If you own ducks, you already know that they can eat a wide variety of things, including fruits and vegetables. More, ducks can actually eat, and get good nutrition from many of the things that people eat.
But there are more than a few things that your ducks just shouldn’t have, no matter how much they like them. Let’s look at bananas, for instance. Can your ducks eat bananas?
Yes, ducks can eat bananas and do so safely. They are nutritious, and ducks seem to love them, but you should only give them to your birds on a limited basis. Bananas are very sugary, and too many can make ducks overweight or sick.
Bananas really are as nutritious and delicious as they look, at least as far as your ducks are concerned. And from what I’ve seen, I don’t think there is a duck alive that doesn’t love bananas.
However, there’s more to should know before you make them a part of your ducks’ diet. Keep reading and I’ll tell you about it below…
Are Bananas Good for Ducks?
Yes, absolutely! Although not a common part of most duck breeds usual diet, not in the wild, but bananas are nonetheless wholesome and healthy for ducks.
They are a superb source of easily digestible energy, and they contain a wide variety of nutrients, vitamins and minerals alike, that will help your ducks thrive and stay healthy.
There are a few drawbacks to know about, however, including the fact that bananas are quite sugary.
Even though these sugars are naturally occurring, sugar is still sugar as far as calories are concerned, and ducks don’t need a ton of sugar in their diet anyway.
Nonetheless, this is a minor issue as long as you moderate the quantity that your ducks get.
Nutritional Profile of Bananas
Bananas have a pretty good reputation as a healthy fruit, in addition to being delicious, and this reputation is well earned.
As mentioned, the main benefit that bananas will provide your ducks is as a source of quick and easily digestible energy from naturally occurring sugars. But bananas also have a little bit of protein and fiber that can likewise benefit them.
Another major benefit of bananas is the vitamin content along with a good amount of minerals.
Bananas contain plenty of vitamin C and vitamin B6, and back this up with a fair assortment of the other B complex vitamins, among them riboflavin, niacin, and thiamine.
There’s a lot to like about the mineral content, too, and your ducks will benefit from the potassium, manganese, and magnesium in bananas.
They also have significantly less amounts of iron, phosphorus, and zinc but even these smaller amounts are likewise beneficial.
Can Ducks Eat Bananas Raw?
Yes, they can, and this is the best way to serve bananas to your ducks.
Aside from being maximally nutritious because they aren’t cooked, raw bananas are soft and easy for ducks to eat just as they are as long as they are peeled first.
Can Ducks Eat Green Bananas?
Yes, they can, and you can make a good case for serving green bananas to your ducks in preference of yellow, ripe bananas.
This is because they contain less sugar than a fully ripened banana, and also contain even more antioxidants, boosting their nutritional profile.
Also, because green bananas are much firmer than ripened bananas, they are easier for ducks to swallow chunks of them without mashing them all up.
This can help to reduce the occurrence of crop issues. Not a major concern for ducks as compared to chickens, since ducks are waterfowl and used to eating wet, slimy foods, but it’s something to consider.
Can Ducks Safely Eat Banana Peels?
Yes, strictly speaking, they can but I would recommend against it.
Although a duck can safely eat what a banana peel is made of without any harm, but these have hardly any nutrition to offer ducks and they’ll also need the peels, which are tough, to be chopped up first.
If you want to go through that trouble and see if your ducks like them, there’s no harm in letting them eat a few pieces of banana peel, but I don’t think it’s worth the trouble.
Can Ducks Eat Bananas Cooked?
Yes, they can, but this is a waste of effort and time.
Bananas are already very easy for ducks to eat, whether they are ripe or green, and cooking a banana will only serve to reduce its nutritional profile by destroying certain vitamins and reducing mineral content.
But, for whatever reason, if you happen to have some cooked bananas, ones that don’t have any added ingredients, and you want to serve them to your ducks you can.
Can Ducklings Have Bananas, Also?
Yes, they can. Ducklings can have bananas just like adults, but with a few considerations that you should address first.
One, make sure they are old enough to start eating more whole foods instead of their starter feed.
Second, keep the quantities extremely small: tiny ducklings have digestive systems that are very vulnerable to upset, and the load of sugar that’s in your average banana can easily cause problems for them, including diarrhea which could potentially be fatal.
Let your ducklings have just a tiny nibble once they’re old enough, usually around a couple of weeks, as a treat and they will be fine.
Never Give Bananas to Ducks if They are Made with Harmful Foods
Bananas are delicious all by themselves, but this hasn’t stopped people from using them as truly delicious ingredients for all sorts of delectable desserts. From the iconic banana split to bananas foster, there’s no shortage.
What do all these things have in common? They’re all delicious, and they are all absolutely terrible for ducks thanks to the added ingredients.
Things like added sugar, processed ingredients, artificial sweeteners, and even alcohol are all bad news for your ducks.
No matter how badly you want to share these banana dishes with your ducks, resist the urge and stick with just giving them whole, all-natural bananas.
How Often Can Ducks Eat Bananas?
Not all the time. Bananas are best as an occasional treat for ducks, or if you wanted to be charitable a dietary supplement they can have every once in a while.
Too many bananas will easily lead to digestive problems, or potentially even obesity because of all the sugar.
Accordingly, I recommend you only give your ducks bananas in small servings once or no more than twice a week, and give them several days between servings. Do this, and your ducks will always enjoy them and, more importantly, continue to thrive.
How Can You Serve Bananas to Your Ducks?
Giving bananas to your ducks is a cinch, as all you’ll need to do is peel them and then hand them over. Even when green they are soft enough for ducks to bite little chunks out of before they wolf them down.
Ultimately, consider cutting the bananas into slices or small chunks. This allows you more control over quantity, and also who gets banana pieces and when.
Some duck owners have reported great success mashing bananas, just like mashed potatoes, and then mixing other foods or even feed in with them before handing it over.
Don’t Leave Moldy, Spoiled Bananas Where Ducks Can Get Them
If bananas have one major drawback, it’s one that is shared with many other fruits and vegetables: they spoil very quickly.
A little browning is nothing to worry about, but you don’t want to let your ducks eat nasty, rotten, moldy bananas.
For this reason, make it a point to pick up any leftover scraps so ducks don’t come around later and maybe eat a bad piece that can make them sick.
Likewise, don’t use your ducks as a garbage disposal for getting rid of spoiled produce you’re about to throw out.
As long as you follow these simple guidelines, your ducks will benefit from bananas, love you for giving them to them, and stay healthy thanks to them.
Tom has lived and worked on farms and homesteads from the Carolinas to Kentucky and beyond. He is passionate about helping people prepare for tough times by embracing lifestyles of self-sufficiency.