If you’re planning to raise ducks or just want to feed some in a nearby park, you should definitely learn what ducks can and cannot eat, as their diet has a major influence on their well-being.
Some of the most common questions regarding a duck’s diet have to do with corn. Can ducks eat corn? Yes, they do! But how much and what types of corn do they eat? Let’s find out!
Can Ducks Eat Corn?
Ducks are omnivorous birds and eat anything from fish, crustaceans, and insects to grass, seeds, and fruits. Luckily, ducks do eat corn! In fact, it’s highly recommended to feed ducks corn because it has numerous health benefits.
For instance, it is an excellent source of magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus, making corn beneficial for eye health.
Moreover, corn has high vitamin content, thus improving and boosting the immune system. Vitamin A sustains their reproductive and respiratory systems, while calcium and phosphorus “feed” their bone and feather health. Corn can also help with digestion, primarily with constipation and hemorrhoids.
However, as with anything else in this world, feeding ducks corn has its disadvantages, too. You should avoid including too much corn in your ducks’ diet, as it also contains certain antinutrients, which stop the body from absorbing the beneficial nutrients. Further, some ducks can be intolerant to gluten, so they may not be able to eat corn.
Last but not least, whether your ducks will eat corn depends only on their preferences! Many duck owners stated that their ducks were somewhat picky in terms of their diet, so yours may not even like corn!
What Duck Species Eat Corn?
Generally, all ducks are able to eat corn, although this highly depends on their preferences and habits. For example, if you’re planning to feed the wild (or mallard) ducks living in a nearby natural park, they may not try it if they’ve never eaten corn.
However, as a general rule, here are some ducks that will eat corn:
- Wood ducks
- Diver ducks
- Muscovy ducks
- Indian runner ducks
What Types of Corn Can Ducks Eat?
If you’ve decided to try feeding your ducks corn, you’re probably wondering what type of corn you should buy, as there are too many on the market! Well, we’re here to help!
If you’re unsure what to choose, go for cracked corn, the most common corn type used for feeding ducks. The tiny bits of corn won’t cause any chewing or digestive problems.
Then, you can go for sweet corn. It is safe for ducks, and they’ll probably love it even more than other types of corn, thanks to its higher sugar content! On the other hand, sweet corn should be fed less frequently.
You can also boil the corn if you want to go the extra mile in preparing food for your ducks. However, boiling corn may cause it to lose some nutrients, which is why most duck owners say raw corn is the best option.
Lastly, ducks can also eat corn husks! Just chop them into tiny bits to facilitate eating, and let your ducks enjoy the husks, which are high in carbohydrates and fiber.
Do Ducks Prefer Whole or Cracked Corn?
While you can feed ducks both whole and cracked corn, they’ll likely prefer cracked corn because it’s easier to swallow and digest, especially if we’re talking about smaller birds.
Just sprinkle the cracked corn on the ground in areas with sand, gravel, short grass, or dirt. You can also mix it with other types of bird seeds.
If you don’t have time to crack the corn into tiny pieces, you can opt for baby corn if possible. Baby corns are those small and immature corns harvested at an early stage. Since they’re smaller, ducks will find them easier to swallow.
What Types of Corn You Shouldn’t Feed Ducks?
We’ve already established that corn is safe for ducks, and they’ll likely love eating it! However, are all corn types beneficial for these birds? Not really.
First of all, there’s a debate about whether canned corn is safe for ducks. While some duck owners consider it safe to feed them canned corn, others believe you shouldn’t feed your ducks canned corn because it contains chemicals and additives.
While they won’t cause any reactions in humans, these additives can harm ducks or other birds. For example, canned corn contains extra salt, which can make ducks sick. So, generally speaking, it’s best to avoid taking the risk.
Then there’s popcorn which is basically corn, right?! Well, popcorn has little to no nutritional value that ducks can benefit from. It consists of several minerals, lots of carbohydrates, and almost no vitamins.
Frozen corn isn’t a very good idea either, as the ducks won’t be able to ingest and digest it. Corn tortillas or corn chips should be off your list as well, as they’ll also imply difficult swallowing and digestion and will unlikely provide your ducks with enough beneficial nutrients.
How Much Corn Can You Feed a Duck?
Ducks absolutely love corn! However, as we’ve mentioned below, your ducks’ diet shouldn’t include corn only. Even more, giving them corn only as an occasional treat is recommended, although this depends on your ducks’ age. Baby ducks can eat corn after they’re six weeks old and only once every two weeks. Adult birds can eat around 4 ounces of corn a day.
What is a Group of Ducks Called?