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Can Ducks and Ducklings Eat Peas?

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Many new duck owners are unsure of what kind of food their pet ducks can and cannot eat.

Ducks are omnivores, which means they enjoy eating both plants and animals. However, not all plants and animals are safe for ducks to eat.

In this blog post, we’ll be discussing whether or not ducklings can eat peas.

Fresh peas in pea pod

Can Ducks and Ducklings Eat Peas?

Peas are safe for both ducks and ducklings to eat.

Peas contain 20%-30% protein which makes them a healthy plant-based alternative to mealworms, which typically have 20% protein.

Can Ducklings Eat Peas?

One of the most important things to remember when feeding any animal, including a duckling, is to ensure that the food is appropriate for its stage of development.

Growing ducklings need a diet that is high in protein in order to help them grow properly. Peas can make a good treat for ducklings who are raised outside or have been given grit.

Cute ducklings

Grit is a necessary component to be added to a duckling’s diet before any “treats” or alternative foods can be offered.

The grit will accumulate in the duckling’s crop giving them what they need to be able to start to break down progressively larger pieces of food.

When Can Ducklings Start Eating Peas?

Ducklings can start eating peas as soon as one week old.

Again, it is crucial that they have had grit for several days before introducing any foods other than a starter.

Tips for Preparing Peas for Ducklings

Peas, even soft ones, can be hard to digest for very young ducks.

If you want to give your baby ducks this delicious treat, mash a few in warm water until they are a paste-like consistency.

Be sure to observe the ducklings as they eat to ensure they don’t choke on any large pieces, and always provide fresh water.

Ripe green peas

Can Ducks Eat Raw Peas?

It’s important to make sure that the peas you’re giving your ducks are cooked.

Raw peas can be hard for ducks to digest, especially ducklings, and they can also be a choking hazard.

Cooked peas, on the other hand, are soft and easy to eat.

You can either cook the peas yourself or buy them from the store. If you cook them yourself, make sure to boil them until they’re soft.

Raw Organic Green Split Peas
Don’t feed your ducklings dry or uncooked peas.

If you have peas growing in your garden and want to toss a few fresh ones to your adult ducks, this is probably fine, just be sure to keep an eye on them for any issues.

Can Ducklings Eat Frozen Peas?

frozen green peas in a container

Frozen peas are too hard for a duckling to eat safely; however, they can be a fun treat for adult ducks.

While frozen peas can be served cool, you want to make sure they are fully defrosted before offering them to your flock.

On a hot day, add frozen peas to a pan of water and watch as your ducks delight in snapping them up.

Can Ducks Eat Canned Peas?

Canned peas are soft and easy for ducks to eat.

Be sure to only give them peas that were canned in pure water. Excess salt or other flavors are not recommended.

Likewise, avoid any cream of pea soup or other compound canned pea items.

Canned green peas in a tin can with opener, on a wooden background.

Even though canned peas tend to be much softer than fresh or frozen peas, they should still be mashed for ducklings.

How Many Peas Should Your Duckling Have?

You should only give your duckling a few peas at a time.

While peas are high in protein, a balanced game bird starter ration is going to have all of the essential vitamins and minerals your ducklings need to grow to their fullest potential.

A good rule of thumb: give your duckling no more than three or four peas per day.

How Many Peas Should Your Duck Have?

While peas should not be a staple in your duck’s diet, they can be a great source of food-based enrichment for your duck.

A can of peas, or a small bag of frozen peas, can easily be an awesome treat for a small flock of 3-5 ducks.

Just remember not to overdo it!

man holds on his hand green beans

Duck Treat Ideas

While you can certainly just toss a can of peas on the ground for your ducks or sprinkle some in their feed dish, consider alternative ways of feeding this protein-rich treat that help your duck engage more with its environment.

Try these ideas:

Scatter Peas in the Grass

By scattering the peas randomly throughout blades of grass, you’re encouraging your ducks to use their natural foraging behavior to find this yummy treat.

Depending on how far you scatter them, this could give them something to do for hours.

Think of it like a yummy easter egg hunt for your ducks.

Mix up a Pea Salad

Combine peas with other safe fruits, vegetables, and insects for a yummy summer salad.

Drop Peas in the Pond or Kiddie Pool

Ducks don’t require a pool of water, but if your ducks do have access to one, sprinkle the peas on the top to encourage your feathered friends to get wet and “hunt” for the peas. This mimics the way a duck might hunt for fish in the wild, and it’s super fun to watch too!


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