If you have a pond or body of water around your home or like to frequent an area that attracts ducks, you might be wondering if it’s safe to feed them rice. Over the past few decades, there has been quite a stir around rice and birds, especially at weddings, where people claim that throwing rice could harm the birds because it expands in their stomachs. However, that is nothing more than an urban legend, and it’s perfectly safe for ducks and any other birds to eat rice. But is it healthy? Keep reading while we take a look at the nutritional value of rice to see if it is the best food you can give your ducks. We’ll also discuss how much and how often you should provide it.


Is Rice Bad for My Ducks?


While rice will not expand and ill your duck, it will absorb water and cause your duck’s feces to become drier and harder.

If you provide too much, it can even lead to constipation which can be uncomfortable for the duck. Holding back on the rice will allow it to return to normal in a day or two. Constipation is not likely to occur by throwing a handful to a group each day, but it can be a problem if you were to leave a large pile of it for them to eat at their leisure.

Image Credit: vargazs, Pixabay


It would help if you did not feed any rice to a duckling under 4 weeks old. The moisture-absorbing properties of the rice could cause health problems due to the tiny size of the chick.

duck-paw-divider Is Rice Good for My Ducks?

Rice is a staple food for humans all over the world. You will also find it in most pet food because it is an inexpensive food with plenty of nutritional benefits.

1. High In Carbs

Carbohydrates are an important energy source for ducks, and rice provides about 28 grams per 100-gram serving. Rice will provide your duck with the energy it needs to get through the day.

2. Protein

Rice contains about 2.7 grams of protein per 100-gram serving. This protein will help your duck develop muscle and feathers.

3. Vitamins and Minerals

There are also plenty of vitamins and minerals like potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, niacin, and choline that can be beneficial to the health of your duck. These vitamins might also be available in larger concentrations depending on the kind of rice you are feeding.

duck eating
Image Credit: Annette Meyer, Pixabay

4. Fiber

Fiber is an essential nutrient for ducks, and it helps them avoid constipation and diarrhea by regulating the amount of water in the intestines. Fiber also helps your duck expel waster faster, reducing the risk of colon cancer.

duck-paw-divider How Can I Feed My Duck Rice?

Ducks can eat any type of rice, raw or cooked, but we recommend limiting the serving size to no more than 2 ounces per day. Spreading raw rice over the ground can trigger their foraging instincts and will help slow down the pace at which they eat the rice. Place cooked rice on a small platter and remove it after an hour or two when the duck has eaten.

  • Brown rice will be more nutritious than white rice.
  • Cooked rice is easier to digest but will have lower nutritional value and will attract insects. It can also become dangerous for your duck to eat after a few hours.
  • Uncooked rice is more nutritious, can sit out longer, and is not likely to attract insects, but it is more difficult for your duck to digest.
rice grain
Image Credit: white kim, Pixabay


Final Thoughts

We’re not sure how the rumor about birds dying after eating rice got started, but it’s perfectly smart food to feed your duck. There are plenty of vitamins and minerals that can improve their health, carbs that will give them lots of energy, and fiber to help keep them regulated. Feeding them too much rice can lead to constipation, and allowing cooked food to sit around will attract insects and allow bacteria to grow, but rice is great low-cost food you can treat your duck with without concern.

We hope you have enjoyed reading and found the answers you need. If we have helped you provide a nutritious snack for your ducks, please share this guide to feeding your ducks rice on Facebook and Twitter.

See also: Can Ducks Eat Mealworms? What You Need to Know!

Featured Image Credit: allybally4b, Pixabay