Can Ducks Eat Blackberries (Is It Really OK?)

“Make way! Make way!”

What these ducks must be saying to each other as they high tail it across the yard when they see us coming out with treats.

But, it’s our responsibility to ensure that we only feed ducks healthy foods that will actually benefit them in some way.

So where do blackberries fit into a duck’s diet?

Well, I’ll tell ya. Here’s whether ducks can eat blackberries, if they are considered safe for ducks, and what benefits blackberries actually have for ducks!

Can Ducks Eat Blackberries?

If you own ducks and also grow blackberry bushes on your property you’ll be able to answer this question quicker than a duck’s quack. 

But, for those that are either new to owning ducks, duck owners who are considering growing blackberries, or even if you’re simply curious if you can feed ducks blackberries – yes, ducks can eat blackberries!

In fact, ducks absolutely love blackberries, amongst many other sweet and juicy berries like blueberries too. They can be fresh or dried, your ducks won’t mind!

Plus, it’s not just our backyard duck friends, wild ducks can eat blackberries too!

However, whether you’re feeding wild ducks or backyard ducks, blackberries should only ever be fed to ducks in moderate, treat-like frequencies and portions. This is especially true when feeding blackberries to ducklings as a treat.

This is because although there are plenty of benefits of blackberries for ducks, they are also high in sugar and don’t offer ducks everything they need on a daily basis to stay fit and healthy.

Is It Safe For Ducks To Eat Blackberries?

Just to be clear, in any normal moderate amounts blackberries are perfectly safe for ducks to eat. 

But, there’s a limit. 

Let’s keep it simple. Blackberries are naturally high in sugars and are very low in protein, amongst other essential nutrients ducks need.

This means, that the more blackberries your ducks eat, the more sugar they will be consuming. Secondly, the more blackberries your duck eats, the less they will be hungry to consume other foods that day, often forgoing other important nutrients.

This is why it’s critical to only feed your duck’s blackberries in treat-like quantities. This is so they can enjoy the taste and the benefits the fruit has to offer, without any nasty side effects.

At these moderate amounts, it is completely safe for ducks to eat blackberries.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Blackberries For Ducks?

Now, time for some good news.

When you feed blackberries to your ducks in small, treat-like quantities, they’ll not only love the taste but they’ll actually be benefitting from some of the key nutrients in the fruit.

Here are the benefits of blackberries for ducks:

  • Blackberrys are rich in Vitamin A, an essential to ducks for healthy vision, immunity, and for actively fighting off disease or infection.
  • Blackberries contain a good strong dose of Vitamin C, which helps the duck’s immune system, much like in humans.
  • They’re also rich in Vitamin K, known to help with blood function including clotting. This is a critical vitamin for ducks. Vitamin K Deficiency can cause many problems in ducks. 
  • They contain useful antioxidants that help the duck get rid of any toxins and stay healthy. Antioxidants also aid in the building of healthy cells.
  • They contain an essential nutrient called polyphenol. Polyphenols protect ducks, as well as humans, from oxidative stress and cognitive and motor skills deterioration. 
  • Blackberries are rich in fiber which helps with healthy digestion – so long as they don’t eat TOO many.

Can Ducklings Eat Blackberries?

It’s not like the compounds and nutrients within blackberries are unhealthy for ducklings. But, overall, blackberries simply don’t offer ducklings enough of their required macro nutritional needs, i.e. protein, fats, and carbohydrates.

Plus, a duckling’s digestive system isn’t strong enough to handle such large intakes of sugar and they are more likely to get upset stomachs!

Although the odd blackberry may be OK for ducklings to eat, it’s recommended to not feed ducklings any form of blackberries until they are at least 8 weeks old – similar to baby chickens eating other foods.

How To Serve Blackberries To Your Ducks

There are two effective ways to serve blackberries to your ducks – without overfeeding them and risking any potential downsides.

In both cases, you want to be sure to clean your blackberries first and remove any that appear to be moldy or spoiled.

Once you have your blackberries ready, you can either serve them to your ducks:

  • By themselves as a treat: it’s as simple as tossing out one or two blackberries to each of your ducks! Crushed or whole, your ducks will have no trouble eating them – believe me! 
  • Mixed in with other healthy foods: Instead of feeding blackberries to your ducks by themselves, you can mix them in with a weekly or bi-weekly fruit and vegetable or healthy table-scrap mix! 

    Try mixing a handful of blackberries with high protein seeds, root vegetables, and some low-sugar fruits. Your ducks will be thanking you later!

That’s It!

It’s as easy as that. 

Both wild and domesticated ducks absolutely love blackberries and they are completely safe for ducks to eat!

Still, it’s important you only feed blackberries to your ducks in moderation, no more than you would other treats.

This is because by themselves blackberries have too much sugar and don’t offer your ducks enough protein or other macro nutritional value.

However, when fed in moderation blackberries can actually be considered healthy for ducks to eat!

Happy backyard farming everyone.

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