Ducks are omnivorous animals, meaning they’ll eat both animal and plant matter. But what exactly do they eat? Do they enjoy fruits or vegetables besides grass and seeds? What about one of the most nutritious fruits we add to salads, the tomatoes?
Here’s a short answer: yes, ducks can eat tomatoes. But will they? Let’s find out!
Can Ducks Eat Tomatoes?
Ducks can definitely eat tomatoes. However, there’s more to it in terms of preference. Some may delight in this fruit, while others won’t even look at it.
However, if you’re unsure whether your ducks will like tomatoes, do give it a try since the fruit is a bouquet of nutritional benefits! Even if the ducks don’t touch them, at least you’ve given it a chance! So how can tomatoes help your ducks’ development?
First, even though tomatoes aren’t as caloric as seeds, they will ensure your ducks with enough energy. Moreover, tomatoes contain protein, too, which is essential for building muscles and tissues, as well as complementing the diet with healthy calories.
Secondly, tomatoes are full of vitamins and minerals. Vitamins A and C sustain the reproductive and respiratory systems and boost the immune system. Tomatoes are also rich in Vitamins B and E. Your ducks’ bodies will definitely thank you for providing them with food rich in folic acid! It assures a proper growth rate, prevents anemia, and maintains the liver healthy.
In terms of minerals, tomatoes have a high content of Calcium, Potassium, Magnesiu, and Phosphorus. Phosphorus and Calcium are the most important for ducks as they sustain healthy bones and feathers, as well as add to their eggs’ quality.
What Ducks Can Eat Tomatoes?
Now that we’ve discussed the nutritional facts, we can focus on some specificities. You’re probably wondering if your ducks can eat tomatoes. Are they baby ducks? Are they muscovy ducks? Or maybe they’re runner ducks or Pekin ducks?
Here’s what we found out. First and foremost, feeding baby ducks tomatoes is completely safe (with some exceptions we’ll list below, so keep reading!). Like adults, they’ll delight in these juicy fruits! Muscovy ducks, runner ducks, and Pekin ducks can eat tomatoes, too! However, not all ducks prefer introducing this fruit into their diet. Some are picky and won’t even look at them!
Can Ducks Eat Tomato Leaves and Stems?
While the fruit itself is totally safe for ducks, we can’t say the same about the leaves and the stems. They contain a so-called alkaloid tomatine, which can cause animal poisoning, resulting in symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, and confusion.
Scientists haven’t even discovered how this substance affects humans yet, and their recommendations for not consuming leaves and stems are solely based on animal studies. In short, since little is known about how toxic the leaves and stems are, throw them away and never give them to your ducks!
Can Ducks Eat Tomato Sauce?
If you want to give your ducks the ultimate treat, you can also go for tomato sauce! However, if you do decide to include it in their diet, it’s highly recommended to prepare it yourself, as commercial tomato sauces contain many additives ducks are sensitive to. While they’re safe for humans, these additives can cause various adverse effects in ducks.
Moreover, if you cook the tomatoes, ensure not to add sugar, salt, or other seasonings.
Can Ducks Eat Cherry Tomatoes?
Cherry tomatoes are a duck’s favorite! You can definitely include them in your waterfowl’s diet. However, you should know that cherry tomatoes aren’t a true tomato species. They’re believed to be a hybrid mix between domesticated garden tomatoes and wild currant-type tomatoes. That’s why their alkaloid tomatine content is much higher. This means you’ll have to be much more careful while separating them from the leaves and stems.
Can Ducks Eat Green Tomatoes?
No, ducks shouldn’t eat green tomatoes. If you do decide to give them tomatoes as a treat, you should only go for fully ripened tomatoes.
Like the leaves and the stems, green tomatoes contain the alkaloid tomatine substance, which is believed to be toxic to animals. If you have some green tomatoes, just put them in a paper bag, close the bag, and store it in a warm place. This should speed up the ripening process.
Can Ducks Eat Tomato Skin?
You should remove the skin before giving tomatoes to your ducks. While there’s little information on whether the skin is toxic to ducks, removing the skin will facilitate digestion. After removing the skin, chop the fruit into bite-sized pieces to make it easier for them to swallow the fruit.
You can also mix the tomatoes with other treats. Make sure not to put the tomato directly on the ground, as it will collect dirt and bacteria.
How Many Tomatoes Can Ducks Eat?
Feeding your ducks tomatoes two to three times per week is enough. Increase the intake during summer to keep them hydrated. However, you should keep an eye on their poop. Since tomatoes have a high water content, they can cause diarrhea.
So if you notice something unusual in your duck’s poop, consider reducing the number of tomatoes in their diet.