Last week I got a chance to shadow my vet for a day. A highly constipated duck was brought to him. I, as a new duck keeper, showed a keen interest in knowing the cause. The vet got me so he patted my back saying, we will surely discuss this matter in the evening.
My wait ended as he got back to me. So I without wasting any more seconds asked what did go wrong with that duck? He, casually replied, “Nothing, dairy products you know.”
I wanted to know more, so I began asking and he started answering. Now that I know a lot on this subject, I thought of rewarding my readers with valuable information as well (so no other ducks have to suffer.)
There is a long list of dairy products that are just supposed to be for humans or a few animals and cheese is one of them. Humans, these days, are consuming cheese on a large scale even though it is giving birth to various health issues.
Are ducks on the list of birds that can eat cheese or not? Whether cheese or any other such dairy products is safe for the ducks or not? I bet these questions are coming to your mind right now and you can not wait any further for the answers.
So without wasting any more minutes, let’s find out the answers in detail.
Can ducks eat cheese?
No, not at all. Ducks can not eat cheese. Let alone cheese, no dairy product is safe for the ducks but If someone is okay with their duck having difficulty in pooping or the trouble it causes he/she can feed cheese and dairy products in moderation.
How is cheese harmful to ducks?
Even though cheese is an excellent mouth-watering source of calcium, protein, fat, zinc, phosphorus, riboflavin, vitamin A, and B-12 still the little amount of lactose it has is harmful to the ducks. (Resource)
Cheese is a bit safer than the rest of dairy products
The rest of the dairy options are lactose-rich but the cheese loses most of its lactose in the process of bringing it into shape. So, it’s a bit safer than the rest of the options but that doesn’t make it any favorable, it should be avoided at all costs.
All dairy products including cheese can cause a lot of trouble
Dairy products are not healthy for ducks as they have been observed to cause serious health issues. The lactose in dairy products is harder for the birds to digest. So, frequently feeding puts extra pressure on the digestive system that later becomes a cause of constipation, obstructive disease, allergic reactions, and sometimes even death.
If one still wants to feed it ignoring all the warnings
If one still thinks feeding a bit of leftover once in a blue moon is fine they can feed it but in the littlest quantity. It may sound harsh, but if you are feeding in any way, feed it with regret that you are inviting trouble and it’s your job to keep these poor creatures healthy.
Dairy products can never be better treats, find better alternatives!
Dairy products like cheese can never be healthier in any shape or design. Some fine options are healthier and delightful at the same time. Dried shrimp, leafy greens, tomatoes, chopped grapes, berries, watermelon, cantaloupe, bananas, corn, peas, beans, cucumber, cabbage, and broccoli are the healthiest and can be fed as a taste changer.
Feeding it with or without any fruit or vegetable doesn’t make it any better
Processing it further or mixing it with any vegetable or fruit doesn’t make it any better. It is just super harmful in all senses.
Other treats for ducks
My recommendation for feeding cheese to ducks
It’s our responsibility to treat the birds and pets with care. We should be extra careful with the foods that are known for harming the birds. And when there are tons of options available then what’s the point of choosing the harmful one only? If I were given a choice between dairy products and healthier treat options, I would have never preferred cheese over anything healthier.
In brief, cheese and all other dairy products are not good for the birds because they can not digest even the littlest amount of lactose. Cheese is a bit safer than the rest of the dairy options, but it’s not healthy. Cheese can cause constipation, obstructive disease, allergic reactions, and worse DEATH!