It is okay for ducks to have kale because it contains valuable vitamins and nutrients that are essential for their growth. Raw kale leaves and stems are healthy for adult ducks, and you do not need to cook them. A duck’s digestive system is designed to absorb and digest raw vegetable leaves and stems. As long as the vegetable is not poisonous, it can not harm them in any way.
Ducks should eat kale because it contains vitamin k and calcium, which provides them with strong bone development. Naturally, ducks are big and heavy. They need strong bones and strong legs that can support their weight. This is why it is important to provide them with greens like kale, which gives them more energy and less fat.
When introducing kale leaves and stems to ducks, it is important to do so in small quantities. For first-timers, chop the leaves and stems into small pieces. Wait till they are hungry, around their usual eating time, then feed it to them. It is best to do so since when they are hungry, they will eat anything edible even if the taste is not familiar to them.
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Benefits of kale for ducks
Ducks that are laying eggs should also eat more kale because it provides them with calcium. Calcium will help them produce quality eggs with strong shells. If the eggs are of good quality, you can be sure of an increased hatching rate since most of them will not be easily broken or destroyed.
The Kale stem is also rich in vitamins and nutrients like the leaves. Many throw them away, but that should not be the case. Simply feed it to them along with the leaves. After they have had it, you can give them their usual meal. Alternatively, it is okay to mix kale with their usual meal as long as the ratio is lower when compared to their usual feed.
Additionally, kale will also provide ducks with potassium, decreasing the possibility of any heart diseases. Ducks can gain weight quickly, and kale contains fiber to help them digest food properly. Easy bowel movements and improved fat digestion can improve a duck’s life span. What you feed your ducks will determine how productive they can be.
Note that kale is should not be treated as their main meal. It is only a snack or a supplement that should accompany their daily feed. Ducks need energy as they grow since they are always huge by nature. Therefore, kales cannot give them all the strength they will always get from their usual recommended food.
Below is a table that shows the benefits of kale for ducks:
|Importance of Kale
|Benefits to Ducks
|Reduces inflammation and improves feather growth
|Strong, healthy bones. It makes the duck eggs tough
|Reduces constipation in ducks
|Reduces risks of heart diseases in ducks
|Fast healing of wounds
|Stabilizes the ducks’ immune system
|It helps the ducks to improve their eyesight
|Improve the ability of blood clots on wounds
Kale will also help in hydrating ducks. Hydrated ducks will be more active and resistant to any heat-related infections. Ducks take a lot of water in winter to regulate their body temperatures. They lose water fast, and if they do not have a healthy re-hydrating diet, it is easy for them to fall sick, resulting in reduced productivity.
How to feed it to them
It is key to note that raw kale leaves from the farm may be loaded with dangerous pesticides. So those can be potentially dangerous and harmful to ducks. Therefore, clean the leaves with running water before you feed them to your birds. Kale plantations are always prone to pests, and many pesticides may be needed to keep them from attacks.
You may cut the leaves or just give them to the ducks. It is not important to slice them since the ducks’ beaks can still slice and cut them. After cleaning the leaves, you can leave them exactly where you always put their food, and the ducks will be happy to try them out.
However, cutting the kale leaves and stem into small can really increase the possibility and amount taken by the ducks. It makes it easy for them to pick at them, chew and digest them just like they would do with other meals. It is a fact that dealing with whole leaves can be strange for them unless they are extremely hungry and desperate.
Make a habit of giving it to them after their main meal to ensure they are well fed. If you have to feed them before their usual meal, do so in small quantities so that they are not full before they eat. Just a few leaves are enough, depending on the number of birds you have. Basically, kales should make 10% of ducks’ usual feed.
Too much kale for ducks may cause bloating or even diarrhea. It is therefore important to watch the amounts you feed them. They can have it 2-3 times a week after they are used to it. When introducing it to them, you can give it to them once after every 4 days. This gives you time to see how they are reacting to it.
Can ducks eat cooked kale?
Ducks can eat cooked kale as long as it is only boiled. However, they should not eat kale that is fried and mixed with fats or spices. Additionally, overcooked kale is not good for them since it shall have lost most of its natural nutrients and vitamins.
Cooked kale is good for ducklings since it is soft and cannot be choked on it. The stem can be tough for young ducks, and cooking it for them can be an added advantage. To avoid loss of nutrients and essential vitamins, use the following steps when preparing kale for ducklings:
- Pick about 5 leaves for every 10 ducklings
- Wash and slice them into small pieces (peanut size is okay)
- Put the pieces in a cooking pot and add 3 cups of water to it
- Boil them in low heat for 10 minutes until they are soft
- Give them time to cool before letting them have it completely
Ducks and ducklings should not be given hot food because it can easily cause severe burns inside their mouth walls and throat. Even if they accidentally eat anything hot or steaming, they will have a way of spitting it out.
The problem is that they may also be afraid of anything that looks like it in the future. Additionally, you can also mix kales with some cabbage for ducks since it will add more beneficial nutrients.