Can Ducks Eat Cereal? (EXTENSIVE LIST + What To Know)

Everyone deserves a good and nutritious breakfast, including ducks.

I’m not quacking with you here, just like we humans, ducks need good, nutritious food in the morning so they can get their day started right.

It’s common knowledge that you can give a bit of bread to a duck as a treat, but what about grains, wheat, oats, and corn. Yup, that’s right, I’m talking about cereal. 

So, if you’re looking for an alternative treat for your own backyard ducks, or you’re looking to feed the local flock, here’s whether ducks can eat cereal, which cereals are safe and which ones are unhealthy for them, and what you need to be aware of!

Can Ducks Eat Cereal?

In some areas, wildlife conservatives discourage feeding wild ducks. But, if you own your own backyard ducks or know a few ducks at the local pond, then a little treat here and there won’t hurt!

Ducks will usually graze on wild grains and grasses, aquatic plants, and anything else they can scavenge, really.

So, it goes without saying that cereal should not form part of a duck’s regular diet. Still, most cereals are made from grain, wheat, oats, or corn – so it’s not all bad and these whole foods certainly fit into a duck’s diet.

Unfortunately, most store-bought cereal has a bunch of sugar and additives, so they should generally be avoided. But, some cereals are absolutely OK to feed ducks, so long as it’s just as a rare treat, and only ever in moderation.

What Cereal Is OK For Ducks To Eat?

Before we dive into what classic cereals are OK for ducks to eat and which ones should be avoided entirely, it’s important to note that cereal, even in small amounts, isn’t generally healthy for ducks to consume.

Still, there are some whole food cereals that are naturally low in sugar which are absolutely OK to feed your ducks, without any risk of negative effects so long as it’s fed in moderation.

So, if you’re looking in your pantry for a quick treat you can feed the local ducks or your own domestic quackers, here’s the fully extensive list of what cereals ducks can and cannot eat.

Can Ducks Eat Cheerios

Cheerios have made their way into the cupboards of most households on the planet, particularly in America. They are mainly made of whole grains and are relatively low in fat and calories.

However, cheerios are certainly a processed cereal, and some flavors contain just way too much sugar to be considered healthy for ducks, particularly honey nut, frosted, apple cinnamon, chocolate, etc.

Generally, you should avoid feeding cheerios to your ducks, but if you’ve got the multi-grain variety then a small amount will do no harm, so long as it’s just a rare treat!

Can Ducks Eat Frosted Flakes/Corn Flakes

Ahh, frosted flakes, an absolute classic. But they are pretty much sugar-coated corn flakes and unfortunately are packed with too much sugar for it to be considered safe for ducks to eat.

On the other hand, since plain corn flakes are made almost completely from corn (maize), they are actually one of the healthiest cereals you can feed to your ducks. They still have a small amount of sugar, but nothing that would be harmful, so long as it’s still given in moderation.

Corn itself is considered healthy for poultry, which is why ducks and chickens can eat whole corn kernels!

Can Ducks Eat Rice Krispies

Rice Krispies are essentially just crisped and puffed-up rice or grain. This would normally be considered healthy for ducks to eat in normal amounts, however, Rice Krispies are also mixed with a sugar paste which gives them a much nicer flavor.

Still, so long as you’ve got plain Rice Krispies, small amounts will be completely harmless to feed your ducks, although it won’t be considered healthy.

Can Ducks Eat Raisin Bran

Raisin Bran was always a staple when I was growing up (albeit, it was never my favorite!). You would think since it’s made from whole grains forming the “bran” part of it, that it could be OK to feed your ducks.

However, although it does contain some healthy vitamins and minerals, it does contain a good heap of sugar too.

For this reason, again, you should generally avoid giving Raisin Bran to ducks, unless it’s in extreme moderation!

Can Ducks Eat Lucky Charms

Lucky Charms may win all the kids over, but I’m not going to beat around the bush here. Lucky Charms simply have way too much sugar and should never be fed to ducks or any poultry for that matter!

Can Ducks Eat Froot Loops

Froot loops are crazy delicious, even as an adult I can’t help myself sometimes. However, it goes without saying, Froot loops simply have too much sugar to be considered acceptable to feed ducks. 

Can Ducks Eat Cocoa Puffs

Although the base ingredient of Cocoa Puffs is whole grain corn, they contain too much sugar and additives for these to be even considered remotely OK to feed ducks. Avoid feeding Cocoa Puffs to your ducks at all costs!

