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The diet of domestic ducks consists of aquatic plants and small animals, fish, green grass, grain and grain waste. Owners give such food to the bird, growing it on their plots. Sometimes they feed kitchen leftovers, including bread. But is it good for ducks? Consider whether or not it is possible to feed the ducks with different types of bread, what can and cannot be fed to them at all.
Features of the digestive system of ducks
Ducks are considered omnivores, they can eat solid food, that is, grain and grass, soft aquatic vegetation. The stomach of birds is designed in such a way that it can digest both plant and animal food.
Ducks have an intensive metabolism, the structure of the digestive organs ensures fast digestion and passage of food, its assimilation, and in some individuals - a quick addiction to new food. Despite the fact that ducks are able to absorb various foods, some are harmful to them. They can die due to disturbances caused by inappropriate or poor quality food.
Can ducks be given bread?
Bread is not a permanent food for ducks, but since it is made up of grains, it is theoretically not harmful in itself. The degree of harmfulness depends on the species and freshness. Let's consider whether it is possible or not and in what quantity to give black and white bread, flour products.
This is the most harmful type of bread for ducks of any age. It consists of white flour, yeast, which, entering the stomach, provoke the fermentation of its contents. It swells, can clog the digestive tract, causing the bird to die. In addition, the ducks, after having a hearty meal, then do not want to eat any other food. This leads to a deficiency of nutrients in the body and the development of a disease in which the feathers on the wings grow to the sides. The bird loses its ability to fly.
At home, at the initial stage of the disease, the situation can be corrected by feeding with vitamins and mineral elements, but this will lead to the death of a wild duck.
The harmfulness of bread also depends on the amount eaten. If the duck has eaten a little, nothing will happen. But you cannot specially feed the birds with white bread, loaves, rolls, biscuits, all the more so replace grain and grain waste with them. This applies to both domestic ducks and wild ducks, which some people feed on the pond. The harm from feeding with bread is not only direct, but also indirect. Food debris contaminates the water and bacteria and fungi grow. Water stagnates and becomes polluted.
In terms of composition, black bread is healthier than white bread. But it cannot be given fresh. It is soft, the ducks eat it willingly, but, softening even more in the stomach, it swells. If you really feed the ducks with black bread, then not fresh, but first dried, and then soaked in water. Homemade can add crackers to wet mash, wild feed with crumbs. Feeding bread should not be constant, it is enough to give it to poultry once a week.
Moldy foods should not be fed to any farm animal or bird, including ducks and Indo-Ducks. Mold has no benefit, fungal toxins cause poisoning, and aspergillosis develops when spores are inhaled. Animals and humans get sick with aspergillosis, spores, getting on the mucous membranes, germinate and cause severe mycoses. Pathology develops quickly, a duck can die in just 2-3 days from the moment of infection. Therefore, it is forbidden to give moldy bread to domestic ducks, both to ducklings and adults, ordinary ducks and mulard.
What else cannot be given?
In addition to bread, ducks should not be given sweets and salty foods, nuts, chips, cookies, popcorn, cake. All this seems tasty to humans, but harmful to the bird. And it doesn't matter if the duck eats such food constantly or from time to time. It contains ingredients that are alien to the bird's body: salt in large quantities, spices, dyes, preservatives, etc. It is better not to give onions to ducks, which are good for humans, but not for waterfowl. It is forbidden to treat with chocolate, sweets and anything that contains a lot of sugar.
Zarechny Maxim Valerievich
Agronomist with 12 years of experience. Our best summer cottage expert.
The listed foods are high in calories, birds, eating them, quickly become full. The wild get used to the fact that a person can find food, and do not go to look for it on their own. For wild ducks, this is deadly: relying on human help, they can die of hunger if they cannot find food.
Pets also get used to bread quickly, they can prefer it to other food, choose from mash. If there is a lot of it in the diet, the bird will receive only certain nutrients and receive less of the rest. This will lead to hypovitaminosis and further diseases.
It is not recommended to feed a lot of legumes, especially peas. It provokes flatulence, gastrointestinal upset, and if the duck manages to avoid this, then it quickly becomes obese. Fatty females do not rush well, and not everyone likes such meat. Therefore, the proportion of legumes in the diet should be minimal, just to satisfy the need for valuable vegetable proteins.
It is not advisable to give whole dry grain, it is better to grind it and boil it a little. So the product is absorbed almost completely and in a short time. Potato peelings, peels from citrus and pumpkin duck are poorly digested, you can also do without them. Do not moisten the mash with fresh milk. Ducks lack the enzymes needed to digest lactose. Milk gives them eating disorders.
What can you feed?
If you have a desire to feed the bird, you need to take with you a little boiled cereal, sprouted grain, cottage cheese, boiled eggs or vegetables. You can take pieces of stale brown bread. Ducks can be treated with fruits, young corn, apples, zucchini.
For wild birds, you can buy special food available at the pet store. The ingredients in it are selected so that they will not harm the duck's body. It comes in the form of granules and is convenient for ducks to eat. You can feed them in winter, when it's cold or snowy. In such weather it is difficult for them to find something, and feeding will come in handy.
Domestic ducks can be given kitchen scraps, including scraps, uneaten food, and bread. All this can be put into the mash, but no more than 1/5 of it. Calculate the volume so that everything is eaten. If the ducks leave leftovers, then they are not hungry. Feeders need to be cleaned every day of food debris, which quickly deteriorates. Treat once a month with antiseptics.
The answer to the question whether or not it is possible to give bread to ducks is not unambiguous. On the one hand, it does not do much harm when fed properly in small quantities. Therefore, it cannot be categorically prohibited. The product can partially replace grain in the diet, but it is constantly harmful to feed them. At the same time, you cannot use fresh, especially freshly baked bread, it is harmful even to the human stomach, and bird's are no exception. You can not give old, sour or moldy, so as not to poison the ducks.