There is a long list of foods that your pet ducks can eat. It includes a host of fruits, vegetables, cereals, plants, insects and those pellets and crumbles from the local feed store. So, can ducks eat tomatoes?
Just like chickens, ducks are not choosy eaters. However, these webbed friends prefer to forage more deriving g most of their food from plant leaves, soft shoots and stems.
In addition to this, ducks will go to the nearest water source for a drink and a bath to preen their body feathers.
So, are tomatoes good for ducks to eat? In this article, I am going to take you through everything you need to know between ducks and tomatoes.
Can ducks eat tomatoes?
The real answer to this question is yes! Ripe tomatoes are good vegetables for ducks to eat. They are packed with a host of vitamins, minerals and some powerful antioxidants which are good for your Pekins health.
If these tasty vegetables are plenty after a bumper harvest, be generous enough and share some with your ducks.
Tomatoes are very perishable and will not stay fresh for long before getting bad. Instead of letting them go into waste, feed some to your ducks as treats.
Why not raw tomatoes?
Some treats have tough us a lesson and not everything is good for ducks to eat. For example, a frozen bar of chocolate is good for you but deadly when eaten by ducks.
Bell pepper fruits are good but the plant itself is very toxic. Equally, tomatoes have their cons too and not all of them are good for ducks.
Raw tomatoes are solanine laden a toxic chemical when ingested. Avoid feeding them to your ducks because they can lead to ill health or even death.
The ripening process denatures and kills solanine making ripe tomatoes safe and good for ducks to eat.
Cooked vs uncooked
Both cooked and uncooked tomatoes are good and can be fed to ducks as long as they are well ripened. Cooking these treats makes them soft and your ducks will easily eat them in a paste form.
If you decide to cook these treats for your flock, do not add any salt, butter or seasonings. Salt is not good for ducks even in small amounts because it can lead to kidney failure.
Feeding ripe tomatoes to ducks when raw is also an excellent idea. These birds will happily much on them just like they do to strawberries.
I have made an observation with my Muscovy drakes and seen that they love leftovers so much. The other day I served them both cooked and uncooked tomatoes and they first started with the cooked ones.
Can ducks eat tomato seeds?
Tomato seeds pose no health threat to your Cayugas as long as the fruits are well ripen. When feeding tomatoes to ducks, the thought of removing the seeds never crosses our mind.
I have raised ducks for years and fed tomatoes to them many times. At no single time have I ever removed the seeds before feeding.
Tomato seeds are good and contain some good nutrients in them just like watermelon seeds do. They are tiny and are easily swallowed together with the fruit.
Can ducks eat tomato plants?
Tomatoes, potatoes and bell peppers are all members of the night shade family. Night shades are solanine laden and can be very toxic when ingested.
Although ripe tomatoes are safe for ducks to eat, tomato leaves, flowers and stems should never be fed to ducks even in small amounts.
Feeding these plants to your ducks means exposing them to solanine which will kill then within 30-60 minutes after swallowing.
Although ducks are adept foragers, they will choose what is good for them and leave what is not good. However, they may be a few curious critters like baby ducks that may choose to try so, watch out!
How many tomatoes can ducks eat?
Your Welsh harlequins are not wise but you are. If they get to your vegetable garden, they will eat as many tomatoes as they can.
This is not advisable because tomatoes are treats and need to be fed in moderation. Duck treats are meant to supplement their diets with some extra nutrients.
The general rule of thumb suggests that treats should never exceed 10% of their total diet. Feeding to many tomatoes to ducks may lead to malnutrition.
Remember that these tasty vegetables do not contain all the nutrients that these critters require for growth.
Toss tomatoes to ducks once or twice a week and in moderation. Avoid rotten or moldy fruits because they may lead to serious health issues.
Do not do away with duck pellets and crumbles just because you found out that your birds have developed a taste for tomatoes.
Can ducks have tomatoes?
Avoid raw tomatoes, leaves, flowers and stems by all means. They are solanine laden and can be very toxic when swallowed.
Tomatoes are rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals which makes them good vegetable treats to feed to your pet ducks.
What are the health benefits of feeding tomatoes to ducks?
As I said, tomatoes are packed with a host of vitamins and minerals which makes them very healthy for your Barnevelder ducks to eat.
To understand this better, study the table below.
Vitamin C 18.92g
Vitamin K 11.77mcg
Although tomatoes do not contain much of this mineral, the little they can offer to your ducks is very important for their health.
Iron helps to prevent a blood condition called an anemia.
Fiber plays a key role in the regulation of blood sugar. It also helps in the digestion of food preventing constipation and making the process of egestion smooth.
Protein helps in the body building. It ensures that the bodies of your ducks have healthy cells, tissues and organs.
It is the major component that makes feathers and toes in birds.
Although ducks can naturally produce Vitamin C in their bodies, it is good that you feed a diet that is rich in this mineral.
Vitamin C helps your ducks cope up and battle environmental stress.
How to feed tomatoes to ducks
There are several methods that tomatoes can be fed to ducks like:
Wash and clean the tomatoes to remove any impurities and dirt that might be present on their skins. Chop them into bite-sized pieces and hurl them to your ducks.
This is a cheap and easy way to serve these vegetables with your flock. Chopping makes it esay to swallow and you do not have to worry about choking.
However, do not toss chopped tomatoes directly on the ground. They may collect dirt and harmful bacteria which can make them sick.
Use duck feeders to feed your birds anytime you want to.
Cooking tomatoes will make them soft and soggy. Ducks love soggy food so much and they will enjoy those cooked treats.
However, when cooking tomatoes for ducks do not add any salt, butter or seasonings. Salt is toxic to poultry and can lead to kidney problems.
Boil, blanch or microwave those tomatoes for your ducks. When serving, make good use of those feeding troughs.
Check your duck feeders and remove any uneaten tomatoes in them. When left for long, they become a breeding ground for bacteria or attract rodents and other vermin.
Frozen tomatoes are good treats to keep ducks cold on a hot summer day. Put the whole or chopped in your freezer for a few hours.
When the ducks are baking under the summer heat, toss these treats to them. I am sure your birds will enjoy them because of that nice cooling effect.
You can freeze mixed treats together and toss to your ducks together. This way, the birds are able to get several nutrients on one plate.
This is where you run a string through several tomatoes and hang them inside your duck pen. Ducks will peck at the fruit and eat it hanged.
It is a good way to make sure they eat tomatoes while still clean and fresh. When eating this way, ducks are able to break boredom instead of fighting and feather picking.
You can also mix several treats in a duck treat ball and hang for your birds.
Can baby ducks eat tomatoes?
Ducklings do not require treats until they are over six weeks old. Their digestive systems are yet to be fully developed and digest tomatoes.
In addition to this, tomatoes do not have all the nutrients that baby ducks require for growth. Therefore, let these little critters stick to their starter feeds.
This does not mean that ducklings cannot eat tomatoes. These little fluffy ducks can peck at them out of curiosity.
But are tomatoes good for baby ducks? No! There are not the best foods for them. These tiny ducks require a high protein feed and tomatoes is not one of them.
Ducks can eat tomatoes when fed to them. However, moderation is very important when feeding treats to them.
Avoid those store bought tomatoes because they may contain pesticides and other chemicals on them which can be toxic when swallowed.
Raw tomatoes, leaves, flowers and stems are not good for ducks to eat. They are laden with solanine which can cause death.