Ducks are interesting animals that love to roam and forage for food when they are not lounging in a body of water and soaking up the sun’s rays. They can eat many different things, both in the wild and from a human’s kitchen. But can they and should they eat oranges? While your domestic farm and pet ducks, as well as wild ducks, can eat a healthy range of different fruits and vegetables, oranges should not be one of them. Here is what you need to know about feeding oranges to ducks and other options that you should consider instead.


Why Ducks Should Not Eat Oranges

Ducks should not eat any citrus fruits, including grapefruit, lemons, and oranges, because it is thought that the citrus inhibits the proper absorption of calcium and leads to poor shell quality. Calcium absorption problems can lead to brittle bones and poor health conditions later in life. Thin eggshells could result in a lack of hatchlings. Also, oranges are full of acid and water, which can give ducks diarrhea and even heartburn, just like as it can do to humans. Oranges can be more expensive than healthier fruit and veggie options, too.

Image Credit: Pixabay

Other Fruity Options That Are Safe for Ducks

There are many fruit and vegetable options to choose from that ducks will love and that will not affect calcium absorption or egg quality. Feeding domestic and wild ducks a variety of fruits and vegetables helps keep them healthy and strong for a long, happy, high-quality life. Here are a few options:

  • Watermelon
  • Cantaloupe
  • Honeydew
  • Fresh and frozen berries
  • Bananas
  • Peaches
  • Cabbage
  • Kale
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Beets

Try shredding a variety of these fruits and veggies to make a “tossed salad” for your pet or local wild ducks to enjoy.

When feeding pet ducks, pay attention to how they react to any fruits or vegetables that you offer that are new to them. Some may agree with them more than others. After a few feedings, you should be able to tell how well a fruit or veggie agrees with your pet duck by their stool, activity levels, and alertness. If your duck does not seem themselves after eating a specific fruit or veggie, simply stop feeding it to them and try something else. Ducks do not need one type of food to thrive. If they have access to a variety of foods that they enjoy and that agree with them, they should maintain good health and good quality of life.

Duck eating watermelon
Image Credit: PG Pew Morris, Shutterstock

Wild Duck Feeding Tips

If you are feeding pet ducks, you know what to do. However, if you are feeding wild ducks at a local pond or park, you may be wondering how you can get close enough to them to actually see them eat the food that you’re offering. Ducks can be wary of humans and for good reason. We tend to get too close for comfort and encroach on their personal space, the same kind of space that we deem necessary for ourselves and expect others to respect.

That said, the first tip for successfully feeding wild ducks is to keep your distance. Leave food on the ground, and move several feet away to watch wild ducks eat what you have to offer. Alternatively, you can throw food to wild ducks from afar and watch them eat without having to move back. Either way, binoculars can give you a more personal and closer look.

Another tip is to make sure you are feeding wild ducks bite-sized pieces of food. If the food that you throw or leave is too big to gulp down in one bite, the ducks might avoid the food in favor of easier eats. Break fruits, veggies, and grains down into pieces that are no more than a nickel in size if you want to watch wild ducks chow down in real time.


Final Thoughts

Feeding ducks, whether wild or domestic, is a joyful experience. But it is important to know what you should or should not be feeding ducks before throwing them any grub. Now you know that oranges should be avoided. But there are many alternative fruit and veggie options to choose from, so you can be well prepared for your next duck-feeding experience.

Featured Image: Pixabay