Ducks are not choosy at all. They will eat most of our leftover foods and table scraps. This is good because it will help minimize food wastage. So, can ducks eat cabbage?
These webbed friends prefer to mostly forage where 90% of their diet is made up of vegetative material. However, they will eat fish, slugs, insects and tasty grubs.
This does not mean that they do not need their commercial feeds of crumbles and pellets. It is advisable that you let them go foraging to supplement their diet.
In this article, I am going to take you through everything you need to know between ducks and cabbage. This will help you know whether it is the right vegetable to feed them or not.
Can ducks eat cabbage?
The answer is yes! Cabbage is good and nutritious for ducks to eat. This vegetable is laden with a host of vitamins which are good for your Khaki Campbell ducks.
When cabbages are in abundance, be kind enough and share some of them with your pet ducks. Do not let them rot in the farm while your flock can enjoy them.
What parts of cabbage are good for duck to eat?
Over 90% of a cabbage head is made up of leaves. They are tightly packed and folded together to make a solid head which is the most edible part to us.
However, a cabbage is made up of other parts like the stem and roots. Cabbage leaves are the most delicious and tasty to ducks.
If you hang or hurl a cabbage head for your birds they will nibble at it and tear the leaves swallowing off large pieces.
But remember that these ducks do not have teeth to chew food into tiny pieces. Therefore, leaving a whole cabbage head can choke then to death.
Chop this tasty treat into bite sized pieces before feeding. The stem is hard but edible if it ids chopped into small bits.
For the roots, I don’t think they are easy for ducks to eat because they cannot chew them. They are fibrous and tough and can only be eaten by other farm animals like the British Alpine goats.
Can ducks eat red cabbage?
Red cabbage poses no threat to your ducks. They are good and can be fed to them as long as they are chopped into small pieces.
The same applies to other cabbage varieties like the common green one. Red cabbages are mineral laden and will help supplement their diet.
As I have said, ducks prefer to forage and eat leafy matter. Cabbages are good for ducks to forage on. If they sneak in your vegetable farm, they will not spare your small cabbage plants either.
Ducks will eat even the cabbage worms if they get them. This is a good biological pest control method instead of using toxic pesticides which can lead to death when ingested.
Cooked or uncooked
Cooked or raw cabbages are good for ducks to eat. They will enjoy then well as long as they are chopped and easy to swallow.
However, leftover cooked cabbage can be bad for ducks if it contains salt and butter. Salt has too much sodium which can lead to kidney problems.
For the raw cabbage, feed it only if it was grown on your farm. Those store bought vegetables may be laden with toxic agricultural chemicals which can be very toxic when ingested.
Do not feed too much cooked cabbage to your ducks. It contains a lot of water that can make their poop watery leading to diarrhea.
How much cabbage can ducks eat?
The reason why we feed treats to ducks is to supplement their diet with some extra nutrients. Treats should never exceed 10% off the total ducks diet.
Do not do away with their main course just because you found out they can eat cabbages well. This tasty treats does not have all the nutrients that these birds need in their bodies.
Therefore, feeding too much cabbage to ducks can lead to malnutrition. Feed these treats to your flock once in a while.
Avoid rotten and bad cabbage when feeding ducks. These can lead to serious health issues or even death when ingested.
Think of it this way, can you eat bad foods? If no then your ducks too shouldn’t.
What are the health benefits of feeding cabbage to ducks?
As I said earlier, cabbage is a healthy treat for ducks to eat. It is packed with a host of vitamins and minerals which are good for your Welsh harlequin ducks.
Study the table below and see what minerals cabbage will add to your ducks.
Vitamin C 36.6mg
Vitamin K 76ug
A cabbage is made up of more than 90% water. Therefore, feeding this leafy treat to your ducks will help keep their bodies well hydrated.
As you know, ducks are water loving birds and cannot go for long without water. Water helps in food digestion and removal of waste from the body.
Iron is a very important mineral in the blood. It helps in the formation of strong and healthy blood cells that are responsible for the transportation of oxygen.
Fiber plays a key role in food digestion. It makes everything smooth and flows smoothly down the gut all the way to the bottom where undigested matter is removed preventing constipation.
It also helps in blood sugar regulation. This keeps your ducks healthy and will not gain too much weight and become obese.
Other minerals and vitamins
Cabbage is rich in many minerals and vitamins. Magnesium will lead to strong bones while Vitamin C will help them deal with environmental stress.
Protein is responsible for body building where it will lead to healthy body tissues and organ formation. Energy will provide strength to forage and swim or fly when attacked by predators.
Can baby ducks eat cabbage?
There is a common mistake most beginners’ do of feeding treats to baby ducks. This is not good because their digestive systems are not well developed to digest them.
However, out of curiosity, baby ducks will eat cabbage. This is because they will mimic their mother and eat what she eats.
Cabbage does not have all the nutrients ducklings need for survival. Let these birds stick to their starter feeds because they are well balanced.
Ducklings require feeds with a high amount of niacin and that is why brewer’s yeast is added to their feeds.
How to feed cabbage to ducks
Cabbage does not need a lot of preparation because it can be fed to ducks in raw form. However it can be prepared in several ways before feeding.
Wash and clean a cabbage head to remove any dirt or chemicals which might be present. Use a sharp knife and chop it into small bite-sized pieces.
Toss directly for your ducks to eat. You can also mix it with duck feeds and serve in clean duck feeders to avoid them eating dirt and poop.
Putting a cabbage in a refrigerator is a good way of preserving it so that it does not go bad. This can be used in the future like in winter when there are very few plants for ducks to forage on.
A frozen piece of cabbage will help cool off your birds on a hot summer day. It will be refreshing and nice when the sun is very hot.
Cabbage can be chopped and frozen mixed with other treats like strawberries and carrots. Feeding several treats once will give your birds a host of nutrients together.
A whole cabbage head will be a good boredom buster to your idle birds. Hang it inside your duck pen to keep them busy pecking instead of bullying.
Do not forget to remove any uneaten cabbage from your duck house. This can attract rodents and other vermin or start to rot becoming a breeding ground for bacteria.
What other treats can ducks eat?
There are a host of good treats for ducks to eat. They include:
Fruits: Good fruits for ducks to eat include: Grapes, Peaches, Mango, Oranges, Raisins, Cherries, Blackberries, Gooseberries, Plum and Guava.
Vegetables: Vegetables are low in sugars and calories. This makes them very safe for ducks to eat. They include: Asparagus, Celery, broccoli, carrots, squash, radish and kale.
Herbs: Herbs are very healthy for ducks to eat. They help boost their respiratory healthy as well as the immune systems.
Good herbs for ducks include: Mint, sage, lavender, cilantro, basil and parsley.
Nuts: Nuts are sweet and tasty to ducks. They include: Peanuts, cashew nuts, almonds, pecans, hazel nuts and walnuts.
Cabbage is a good vegetable treat that can be fed to ducks. However, it should be fed in moderation because does not have all the nutrients they need.
Avoid that store bought cabbage because it may be laden with toxic pesticides which can lead to death if ingested.
Do not forget that ducks will need plenty of clean drinking water too. This will help in food digestion and prevention of dehydration.
Do your ducks eat cabbage? Share your thoughts with us.