Can Ducks Eat Oatmeal

Oatmeal is essentially just processed oats, being de-husked, flattened, or hulled. Oats are actually surprisingly healthy for ducks and other poultry, containing heaps of fiber, low sugar, and numerous vitamins and minerals.

If there are any healthy cereals to feed ducks then oatmeal is definitely one of them, so long as you haven’t added any additional sugar or other unsafe ingredients to the oatmeal. So, ducks can eat oatmeal, or any other oats too!

Oatmeal is even healthy for baby chicks and ducklings, as well as oats in other forms like rolled oats or whole oats!

Can Ducks Drink Milk?

Usually you have milk with your cereal, right? This way it softens it up and makes it easier for you to eat. Plus, let’s be real, it makes it taste even more delicious too!

So, it’s worth asking: if you’re going to be feeding your ducks cereal, are you able to feed them milk too?

Well, ducks can drink milk, but they can’t properly digest lactose, so too much will give them an upset stomach, diarrhea, or other digestive issues. This goes for all types of dairy products too, including yogurt and cheese.

So, a better alternative, if you’re wanting to soften some cereal to give to your ducks, is to simply mix it with a bit of water.

Don’t get me wrong though, ducks can drink milk, but it should be given only in moderation!

How To Serve Safe Cereals To Your Ducks

So, now that you know which cereals are safe for ducks to eat and which ones to completely avoid (the sugary ones!), you may be wondering what are the best ways you can feed them to your ducks.

Here are the best three ways to serve cereal to your ducks:

As A Dry Treat

If you’re just looking to feed ducks a small handful of safe-to-eat cereals, then there is nothing wrong with simply offering it to them as a dry treat.

Either hold out your hand and feed your ducks, toss it into the yard for them to forage, or add it to a small bowl or container for them to eat!

Mixed With Milk Or Water

Optionally, to make the cereal much easier for the ducks to eat you can mix it with a small amount of milk or water.

This is particularly good if you’ve got some crunchy or potential sharp cereals, like Corn Flakes for example. It just makes it much softer and easier to eat!

It also makes dry cereal much easier for ducks to consume, like oats for example.

Within A Healthy Table-Scrap Mix

If you’re preparing a nice fruit and vegetable mix for your ducks, you can add a handful or two of a nutritious cereal, like plain Corn Flakes, Rice Krispies, or oatmeal.

This will ensure your ducks are getting all the benefits, without any downsides, as the cereal is mixed in with other foods which meet the duck’s nutritional needs.

What To Be Careful Of When Feeding Ducks Cereal

Cereal isn’t the most suitable type of food if you want to feed a duck. However, you can offer a duck some cereal as an occasional snack if you absolutely have to, so long as it’s one of the healthier varieties.

However, here are a few things you need to keep front of mind before offering cereal to your duck:

  • You should avoid any high-sugar, highly processed cereals. Any colored cereal with added or enhanced flavors is a big no-no for ducks!
  • If you’ve got yourself some rather dry cereals, like Rice Krispies, Corn Flakes, or Oats, then it’s worth mixing them with a bit of water or milk. This just makes it much easier for a duck to eat and digest.
  • Never make it a habit to feed ducks cereal in any form. It simply doesn’t offer a sustainable diet, and should only ever be given as a treat.
  • Offering too much cereal to your ducks can cause digestion issues or diarrhea.

What Other Food Is Good For A Duck?

Given cereal is normally high in sugar or has been processed, there are certainly some better food items that are better to offer to a duck.

Whether you’re looking for suitable treats for your own ducks, or the ducks at the local pond, here are some healthy food alternatives:

  1. Grains like wheat and barley.
  2. Rolled, uncooked, or quick oats. 
  3. Rice.
  4. Bird seeds (or chicken feed!).
  5. Mealworms or insects.
  6. Vegetable trimmings or leafy greens.

Ducks have a reasonably similar diet to chickens, for more information check out healthy foods for chickens.

To Wrap Up

No matter what way you look at it, cereal is not the best type of food to offer a duck.

Though, cereal is generally better for ducks than bread, and also carries much less risk of containing mold too!

However, some cereals are absolutely OK to feed ducks as a treat. These are those that are predominantly made from whole grains or whole foods, such as plain Corn Flakes, Rice Krispies, Oatmeal, etc.

When feeding cereal to your ducks it’s best to mix it with a bit of water or milk to make it easier for ducks to eat and digest.

Never make it a habit to feed ducks cereal, as it simply doesn’t offer enough nutritional benefit for a duck’s daily diet. Keep it as a treat and everyone will be happy!

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