So the oak tree in your yard is dropping acorns. And you notice your duck sneaking curious glances at them. Or maybe you just want to add one more nutritious treat to your duck’s diet.
Now you are thinking, can ducks eat acorns?
Yes, ducks are perfectly capable of eating acorns. Acorns are incredibly nutritious and contain a substantial amount of vitamins, minerals, calcium, carbohydrates, and what not. These nutrients facilitate numerous health benefits to your ducks and promote their growth and wellness.
Still concerned? Well, don’t worry. Granted that it is required for you to be careful about certain things when it comes to feeding your duck acorns.
However, here we’ve included everything you should know about feeding acorns to your ducks.
Following this guide will surely make your job easier.
Keep reading to find out how!
What Are Acorns?
Acorns are basically oval nuts that have a smooth surface and a base shape of a cup. This fruit is produced in oak trees. So, it’s also called oak nuts.
Typically, two types of acorns are found-white and red acorns. Acorns usually contain one single seed that is guarded by a hard and leathery shell.
Things To Consider When Feeding Your Ducks Acorns
We can not deny the numerous health benefits of acorns. However, as good as they are, you may want to consider a few things when feeding them to your ducks.
Presence of Toxic Tannins
Acorns generally tend to be bitter and sometimes even toxic. The existence of tannins in them is the sole reason for this.
However, keep in mind that the amount of tannins varies on different types of acorns. For example, the red oak acorns contain the most tannin.
Tannins are usually not-so-nutritional. They may impede iron’s blood absorption. It can lead to several health issues. They also hamper digestion as well as metabolism. And as they’re toxic, they may lead to poisoning.
How To Feed Ducks Acorns?
So, after knowing the harmful effects of tannins, what should you do?
Well, you should remove tannins from the acorns.
Now you are perhaps wondering if it’s even possible? Well, yes, it is.
You can remove tannins from the acorns. For that, you have to first place them in water. The water should be cold. So, pour some cold water in a jar and place your acorn pieces into it. Then leave the jar in the refrigerator. You should leave it there until the liquid turns brown. It can take about one day or two.
Then again replace that brown water with fresh water. And continue the same process until the nuts are no longer bitter.
Also, remember that red oak acorns contain the most tannin. So, you should always avoid giving those to your ducks.
Moreover, make sure to give the ducks ripe acorns. Because ripe acorns are comparatively less toxic.
Health Benefits Of Acorns for Ducks
Acorns are not just something that your duck should nibble once in a while for fun. Because they contain many benefits!
Here we are including some health benefits of acorns:
Restore Damaged Tissues
The protein in acorns are very effective in generating new tissues as well as new cells. They repair and restore any damaged areas of your injured duck. Thus facilitate rapid healing.
Work As Energy Booster
Acorns include a high amount of carbohydrate content. So, when consumed, acorns help ducks reserve energy and make it long-lasting.
Acorns Improve Digestion
Acorns, like all the other nuts, are very rich in fiber. So feeding them will surely improve digestion and any problems in their gut.
Make Bones Stronger
The calcium present in acorns ensures their bones are healthy. They stimulate their nerve to nerve transmission. And boost ducks’ muscle contraction.
Keep scrolling to know more!
How Much Acorn Can A Duck Eat in A Day?
As it’s been mentioned before that acorns contain tannins that are quite toxic. So, knowing the right amount of acorns that you should feed your ducks is very significant.
But it’s said that acorns have the potential to make up approximately 60% of your ducks’ diet. Only if there was no tannin.
However, after extracting tannins from acorns, following the process described in this article, it’s completely fine to feed them to your ducks.
You can give your duck about 1.0 to 3.0 grams of acorn per day. Which refers to one or half an acorn daily. Just like you do with any other nuts.
Do not exceed the quantity though. As consuming too much of it may cause your duck some health issues.
Can Ducklings Eat Acorns?
No, unfortunately, ducklings can not eat them. The acorns are relatively large in size. Too large for a small duckling to eat. Also as they tend to taste bitter, the ducklings don’t like them.
Plus, as the surface of acorns are typically hard in texture, it’s quite difficult for a baby duck to digest. Not digesting it properly can lead to stomach issues in your ducklings.
Moreover, let’s not forget that acorns contain tannins. And the metabolism and internal digestion system of a baby duck are very fragile. So, consuming even a slight amount of tannins may cause dangerous side effects in your ducklings.
So, it’s always better not to risk it.
Instead, you can feed starter foods that are easier for baby ducks to digest. For example, apples, berries or even tomatoes to your baby ducks which contain almost the same benefits. And these will make up a harmonious diet for your ducklings.
Do Mallard Ducks Eat Acorns?
Yes, mallard ducks do eat acorns. Mallard ducks are typically omnivorous. As a result, they tend to eat pretty much anything. Plus, they are lovers of any type of nuts. A few mallard duck owners confirmed giving their pet acorns, and those ducks loved it!
Do Wood Ducks Eat Acorns?
There are barely any species of ducks which will not eat acorns. So, of course, wood ducks eat acorns as well. However, according to some farmers, ducklings of this species do not like acorns that much. They find it quite hard to digest. Yet the adult and aged wood ducks love to munch on acorns in season.
Do Ducks Eat Acorns Whole?
Yes, they do consume acorns whole. But it often depends on what type of acorn that is. Ducks are not able to take the overcup whole. This is because of the size of it.
For ducks it is easier to eat willow oaks. The same goes for Nuttall acorns. The reason is that they are relatively smaller in size.
We hope we have answered all your queries of can ducks eat acorns?
Now surely you are thinking of including them to your pet duck’s diet. However, just make sure to read this guide carefully and only choose acorns that have less tannins. And you are good to go.
That is all for now. Enjoy your day!