Do Ducks Eat Fish? 5 Benefits | Full Guide

Do Ducks Eat Fish

While watching ducks swimming in a pond, you might wonder, do ducks eat fish? Well, ducks eat a broad variety of food that suits their nutritional needs, and fish is one of them. But the type of fish depends on the variety of the duck. It is not only the type of fish that ducks consume but what else makes up their regular diet. Fish is healthy for ducks to consume as it is a low-fat, high-quality protein filled with omega-3 fatty acids and several other vitamins, proteins, and minerals.

Moreover, ducks eat fish because they are unusual creatures that will hunt and taste anything. But depending upon their kind and the setting, a duck’s diet differs greatly. The ducks residing near a waterbody or ocean shore rely primarily on fish and crustaceans.

Do Ducks Eat Fish?

A duck’s daily diet comprises tiny, primarily fish. Ducks are foragers; it relies on area and current season to infer what the duck consumes the most. If strawberries, blackberries, worms, and flies are around, they are challenging to pass up. For wild ducks, fish gives much of the necessary proteins and acids that the ducks need to live long lives. While domestic ducks like Runners, Cayuga, and Pekins also like to eat fish. So you can feed your duck with fish as small treats.  

As per the Washington State Department of Health, fish are filled with beneficial nutrients, vitamins, proteins, and minerals. The high protein quantity provides long-lasting power; female ducks use the high calcium quantity to help create stronger eggs.

How Often Can Ducks Eat Fish?

Ducks can deed on fish occasionally, and ducks hunt birds that consume small prey, such as insects, fish, and crustaceans. While the precise dietary requirements of ducks differ depending on the variety, most professionals agree that fish should be an occasional pleasure rather than a staple nutrition.

The reason is that fish is high in fat and can result in digestive problems in ducks. Moreover, fish bones can result in a choking hazard. As an outcome, giving ducks tiny pieces of cooked fish at most once or twice per week is best.

What Kinds of Fish Do Ducks Eat?

Ducks are omnivorous creatures, so their diet is highly versatile depending on their living settings. They must munch upon flora and fauna diets to have great feathers and strong muscle development. So, to achieve that, they also consume fish, and they also hop into deeper waters to attain crustaceans as well. Ducks don’t only consume fish, but they also destroy their eggs when the need occurs. There are also a variety of ducks whose primary diet is only fish. For instance, Mergansers have thin beaks and depend on fish as their fundamental diet. Ducks wander both in water and land for pasturing food. They clearly can eat anything that goes into their mouth. As they spend most of their time in the water, they consume various marine diets, including aquatic algae.

The size of the fish a duck can consume depends upon the size of the duck. It clarifies that ducks like mallards can only eat an insufficient number of fish like graylings, minnows, and guppies. The big-sized ducks are more competent at catching bigger fish like trout and chubs. It is vital to understand that ducks can’t eat fish but gasp for their food. So, though ducks are inclined to consume anything they gulp, they know what size of fish will fit their mouths. Ducks eat fish because they are a vital part of their diet and aid in fulfilling the protein and essential amino acid requirements. The former mentioned are vital to a duck’s healthy growth.

Like aquatic and marine ducks, ducks that reside in water consume more fish than dabbling ducks. They often jump times in a day in search of frogs and fish. Pekin ducks and Cayuga consume small fish, grains, seeds, and insects.

Mergansers are aquatic ducks and are one of those ducks that consume fish frequently and regularly. Ducks’ bodies are also stream-lined and efficiently stream in the waters. They have thin beaks with lamellae, making it simple for them to grab fish.

5 Benefits of Fish for Ducks 

Before you give your ducks fish, you have to know what the health advantages your ducks will get from eating fish are. The truth is that fish is a very nutritious food filled with tons of minerals and vitamins that are very good for your birds. Given below are some of the nutrients your ducks will get by consuming fish:

1: Extremely Rich in Protein  

Proteins are an essential nutrient for ducks because they play a substantial role in your duck’s immune system, egg production, adaptation to their climate, and many other biological processes. Researchers have cited that proteins make up to twenty-two percent of the all-around diet of your duck, depending on the age, size, weight, and breed.

Also, it has been found that ducks will react differently to proteins depending on the amino acid and quality of the protein provided. Giving low-quality protein to your ducks will have a different effect on their development and egg-laying quality, and fish has suitable protein in the right proportion to feed to your duck.

2: Rich in Important Nutrients

Fish has lots of nutrients and minerals that are important to the healthy development of your birds, and it implies high-quality protein, vitamin D, iodine, and omega-3 fatty acids. Fatty species are considered the most healthy, and these comprise trout, salmon, mackerel, sardines, and tuna. They also include omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for optimal body and brain processes of your birds and strongly linked to a reduced hazard of many disorders. To meet the mandatory omega-3 fatty acids your ducks need, include fish in their diets one to two times a week.

