When we think of apples we think of big red, sometimes green juicy succulent fruits that works wonders for people with a sweet tooth. Big baskets and bowls of apples adorn our kitchens, living rooms and tables, giving it that extra organic feel. We love apples (an understatement) but our pets love them even more.
Apples combine that sweet taste that soothes a sweet tooth without the extra unhealthy calories attached to it. Many diabetic patients are even advised to eat apples along with other vegetables, that’s how healthy they are.
Apples are great for the human health but is it safe for your pets? Can ducks eat apples without any adverse health or physical effects?
Can Ducks Eat Apples?
Yes, they can! This delicious food can be served to ducks and give them almost the same nutrients as they would give humans. Apples are very rich in antioxidants. They provide water and nutrients, they also contain carbs, sodium and fiber which are useful for the general health of the duck.
As with every other thing, apples should be given in moderation as too much of everything is not good. The apples should also be cut into smaller pieces to make it easier for the duck to swallow and digest in order to prevent it becoming a choking hazard to them.
Benefits of Feeding Ducks Apples.
Apples are a very healthy snack for ducks, but reiterated earlier, should be given in small portions and in moderations.
Apples contain a lot of vitamins which are very important for the well-being of the ducks.
- Vitamin A helps in developing good eyesight and a strong immune system which prevents them from experiencing night blindness. It also help them develop a good immune system
- Apples also contain Vitamin C, which protects the system against tissue and cell damage. It could also help improve iron absorption and collagen production, resulting in healthier skin for the duck.
- Fiber is also present in apples which helps in a healthier digestive system.
- Calcium and potassium which helps build strong bones and teeth and maintains the nervous system.
Is it safe to feed Ducks Apples?
Ducks are generally known to scavenge for their food whenever and wherever they can. They have also been known to feed on apples as a delicious feast while in the wild. Domestic ducks on the other hand, might have a problem digesting whole apples and may need help in breaking them down to prevent being a choking hazard to them.
The apples should be cut up into tiny bits before being fed to the ducks. Also avoid feeding them the apple core because they can’t eat it nor digest it.
Ducks enjoy apples mainly because of their sweet and sugary content which when given in excessive amounts, can be very harmful. As with humans, if a duck consumes too much sugar, it can gain a lot of excess wait.
Excessive feeding of apples for ducks can also lead to more serious problems like cardiac stress and blood pressure.
It is recommended to feed ducks apples at most once a week.
Ensure to always remove the apple seeds; It contains trace elements of cyanide which is toxic to both humans and ducks. For large animals and humans, consuming small quantities of apple seeds may not have any negative effects but for small birds like ducks, a minute quantity of apple seeds can lead to cyanide poisoning.
Ducks under 12 weeks should not be fed apples, because the apples may be too tough for them to chew and digest at that age.
A better alternative to whole apples is apple sauce. Here, you blend the apples without the seeds and the core in a blender to give you a smooth puree which is easily digestible for the bird. Strictly avoid buying and feeding them store bought apple sauce, because they contain preservatives which may be harmful to the bird.
Although cutting the apples into tiny bits would make it easier for the duck to digest but sometimes even those tiny bits can be difficult for them to chew and digest, so the best way to prevent digestive issues is to convert the apples to an apple sauce. This way, it is easier for the ducks to eat without any hazard.
How to prepare apple-sauce for ducks
It’s a very simple process really and barely even takes up any extra time.
- Take your fresh apples. Remove the seeds and the core to prevent any cyanide poisoning incident.
- Slice/Dice into tiny bit and put into the blender
- Pulse for a few second and your apple sauce is ready.
Although apples are a healthy treat, they still contain a sizeable amount of sugar which can affect the health of the ducks negatively by adding excess weight and cause a number of cardiac problems.
So, feed them apples sparingly and only as treats or perhaps in combination with other healthy greens/vegetables which should counter the effect of the sugar.