Ducks can eat a huge variety of plant matter, and some of their favorite foods happen to be the choice bits of leafy greenery along with a few roots, stalks, and other things. But when it comes to vegetables, some are totally edible!
Celery is just such a vegetable, with a spray of frond-like, tender leaves on top and a firm, crisp stalk.
Both make for good eating and are nutritious, but what we need to know if it is okay for ducks to eat. So, is celery safe for our ducks?
Yes, celery is safe for ducks to eat and surprisingly nutritious. The leaves and stalk are edible and contain vitamins and minerals that can boost their health. However, it isn’t nutritionally complete and ducks cannot live on it alone.
Celery is a highly divisive veggie when it comes to most folks but among ducks, in my experience, it seems to be universally popular. It makes a great and easily digestible treat or occasional addition to their usual diet, and they always seem happy to get it.
But, celery isn’t without its drawbacks and there’s more you’ll need to know before you start incorporating it into their regular rotation. Keep reading to learn more.
Do Ducks Like Celery?
Yes, they do. Ducks are especially fond of the leafy green tops of celery, their favorite part of the plant but they can and will eat the stalk also.
Keep in mind that some ducks seem a little bit unsure about the stalk, and for small breeds in particular you’ll need to entice them by chopping it up.
Is Celery a Nutritious Option for Ducks?
Yes, definitely! Celery is often snidely divided as a vegetable that costs you calories when you eat it; that’s how lacking in nutrition it is, supposedly! But I’m happy to report that the reality is very different….
Celery is a low-calorie food, yes, but ducks can still digest it and get energy from it, and more than that it has a surprisingly good amount of nutrients, both vitamins and minerals.
Celery is a remarkably good source of vitamin K and B-complex vitamins like thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, B6, B12, and folate. It also has just a little bit of vitamins C, D, and E to round things out.
The mineral lineup is varied but not particularly rich, though celery will offer ducks iron, calcium, potassium, phosphorus magnesium, and copper.
Together, the micronutrients can significantly benefit the health of your flock, and they are particularly good for stabilizing cellular processes, organ function, circulation, and also metabolic performance owing to their electrolytes.
Celery is also a remarkably good supplement to help ducks cope with the stress of the molt or heat, generally.
And being mostly water, celery is quite naturally very hydrating though ducks still shouldn’t get too much of it. Excessive amounts of moist, watery food can contribute to diarrhea. So, overall, an incredibly clean and wholesome snack or supplement that can definitely benefit your birds.
Is Raw Celery Okay for Ducks?
Yes, it definitely is. In fact, raw celery is ideal for ducks because it contains the best possible amount of nutrition and is easy for them to digest.
Can Ducks Handle the Bottom of a Celery Stem?
Yes, they can, but you’ll probably need to chop it up into small bites for them to eat. The middle part of a celery stalk is tender and not as chewy, but ducks can eat the whole thing.
However, if you don’t want to mess with it you can cut off the bottom part of the stalk where it starts to widen and turn white, throwing it away.
Are Celery Leaves Safe for Ducks?
Yes, celery leaves are absolutely safe for ducks. In fact, this is their very favorite part of the plant and if you leave them on the stems I’ll guarantee that they will go for the leaves first.
It’s easy for ducks to bite off a piece and swallow it, and they are quite nutritious on their own, too.
Is Cooking Celery for Ducks a Good Idea?
No, it isn’t. Cooking celery doesn’t really make it any easier for ducks to digest or make it more appealing to them. It’s actually quite likely to do the opposite!
Worse, cooking will significantly deplete the already small amounts of vitamins and minerals that celery has, meaning they’ll be eating a food that has hardly any calories and also, now, no real nutrients.
Don’t do it; stick with raw, fresh celery only.
Is Celery Safe for Ducklings to Eat?
Yes, celery is safe for ducklings as soon as they’re old enough to start trying whole foods besides their starter feed. They can have the greens with no problem, and in many ways, they are an ideal first “real food” for them.
The stalks are also okay, but you’ll want to cut them up into tiny tidbits that they can easily swallow. Ducklings are a lot more likely to choke on them compared to adults, so pay attention.
Is Celery Harmful or Toxic for Ducks in Any Way?
No, not in the sense that there’s anything potentially toxic or dangerous about it. But as with so many other foods, including seemingly harmless foods like celery, bad things will start to happen if ducks get too much of it at once or get too much of it in their diet over time.
As mentioned above celery is not nutritionally complete for ducks- not even close- and it has nowhere near enough calories to sustain them.
Aside from leading to malnutrition, eating too much celery means that ducks will fill up on it and be unable to eat other, more nutritious foods that they should have instead.
And there’s always a possibility that eating too much moist food like celery can cause indigestion and subsequently diarrhea which can start to dehydrate them. And that, as always, is a nasty mess that you’ll have to deal with…
But none of this is really a big concern: ducks have to get an awful lot of celery for either to be a real possibility. As long as you’re careful not to give them too much, you have nothing to worry about.
How Often Can Ducks Have It?
Ducks can have small servings of celery up to four times per week. The good news is that they can eat as many celery tops or greens as they want. These are a great supplemental food item for them.
But, you must be sure that your ducks are still getting other, more nutritious food in their diet, and I recommend that you make it a point to serve them celery after you know they’ve already eaten food with a higher calorie count and more nutrients.
Preparing Celery for Your Ducks
My preferred method for getting celery ready to serve is chopping off the greens so that I can dice them up and mix them in with other food, or serve them separately. Then I chop the stalks into small bits, as this makes it much easier for them to handle and swallow.
Consider cutting off the tough, wide end of the stalk near the bottom and trashing it. And as always, and sure that your ducks have access to water while they are eating so they can dunk the celery and swallow it more easily.
Never Give Ducks Celery if it is Slimy or Showing Mold
Your ducks should only get fresh celery that is unspoiled. Any that has started to rot, go slimy, or show signs of mold should be thrown away, never fed to them.
Ducks are vulnerable to various foodborne illnesses like most animals, and you should know that there are several kinds of mold that produce terribly dangerous toxins. Several strains can kill ducks outright!
Tim is a farm boy with vast experience on homesteads, and with survival and prepping. He lives a self-reliant lifestyle along with his aging mother in a quiet and very conservative little town in Ohio. He teaches folks about security, prepping and self-sufficiency not just through his witty writing, but also in person.
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