Ducks are like chickens. So anyone with experience raising any poultry bird will find it relatively simple to raise them without too much fuss. Yet, many still do a lousy job with their feeding. Because ducks can feed on almost anything, some take it as an excuse to ruin their health by adding just anything to their diet.
While adding something new and tasty to your ducks’ diet is okay, you must ensure that it matches their nutrition requirements. For instance, rabbit food is one of the many things people tend to feed duck but can duck eat rabbit food? Keep scrolling to find out.
What Is Rabbit Food?
Rabbits are herbivores, so they can survive on any plant. Although, hays and grasses should make up a large chunk of their diet in order to satisfy their high demand for fiber-rich food. A balanced combination of dried and fresh grasses like timothy, orchard, or brome promotes gastrointestinal and overall health in rabbits.
Can Ducks Eat Rabbit Food? What Do They Really Eat?
Since ducks are omnivores, they can feed on plants and animals. And as such, it’s okay for ducks to feed on rabbit foods. Look at it this way. The fiber content in rabbit pellets is many times higher than what’s obtainable in ducks feeds. Hence, ducks and ducklings will surely benefit from some rabbit foods.
But here’s what you should take note. Although it’s good to have your ducks feed on rabbit pellets. Nonetheless, they shouldn’t be a staple diet. This is to avoid health problems like excessive weight gain or death that can arise when ducks consume too much salt —Rabbit pellets are rich in sodium.
How To Feed Rabbit Foods To Ducks
Here’s the truth. Rabbit food alone cannot meet the nutritional needs of ducks. Although, their needs are similar there are still lots of differences worth understanding. For instance, ducks require a lot of protein in their diet (18 to 20% per day), but this is deemed excessive for rabbits. Feeds that contain more than 16% protein are bad for rabbits, as they may cause intestine inflammation.
Therefore, it’s ideal to use rabbit pellets as supplement for ducks. Food items deemed ideal for ducks are oats, sweetcorns, rice, crustaceans, and aquatic plants like asparagus
What Are The Health Benefits Of Rabbit Food For Ducks?
Encourages normal bowel movement
Findings reveal that increasing the fiber content of ducks’ feed will improve their performance. As a result, their immunity will double up and digestion becomes more efficient.
The absence of fiber in ducks’ diet will inevitably lead to constipation. Not giving the ducks enough water to drink will also result in hard or dried stool —ducks will show a general disinterest in activities, be irritated, and have fluffled-up feathers when showing signs of constipation.
It serves as a nice treat
Beyond the health benefits and whatnot, feeding rabbit foods to your ducks is a great treat to keep them happy and have them take a break from the norm.
Can Ducklings Eat Rabbit Food?
Saying what’s good for the duck is also good for the duckling isn’t far from the truth in this case. So, yes, ducklings can be fed rabbit food and pellets. But you have to be careful with how many rabbit pellets you feed them. Since it has too much salt content, it can cause problems in their GIT, so limit it to occasional treats.
Other rabbit foods like plants like alfalfa, hay, lettuce, and cucumber, among others, are regular food ideas for ducks, and they will do the ducklings a lot of good in terms of health benefits.
How Often Do I Feed My Ducks With Rabbit Food?
Ideally, ducks should be fed twice daily. With a regulated feeding regimen like this, you can expect them to be in healthy shape and also have time to use their foraging skills. So they don’t become overly dependent on humans for feeding.
While the nutritional demands of ducks are similar to that of rabbits, you have to minimize how often you feed rabbit foods like pellets to ducks. The high percentage of sodium in these feeds is great for rabbits, but it spells doom to your ducks’ health.
So, once in a while, it’s fine to keep your ducks happy with some rabbit pellets as treats, and even if they eat them by accident, it’s not expected to cause any problems for them. But to turn rabbit foods into their daily feed is a mistake that would cost you dearly. So don’t be surprised when you start losing your precious ducks.
Can Ducks Eat Rabbit Pellets?
Yes. But it’s better to treat your ducks to other foods that meet their nutritional needs without any risk of adverse effects should they eat too much of it. Unfortunately, rabbit pellets don’t fall into this category.
Too much rabbit pellet is dangerous to your ducks’ health. But it wouldn’t be a problem if served as occasional treats.
Is Rabbit Food Poisonous To Ducks?
The short answer is No. The only rabbit food that can be problematic for ducks is rabbit pellets due to their high sodium content. And it’ll only pose a problem if the ducks have been fed with too much of them.
Also, just like the name implies, rabbit pellets are specifically made to cater to rabbits’ needs, not ducks. So, making rabbit food the main meal for ducks is excessive and will turn out to be costly.
The idea that rabbit food may be poisonous to ducks also stems from the fact that some rabbit pellets are made with animal by-products that can harm ducks.
Industry experts agree that treats should be limited to 10% at most. But this may seem too technical for some to figure out. So, keep these types of treats to thrice a month. 30 days make a month, and since you should ideally feed ducks twice a day, that makes it 60 feeding sessions. So, what’s 10% of that? Good. Let’s proceed.
Can Ducks Eat Rabbit Food Nuts?
It’s fine to feed some rabbit food nuts to your ducks if you have them somewhere. But like other treats, you shouldn’t take them as their main meal. There are far better alternatives out there. For instance, watermelon, grapes, berries, and other types of pit, seed, and berry fruits seem safer.
You should also know that ducks are not very efficient at digesting nuts, so you may want to grind them into smaller pieces before feeding them to ducks, per the recommendations of Lisa Steele. This is a great measure to prevent the nuts from choking your beautiful ducks in the esophagus.
Is It Okay For Ducks To Eat Rabbit Food Cake?
Even for rabbits, a human cake is disastrous. It can cause diarrhea and death. Ditto for ducks, don’t feed them rabbit food cake for whatever reason. And all of these bore down to the fact that rabbit food cake has been specifically made to meet rabbits’ nutrition of rabbits and not ducks.
Is There Anything Else Worth Knowing About Feeding Rabbit Foods To Ducks?
Because the nutritional needs of ducks differ from those of rabbits. It is potentially risky long-term to continue feeding rabbit food to ducks. If you look at some commercially produced rabbit and duck feeds, you’ll see a significant difference in their ingredients.
Rabbit food may contain 18-22% fiber, <3% fat, <1% calcium, and 14–18% protein. While duck may ideally have 19% protein, 2.3% fat, and 5% fiber.
Nonetheless, it wouldn’t be a problem for ducks if they feed on ducks once in a while — After all, variety is the spice of life.