Ducks have been around for over 50 million years, living in every continent except Antarctica and Australia. In fact, the word duck comes from Danish and Dutch, which refer to a kind of diving waterfowl. These beautiful birds are easy to keep and maintain. They eat almost anything and rarely fall Ill. But can they eat cabbage?
Ducks can eat cabbage because it can increase their egg production and help them keep healthy organs. It is advisable to chop the leaves into small pieces, so they do not choke on them. You can also throw some cabbage leaves in their swimming water for them to snack on as they play.
This explores feeding cabbage to your ducks, why you should do it, how to do it and what to avoid. Read on to learn everything you need to know about a duck’s diet.
Table of Contents
- 1 Why Cabbage Is Good for Your Ducks
- 2 Can Ducks Eat Raw Cabbage?
- 3 Can Ducks Eat Cooked Cabbage?
- 4 Can Ducks Eat Frozen Cabbage?
- 5 Can Ducks Eat Red Cabbage?
- 6 Can Ducks Eat Pickled Cabbage?
- 7 Can Ducks have Withered or Molded Cabbage?
- 8 Can Ducklings Eat Cabbage?
- 9 How Do You Cut Cabbage for Ducklings?
- 10 Final Thoughts
Why Cabbage Is Good for Your Ducks
Cabbage is an excellent treat for ducks. They enjoy it, and it benefits them too. Here are a few of the health benefits ducks can gain from eating cabbage:
1. Cabbage Stabilizes the Digestive System
Cabbage is known for its positive benefits to the human digestive system. These benefits are replicated in a duck’s digestive tract.
Fiber and water content are the main components in a typical cabbage. This two help keep constipation at bay, especially when egg-laying disrupts normal defaecation.
2. Cabbage Boosts Immunity
Cabbage contains the water-soluble vitamin C, which is great for the immune system. Since a duck’s body doesn’t produce vitamin C, it acquires it from foods like cabbage.
3. Cabbage Develops Strong Bones and Eggshells
Cabbages contain calcium, which is essential for strong and healthy bones. If growing ducks don’t get enough calcium, they will develop rickets.
In laying ducks, calcium is passed through the bloodstream and deposited into the shell, making it sturdier. If a duck lacks this element, its eggshells are fragile, making them susceptible to bacteria.
4. Cabbage Regulates the Heart
Cabbage also contains potassium and magnesium. These compounds lower blood pressure and maintain a steady pulse, preventing a possible heart attack.
Can Ducks Eat Raw Cabbage?
Yes. Ducks will and do eat raw cabbage. Unlike humans, ducks enjoy eating raw cruciferous vegetables and won’t have difficulty digesting the sugars. This is great for the ducks because most vegetables lose their nutritional properties the longer they are cooked.
However, it’s advisable to cook Brussels sprouts before feeding them to ducks. Even for humans, these vegetables are pretty hard and challenging to swallow in their raw state. Boil them for about 5 minutes, then slice them into halves afterward.
Can Ducks Eat Cooked Cabbage?
Although they prefer raw cabbage, ducks can eat cooked cabbage. However, this is not recommended because cooked cabbage often contains salts, spices, oils, and similar additives.
High salts, for example, are harmful to ducks and can result in shell-less eggs. It’s, therefore, best to stick to raw cabbage.
Can Ducks Eat Frozen Cabbage?
Ducks can eat cabbage that has been frozen as long as it is defrosted before serving. Otherwise, the ducks will not be able to enjoy nutritious vegetables.
Can Ducks Eat Red Cabbage?
Yes! Ducks can eat red cabbage. In fact, compared to green cabbages, the red ones have more vitamin C, potassium, vitamin A and iron. All these nutrients are essential to ducks; the more, the better.
That said, green cabbage is still very nutritious. There’s no harm in feeding the duck with either or both types of cabbage.
Can Ducks Eat Pickled Cabbage?
Ducks should not eat pickled cabbage. Pickled cabbage is basically made from vinegar, cabbage, sugar, and salt. Ducks should avoid vinegar since it’s acidic. On the other hand, salt causes dehydration and hypertension, while sugar might make them obese.
Can Ducks have Withered or Molded Cabbage?
This is an important question because some farmers use their ducks to dispose of the withered cabbages. Ducks should not be served with molded or withered cabbage.
Mold and rot are toxic and should be disposed of appropriately. If you have a compost pit, you can add the waste. However, most of the time, cabbages start to wither from the outer leaves. You can remove them and see if the remaining cabbage is still fresh. You can feed the ducks with that part if that’s the case.
Can Ducklings Eat Cabbage?
Ducklings older than 4 weeks can eat cabbage. After they’ve turned 4 weeks, you can start incorporating small amounts of food like cabbage in their feed as treats.
However, don’t overfeed them with cabbage. You can start by adding some cabbage in the feed once a week, then increase the amount as you progress.
The feed is particularly important for ducklings because they are more likely to develop angel wings and spraddle legs if they lack essential nutrients. As a result, substituting regular feed with cabbage or other unbalanced food will have adverse long-term effects.
How Do You Cut Cabbage for Ducklings?
The best way to cut cabbage for baby ducks is to make the pieces as small and thin as possible. That said, cabbages are pretty hard, and cutting them can get tedious. After a while, your forearm might even become sore.
As a result, the best way to prepare cabbage for ducklings is by using a grater. When you grate cabbage, you make thin pieces that are easy for baby ducks to eat. However, with a knife, it’s easy to get lazy and not make the pieces as thin as they should be.
Safe ways to feed baby ducks with cabbage
Feeding ducklings with cabbage is pretty easy. There’s not much to think about other than the size of the cabbage pieces. Here are some tips to ensure the cabbage is safe for the ducklings to feed on:
- Cook the cabbage.
- Shred the cabbage with a grater.
- Add cabbage to their mash potatoes.
- Feed cabbage in moderation.
- Add it to their regular pellets.
Ducks can and will eat cabbage. Whether green or red, there will be no negative effects. They like the taste of cabbage and won’t hesitate whenever you offer it to them.
However, remember to cut the cabbage into smaller pieces before serving it to them. Otherwise, it could become a choking hazard. It is also advisable to mix it with kale for ducks since it is equally nutritious.