diet.

What Are the Potential Consequences of Feeding Ducks Cheese?

Ducks lack lactase. This enzyme helps digest milk and other dairy items. Since ducks don’t have it, they’re lactose-intolerant. This makes it hard for them to digest cheese.

Giving them too much chese can cause several digestive issues. These include:

  • Diarrhea,
  • Constipation, and
  • Watery stool.

In extreme cases, it could lead to obstructive disease, allergic reactions, and even death.

Cheese also packs a lot of calories. Feed your ducks too much cheese and you risk obesity.

There’s also the risk of disease transmission. The process of making cheese can involve bacteria. If your ducks live with other animals, feeding them cheese could spread disease.

Cheese can also be a hiding place for bacteria like Salmonella. This nasty bug can cause diarrhea, fever, and stomach pains in ducks. It can spread through contact with sick animals or by eating or drinking contaminated stuff.

Feeding ducks cheese can also lead to smellier poop. If you’re not keen on dealing with that, you might want to think twice about giving them cheese.

And remember, before adding cheese or any new food to your duck’s diet, it’s always a good idea to talk to a qualified avian veterinarian. They can provide guidance on what’s safe and what’s not.

What Should You Consider Before Feeding Ducks Cheese?

Before you decide to give cheese to your ducks, there are several key factors you need to remember.

First, ducks lack lactase, the enzyme that helps in digesting dairy products. This makes them lactose-intolerant, and cheese can be tough for them to process.

Also, remember that ducks don’t have teeth, they swallow their food whole. So you’ll need to shred cheese into small pieces before offering it to them. This helps avoid choking hazards.

Another thing to keep in mind is the quantity of cheese. To keep your ducks safe, limit the cheese intake to no more than 1 ounce per day.

It’s also crucial to ensure that cheese doesn’t replace your duck’s regular diet. Cheese should only be a treat, as their meals need to be balanced with other essential nutrients.

Overfeeding cheese can result in health risks. Too much cheese can cause digestive issues, obesity, and in severe cases, can even be fatal.

Feeding cheese could also risk disease transmission. The cheese-making process can involve bacteria, and these harmful germs could spread diseases among ducks, especially if they are raised with other animals in a barn.

Lastly, it’s always wise to consult with a vet before introducing any new food into your duck’s diet. A qualified avian veterinarian can provide the best advice on feeding your ducks cheese.

What Are the Alternatives to Cheese for Ducks?

Instead of cheese, you can feed ducks a variety of healthier foods.

Fruits and Vegetables

Ducks can eat many types of fruits and vegetables. You can feed them cut salad greens, vegetable peels, grapes, and other small pieces of produce.

A mix of frozen peas, corn, and carrot pieces is a great choice. It’s nutritious, affordable, and just the right size for them to eat whole.


Grains like oats, rice, and seeds are also good for ducks. Many of these foods will float on a pond, making them easy for ducks to reach.

Commercial Duck Feed

If you want to go a step further, you can buy specially formulated duck feed.

You can find these pellets online or at a local pet store. They are often fed to pet birds and farm animals.

Cheese Alternatives

Finally, there are lactose-free cheese alternatives. Examples include rice cheese, potato cheese, and nut-based cheese.

Rice cheese is made from rice, food oils, casein (a milk protein), and seasonings. Potato cheese includes cooked potatoes, a bit of milk kefir, salt, and spices. Nut-based cheese is typically made from cashews, almonds, pistachios, or macadamia nuts.

Even with these cheese alternatives, moderation is key. Feeding them to your ducks should be done with care, keeping their overall diet and health in mind.

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