3: Essential for the Development of Ducks

As fish contains omega-3 fatty acids essential for your ducks’ development, the omega-3 fat is significant for your duck’s brain and eye growth. For this reason, you must feed your pet with fish.

4: Excellent Dietary Source of Vitamin D 

Vitamin D is a steroid hormone that boosts the immune system of your ducks. Fish is the best dietary source for vitamin D. Moreover fish like herring and salmon contain the highest quantities. Some fish oils, like cod liver oil, are also extremely high in vitamin D, giving more than 200% of the DV (Daily Value) in one tablespoon (15 ml).

5: Can Reduce the Risk of Autoimmune Diseases 

Another very significant benefit of a fish diet in your ducks is that it increases their immune systems and lessens the danger of deadly disorders happening to your ducks.

5 Risks of Feeding Fish to Ducks 

While giving fish to ducks may be a natural and healthy treat, there are a few things to look for.

1: Avoid Raw Fish

It is essential to give cooked fish, as raw fish can include harmful bacteria that can make ducks ill. Wild ducks occasionally consume raw fish but are more reluctant to bacteria than domestic ducks, which implies it is best to be careful and only feed your duck-cooked fish.

2: Be Cautious of Mercury

Avert giving fish that are high in mercury. Mercury is a harmful metal that can amass in ducks’ bodies, resulting in health problems. Some fish high in mercury are shark, tuna, mackerel, and swordfish. If you are unsure whether a particular kind of fish is high in mercury, it is best to consult a vet.

3: Feed Fish Occasionally

Fish can be a nutritious and healthy treat for ducks, but it is significant not to overdo it. Fish should be fed occasionally to ducks as part of an all-around diet. Too much of it can result in health problems for ducks, like gastrointestinal issues and vitamin A toxicity. When giving fish to ducks, it is best to feed them in small quantities.

4: Be Careful of Bones

Ensure to eliminate any bones from the fish before giving it to the ducks. Bones can crack and result in choking or other digestive troubles. You can also feed your duck fish that has already been deboned. You can buy deboned fish at the let store or grocery shop. 

5: Choose the Right Fish

Not all kinds of fish are equal when it comes to ducks, and Tinier fish are commonly better for ducks than bigger fish because tinier fish are simpler to digest and include less mercury. The best fish for ducks are minnows, goldfish, and smelt.

How to Prepare Fish for Your Ducks?

If you are planning on giving fish to your ducks, there are some things you need to remember. First, eliminating the fish’s spine is significant, resulting in a choking hazard. You will also cut the fish into tiny pieces, making it simpler for the ducks to absorb. Also, make sure to offer a variety of other food sources, as ducks require a balanced diet to keep up healthy. By following these tips, you can ensure your ducks receive the nutritious diets they need.

Ducks can eat both raw and cooked fish. There are two ways you can give fish to your ducks: 

Feed Them Raw 

The first way is to give it to them raw. It mainly works for smaller fishes like shrimps and sardines. So you can place them in the feeder or coop before feeding them. You can also mix them with other treats and give them.

Feed Them Cooked

The other way is to give it to them when it is cooked. It is suitable when you are giving them leftovers from meals or you want to give them a particular serving like cod or salmon. When making fish for ducks, you must ensure that it is poached, boiled, baked, or grilled. Also, ensure that it doesn’t have any flavorings, as this can make additional fat, resulting in problems for the ducks.


So do ducks eat fish? Yes, ducks consume fish, among various other food sources. Fish gives multiple health benefits to ducks. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and protein, making them healthy for ducks to consume. It gives them long-lasting power too. Diving ducks eat more fish than dabbling ducks because they dive into waters and are more eligible for chasing fish down. For the domestic ducks, you need to, and it will be better if you feed them small fish.


Do ducks like fish?

Yes, ducks like to eat fish. Ducks reside both in water and land. Being in the water, they find it easy to chase a fish, but that’s not the only reason they eat it; ducks love the taste of fish.

Can ducklings eat fish?

Ducklings should not eat fish. Fish can be challenging for ducklings to digest, and they may become sick.

Is fish healthy for ducks?

Yes, fish is healthy for ducks, and it contains omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and protein which help in the growth and development of ducks.

Do ducks catch fish?

Yes, ducks can catch fish. They have extremely fast speeds to catch fish while it is in the range of its neck and bill, and they can snatch fish within seconds.

Can ducks eat fish bones?

Ducks should not eat fish bones. Fish bones can crack and break, and this can result in harm to your ducks while swallowing the bones.

Do ducks eat fish eggs?

Yes, ducks can eat fish eggs. Fish eggs contain very healthy and vital minerals and vitamins that are significant to ducks’ development.

Subscribe to I Adore Birds

Meet New Species. Get a Regular Dose of Interesting Facts about Animals. Discover them all for FREE.