When you stop to think about the things that ducks get in their diet, what do you imagine? Duck feed, sure, but also various plants, slugs, insects, and things like that. Doesn’t sound too good to us, but ducks can also eat a wide variety of other foods.
They can even eat fruit! But fruit is only a supplement or treat for them, not a mainstay, and not all kinds are good or healthy. How about something like watermelon? Can our ducks eat it without issues?
Yes, watermelon is safe for ducks to eat and a treat that most of them love. It is a good source of energy, pretty nutritious and definitely hydrating but still too sugary for them to eat all the time.
Watermelon is a juicy and refreshing treat that ducks absolutely love, and you’ll get a real kick out of watching them devour the stuff. It’s a great option for them in the summertime, but it must be fed to them as part of a well-balanced diet.
As long as you keep an eye on the quantity that they get, you won’t have a thing to worry about. Keep reading and you’ll learn how to make it part of their summertime menu…
Do Ducks Like Watermelon?
Yes, and more than like it, ducks absolutely love it! Watermelon is soft, juicy, sweet, and easy for them to digest, and you’ll rarely see your ducks attack anything like they attack a slice of ripe watermelon.
The great thing about it is that it’s easy for them to eat owing to the tender flesh and it’s also surprisingly nutritious. As far as treats go, it’s one of the best and you can feel good about giving it to them.
Is Watermelon a Nutritious Option for Ducks?
Watermelons are a nutritious option for your flock, though they are hardly the most nutrient-dense fruit around. That said, they are certainly wholesome and a decent source of energy, vitamins, and minerals.
Looking at the vitamin content first, you’ll see that watermelons have lots of vitamin A and vitamin C along with beta carotene and many of the B-complex vitamins, specifically riboflavin, niacin, thiamine, pantothenic acid, and B6 backed up by a small amount of choline.
The mineral content is likewise beneficial, but nothing to write home over: watermelons have small amounts of manganese, magnesium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, and potassium.
These are all beneficial things that ducks need in various amounts. Watermelons aren’t a tremendous source of any of them, but considering that they are fed typically as a treat and a source of hydration and energy to help them beat stress, this isn’t a major issue.
Ducks should be getting the bulk of their nutrition from other foods that are more nutritionally complete…
Is Raw Watermelon Okay?
Yes, definitely. Raw watermelon is very easy for ducks to eat and has the best possible amount of vitamins and minerals. That’s important since watermelon doesn’t have a ton of them in the first place.
Can Ducks Eat Watermelon Seeds?
Yes, but you should be cautious. Most ducks can eat watermelon seeds with no problems, and contrary to some assertions you’ll run into on the internet they can digest them easily enough thanks to their gizzard.
However, pay attention to the watermelon when you cut it open during preparation: very large seeds can be a choking or crop impaction hazard for ducks, particularly the smaller breeds.
If that’s the case, you should keep an eye on them at the least and consider seeding the watermelon prior to serving.
Can Ducks Eat Watermelon Rind?
Yes, though they do not like it and they will only try to eat the dense rind if it is cut up into small pieces. I don’t bother with it, and you don’t need to either since it contains very little in the way of calories or nutrition.
What About Watermelon Leaves?
Yes, watermelon leaves are tender, crisp, and tasty and most ducks seem to like them. They aren’t harmful, and your birds can get nutrition from them.
Should You Cook Watermelon to Give to Ducks?
Nope. Cooking watermelon serves no purpose except to turn it into a slushy mess and it will also strip nearly all of the vitamins and minerals out. It’s worse than a waste of time: it actively defeats the purpose of feeding it to them! Don’t do it.
Is Watermelon Harmful or Toxic for Them in Any Way?
Potentially, but this is only a factor if you give your ducks a serving that is way too large or if they are getting too much watermelon in their diet, generally.
Watermelon is quite sweet, and too much sugar has a tendency to cause indigestion, diarrhea, sour crop, and other health issues in ducks. It’s also extremely juicy, and though ducks handle moist food well (compared to chickens at least) too much is also a common cause of diarrhea.
That, and there’s a possible risk of choking if the watermelon’s seeds are too big for them to swallow easily. That was discussed above in the relevant section, so just keep an eye out for that especially if you have small-breed ducks.
Other than that, you don’t have anything to worry about when giving watermelon to your flock. Watch the quantity, stick to the feeding schedule, and they won’t have any problems.
How Often Can Ducks Eat Watermelon?
Give your ducks no more than two small servings of watermelon a week as a treat or supplement to their typical diet.
Be careful because ducks really do love the stuff. They’ll go crazy for it, and the temptation to give them more to make them happy will make you forget about the downsides. Keep your nerve, and don’t give them too much if you don’t want them to get sick!
Prepping Watermelon for Your Ducks
Watermelon is very easy to prepare for your birds. Cut it into slices and let them chomp at the soft flesh, or remove the flesh from the rind and cut it into cubes.
If you leave the rind on you generally don’t have to worry about them trying to eat it, but they might eat it if it’s cut up into very small pieces.
And keep in mind the potential trouble about the seeds. If the watermelon has very large seeds and you have small ducks, it’s a good idea to remove them just to be on the safe side…
Make Sure to Clean Up Leftovers
Any leftover scraps of watermelon should be taken up out of the run or yard where your ducks are when they are finished with them- assuming there is anything left!
Watermelon is sweet and fragrant enough that it will attract all sorts of pests, including rodents and insects. Both can be troublesome for your ducks and for you, so get rid of the leftovers to keep things clean and tidy.
Also, if any duck comes around and starts to nibble on leftover watermelon that is spoiling or fermenting it could make them sick.
Never Give Ducks Watermelon if It’s Rotting or Moldy
Your ducks should only ever be given fresh, wholesome watermelon, not stuff that has started to rot, spoil, or show signs of mold.
Bad, spoiled food can make your ducks very sick, maybe even kill them. Yes, they sometimes have to eat substandard food in the wild because they have no choice but they aren’t invulnerable to foodborne illnesses! Don’t give them anything that might hurt them.
Is Watermelon Safe for Ducklings?
Yes, as long as they’re old enough to have other foods besides their starter food. They will love some sweet, delicious watermelon as much as the adults and the flock.
But you’ve really got to keep the quantities tiny because it can easily upset their digestive tract and give them diarrhea. A few tiny bites are unlikely to hurt them, though. Be sure to remove the seeds!
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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