Apples are a tasty and healthy snack for humans, but there are some things you need to watch out for when feeding apples to pets or wild animals.
In this article I’m talking specifically about whether ducks can eat apples, whether there are any health benefits or risks for ducks eating apples and how much they can safely eat.
These guidelines are the same for both wild and domestic ducks, so whether you’re raising your own ducks or just feeding them at the local park you should find this advice helpful.
Ducks can eat apples; however, there are some risks. The seeds are slightly toxic and shouldn’t be given to ducks. The apple core is also more difficult to digest, so the best part of an apple to feed a duck is the surrounding flesh and the apple skin.
Let’s start by taking a look at the health benefits of apples, then we’ll look at the risks and I’ll answer some frequently asked questions about apples.
Health benefits of apples for ducks
Vitamin A is the vitamin in carrots that your parents said would help you to see in the dark.
There’s actually a lot of truth in that, vitamin A does support good eyesight, and a vitamin A deficiency can result in ‘night blindness’.
It also helps to support a healthy immune system and is involved in the production and function of white blood cells.
White blood cells help to capture bacteria and other pathogens in the bloodstream.
On top of that, vitamin A works along with vitamin D, protein and calcium to help maintain strong bones, allowing for proper growth and development.
Vitamin C helps to protect the body against cell and tissue damage as well as aiding the body to better absorb iron.
It also helps to produce collagen, resulting in more healthy skin and bones.
Fiber is essential for healthy digestion. It has two categories, soluble and insoluble fiber.
Soluble fiber helps to control the blood sugar level of the body and aids in ridding the body of fatty substances such as cholesterol.
Insoluble fiber helps to keep the digestive system moving, it will add weight but also softens to your mouse’s stools which in turn will help the digestive system to work effectively.
Calcium helps to build strong bones and teeth, as well as thick fur with that lovely shiny look.
In addition to helping to build strong bones, calcium also helps to ensure the blood clots effectively and helps to regulate muscle contractions, that’s important for vital bodily functions such as ensuring a strong regular heartbeat.
Potassium is great for helping to maintain a well functioning nervous system.
It also helps to regulate muscle and heart contractions as well as preventing high blood pressure.
Potassium has also been shown to support bone and muscle strength as the body ages.
Health risks of apples for ducks
Just like any fruit, the main reason ducks love the taste of apples is that it’s sweet.
That sweetness comes from sugar, apples are natural sugar but in excessive amounts, it can still be harmful.
If ducks consume too much sugar then they are probably going to start gaining weight, as the excess sugar is converted into fat.
That’s going to cause all sorts of problems, such as high blood pressure and cardiac stress.
Can ducks eat apple peel (skin)
Ducks can eat the skin of an apple, also known as the apple peel.
The skin of an apple is actually more nutritious than the rest of the flesh so it’s a great idea to keep the skin on any apple you feed to ducks.
An apple that still has its skin contains 332% more vitamin K, 142% more vitamin A, 115% more vitamin C, 20% more calcium and 19% more potassium than an apple which has been entirely peeled.
The only downside is that some apples may have been sprayed with chemicals such as pesticides.
You can either choose to buy or use naturally grown apples, or a good rise and rub under water should remove most of these chemicals anyway.
Can ducks eat apple seeds
Ducks can not eat apple seeds.
Apple seeds contain a chemical called Amygdalin, this is converted into Cyanide once chewed which is a well-known and potent poison.
The levels of Cyanide produced are exactly huge. But studies have shown that two cup worth of ground up apple seeds could be enough to kill a human.
Of course, that’s a lot of apple seeds, but it’s still something to be concerned about when feeding them to smaller animals like ducks.
The odd apple seed won’t really cause any harm to a duck, but if you can it’s best to avoid feeding them any apple seeds at all.
Can ducks eat apple cores
Ducks can eat apple cores but they are more difficult to digest.
Apple cores are much more fibrous than the rest of the apple and have less nutrients.
The tougher apples core will be more difficult for a duck’s digestive system to break down so there isn’t much point in feeding them apple cores instead of the more juicy flesh.
Ultimately, ducks shouldn’t be eating that much apple anyway due to the high sugar levels, so you might as well give them the most tasty and nutritious parts instead of the core.
If you do choose to feed them the core as well just be sure to remove any seeds first as these can be toxic.
Can ducks eat applesauce
Ducks can eat applesauce but you should not feed them too much.
Applesauce can be very high in sugar so whilst most applesauce will be perfectly safe for a duck to eat in small amounts eating too much could quickly lead to health issues.
It’s a good idea to mix a little applesauce into other occasional treats for your ducks.
How much apple should a duck eat
Apples should be a treat for ducks. They should not be considered as part of a ducks regular daily diet.
The high sugar content means ducks should only eat apples occasionally and in small amounts.
I would recommend feeding no more than half an apple, cut into small chunks, per week for a duck.
If you have lots of ducks then you can multiply the amount up accordingly.
Can ducklings eat apple
Young ducks more than two weeks old should be fine eating small amounts of apple.
I would recommend you keep the quantities low. Around one segment every few days, cut up into very small pieces, should be plenty of apple for a duckling.