Ducks, like most of us, enjoy a bit of variety in their diets, including fruits and vegetables.
Aside from providing them with dietary fiber which can be great for regular digestion, the vitamins and minerals present in these foods go a long way to keeping your ducks in tip-top shape.
But have you ever heard of ducks eating blueberries?
Well, as it turns out, they go crazy for them!
Here’s whether ducks can eat blueberries, what health benefits they actually have for your ducks, and how to serve them safely!
Can Ducks Eat Blueberries?
Small, sweet, and extremely juicy, blueberries are nature’s very own lolly.
In my household, blueberries seem to be gobbled by the family as soon as we get them. But, on the odd occasion when we’ve got too many, we often offer them to our flock, who go even crazier for them!
So, if you were wondering, ducks can safely eat blueberries, and they are even considered healthy when they’re fed to ducks in moderation.
This is because blueberries contain countless healthy vitamins and minerals, aren’t overly sugary, and are completely non-toxic to ducks in normal amounts. This goes for ducks eating other berries too, including blackberries!
However, ducks need protein, carbohydrates, and fiber in their diet. Blueberries don’t offer much in the way of protein or carbohydrates, so they should never replace or substitute a duck’s normal feed.
Nonetheless, they are considered a healthy treat for ducks!
Health Benefits Of Blueberries For Ducks
When fed in moderation, blueberries can offer a host of health benefits to your ducks, for their overall immunity, development, and well-being!
These tiny fruits contain considerable amounts of vitamins C, E, K1, and B6, along with numerous important minerals.
Although these vitamins and minerals can also be found in a duck’s standard formulated feed, there is some benefit to having diversity in their diet, as they get different levels of their nutrients in various forms.
Here are the key compounds in blueberries that are healthy for ducks, and what they can do for your flock!
Vitamin C is critical for ducks. It does a great deal as an antioxidant, improving immune functions and aiding in times of stress, such as from hot weather or unfamiliar environments.
Blueberries can be a great source of vitamin C without causing the gastric or egg-laying problems that citrus fruits cause.
Vitamin E is great for ducklings’ growth, and can help tremendously with muscle and bone development. It’s used to treat conditions that affect head and neck mobility (called wryneck) and helps with joint health and elasticity.
Just like humans need vitamin K for the formation of blood clots, ducks also benefit from this vitamin in the same way.
Essential for nerve health, the vitamin B complex aids in the formation of neurotransmitters that keep the overall health of your duck in check.
While other components of the vitamin B complex need to be supplemented or given in food form, blueberries provide some vitamin B6.
Vitamin B is a common deficiency found in backyard ducks and chickens, causing them to fall over, lose balance, and can eventually lead to paralysis.
As well as many other minerals, blueberries are rich in manganese, have trace amounts of copper, and have trace amounts of potassium. All of which can help avoid soft-shell eggs, and makes for better bone health.
Can Ducklings Eat Blueberries?
Don’t get me wrong, there are compounds within blueberries that would be considered healthy for ducklings. But, they simply don’t offer enough protein, carbohydrates, and other important micro-nutrients that ducklings need during this stage of their development.
Ducklings need about 15% protein in their diets to keep up with their rapid development. By feeding ducklings foods like blueberries it will naturally mean they will be eating less of their normal grower feed.
That’s why it’s recommended not to feed blueberries to ducklings.
Similar to how you should be cautious feeding table scraps to baby chicks until they are at least a few months old.
How To Serve Blueberries To Your Ducks?
Remember, it’s all about balance. Feeding your ducks too many blueberries will mean they will be eating less of their other food groups. This will mean it’s unlikely your ducks will reach their optimal nutrition.
So, the most important thing to remember when feeding your ducks blueberries is that everything is better in moderation. This goes for other fruits, vegetables, or grains and cereals too.
So long as you keep this in mind, the best ways to serve blueberries to your ducks are:
- Served fresh and raw as a treat: to maintain the greatest amount of their health benefits blueberries should be served fresh. You can simply serve them whole to your ducks in a bowl, or by throwing them out in the yard and watching your ducks swarm them!
- Served in a healthy table-scrap mix: a handful of blueberries goes a long way in terms of nutrition. Simply adding a handful to your next healthy fruit and vegetable mix is a good way to incorporate them into your duck’s diet – without overdoing it!
Remember though, always in moderation and never as a replacement for their normal feed.
Can Ducks Eat Blueberry Muffins?
Although blueberries are certainly healthy for ducks as a natural treat, muffins tend to contain too many unhealthy ingredients for blueberry muffins to be considered OK to feed your ducks.
Sure, as a very rare treat it may be OK to feed them a sample of a blueberry muffin. However, the flour, sugar, butter, and other added ingredients would certainly be considered unhealthy for ducks.
If you have the choice, it’s best to avoid feeding your ducks blueberry muffins entirely, or any other type of muffin for that matter!
Can Ducks Eat Blueberry Pie?
Blueberry pies can be a treat for all ages, for any time of day (at least it is in my book!).
Although the actual blueberry in the pie would be OK for ducks, the pastry and filling would certainly be considered unhealthy for ducks.
Usually, pie filling is mixed with sugar and other unhealthy additives to make it taste ridiculously delicious.
It’s because of this you should avoid feeding your ducks blueberry pie – but don’t tell them I said that!
To Sum Up
So, it’s clear that blueberries are absolutely OK for your ducks to eat. They are actually considered very healthy and nutritious, so long as they are only given in moderation.
This is mainly because when a duck eats too many blueberries it will mean it will be eating less of its normal, formulated feed (in the case of backyard ducks).
In the case of ducklings though, you should be more mindful feeding them blueberries and it’s generally not recommended.
Further to this, avoid feeding your ducks any blueberry baked goods, as they generally have too many unhealthy ingredients in them which outweigh the health benefits of the blueberries!