Can Ducks Eat Popcorn? Risky or Beneficial

Popcorn for ducks? There is a lot of myth revolving around this query, many people believe it is safe while others consider it harmful. It has become almost impossible to reach a conclusion. Should this snack be restricted to human beings only or is it okay to feed it to birds?

It has become common practice to feed birds bread, popcorn, and other unusual food items but little attention is paid to how the bird’s health is going to be affected by it.

Popcorn is a common snack that people usually eat in movie theatres, should it be given as a treat to ducks? We’ll get to that later.

Ducks often go by the name of Waterfowl because they like to live in places where there is water like ponds, streams, and rivers.

Ducks are small, short-necked with rearward legs which explains the distinctive waddling gait. Ducks are omnivores, they tend to enjoy grass, aquatic plants, insects, seeds, fruit, fish, crustaceans, and other types of food.

Ducks are social, lively, and outgoing birds that like to stay and move in groups.

Each breeding season, ducks look for the healthiest and strongest mate to pass on their genes to the new duckling generation. The average lifespan of a duck is 20 years.

If you have ducks, we get it that you want to add new food items to the diet or treat them from time to time.

However, ducks can not eat and digest everything, do a little research before making any addition. Let us walk you through whether ducks can eat popcorn or not.

Can Ducks Eat Popcorn?

Is it ok to feed popcorn to ducks? Just because ducks are omnivores, does not mean they can eat anything. No Popcorn is not safe for ducks., hate to break it to you that this snack is just not for ducks. 

This question has the same answer as the most commonly asked question, can ducks eat bread? The answer to both of them is no, popcorn and bread are like junk foods to the ducks. According to live Science, Popcorn has an adverse effect on health, not to mention, it can be a choking hazard for the ducks. 

There are twenty specific breeds of ducks and if the same question is asked for each one of them like mallards, domestic, canvasbacks, marbled, black-bellied whistling, alabio, spotted whistling, white-faced whistling, wandering whistling, plumed whistling, West Indian whistling, Fulvous whistling, and the lesser whistling ducks, the answer would still be no. 

There are hundreds of food items you can feed to the ducks, the options are limitless as to ducks being omnivores, it is recommended to stick to the healthy ones.

Ducks are not picky eaters they would enjoy whatever you treat them with. Just stay away from junk food to maintain their health and strength. 

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Why Popcorn is not safe for the ducks?

Popcorn usually has a salted and sweetened flavor often prepared with oils. Popcorns being rich in carbohydrates and salt is just not good for the ducks and lack essential nutritional ingredients.

Popcorn is hard for a duck to swallow or digest, they may choke on the corn kernel popcorn.

We are not going to lie ducks do enjoy popcorn but that does not equate this food for being healthy to these adorable birds. It is you who should put thought as to what is being fed to the ducks and is it safe?.

Can Ducks Eat Microwave Popcorn?

Be it homemade, microwaved, or any other kind, do not feed ducks with popcorns. Ducks need a diet with good nutritional value, something popcorn fails to deliver.

Ducks have small stomachs they can not hold much food in them, when fed with popcorn, they will fill up their little stomach with it, a food that holds no nutritional benefit for them.

It is quite possible that the ducks can get addicted to the popcorns, many duck owners can vouch for that. If fed popcorn constantly, ducks will refuse to eat other food items, which will lead to malnutrition, growth problems, and a major impact on egg production. 

If you insist and just want to give popcorns to the ducks, just feed them a small amount every one or two months, add a few kernels to the regular diet. That’s it, any amount more than it would be harmful to the ducks. 

Can Ducks Eat Corn Kernel?

As we have emphasized that popcorn should not be fed to the ducks, it is quite natural that you would be thinking what about corn kernel? Corn Kernel is uncooked popcorn and quite big, tough, and hard for a duck’s little stomach.

Break it into half, if you must have to feed corn kernel. Otherwise, it would be best to avoid it. Feed them dried cracked corn or fresh corn instead, they will surely love this healthy treat and it will be easier for them to swallow. 

Popcorn is a toxic treat for Ducks

Popcorn is a tasty snack, an absolute favorite in many households. How many times we have OD’ed on this lightweight snack, it is hard to tell.

Popcorn is made of corn kernels, cooked via the air-popping method. Popcorn is a whole grain meaning they are high in fiber.

It is quite beneficial for human health as it decreases the risk of acquiring cancer, diabetes, obesity, bowel-related issues, cardiac diseases, etc. 

Popcorn is a low-fat weight-loss snack when prepared with the minimum seasoning.

People who are on diet to lose weight tend to eat popcorn when hungry, it is low fat and gives a sense of fulfillment.

However, the popcorn prepared in theaters is full of salts, oils, butter, and seasonings which are not only unhealthy but also have a lot of calories.

When it comes to feeding air-popped corn kernels to ducks, there are many concerns associated with it. (Source)Let us tell you how the duck digestive system works.

As you already know they have a small stomach, the digestive system of a duck takes time to accept the change.

Any change in diet, the digestive system goes in a defensive mode, taking a little time to recognize, adjust, and accept.

When popcorn is fed to the ducks, their digestive system either rejects it straight away or results in a tummy upset owing to indigestion.

However, if you must insist on introducing this delicious snack to the duck, do it gradually. Mix a few corn kernels or popcorn in the diet for the first time and start giving this treat once a while.

Not more than a small amount, to be specific.

It is hard for ducks to swallow popcorn or corn kernel because of the size and hardness, it is likely that it can choke ducks leading to a painful death. Wouldn’t it be hard to watch? Have plenty of grits to give to ducks when feeding corn.

Corn Kernel or Popcorn, being whole grain, have loads of fiber, which may lead to indigestion. So, make sure there are sufficient grits available to aid digestion.

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What Happens When you Feed Popcorn to Ducks?

Many people believe that ducks can eat popcorn, this confusion arose as ducks can eat whole corn, so why not popcorn? It is not safe owing to several reasons that we have mentioned above.

Ducks possess a narrow throat that does not let the bigger pieces pass through it, which results in choking or death. There is a high possibility the popcorn pieces of uncooked corn kernel get stuck in the stomach. 

Popcorn is cooked with butter, oil, salt, and other seasonings. Oils are determinantal to the health of ducks and lead to molting, a condition where ducks start to lose their fur.

The hull of the popcorn and the kernels often do not get digested by the ducks, these indigested popcorn kernels will fester and putrify, causing infections.

Even surgery can not save the poor ducks as by the time you know, it will be already too late. Junk food like popcorn and fried dough-based foods cause multiple health problems.

When eaten a lot of junk food, they suffer from a disorder called bloat where their body swells up due to the buildup of gastrointestinal gases.

What Can Ducks eat?

Duck can eat aquatic plants, algae, frogs, tadpoles, mosquito larvae, small fish and fish eggs, insects, grass blades and weeds, cheese, crustaceans, grapes, cooked rice, chopped lattice, Cracked corn, barley, oats, birdseed, cat food, frozen peas, and other grains.

Does Popcorn Kill Ducks?

If fed for too long, there is a possibility that it might kill ducks. If you are feeding your ducks on popcorn alone, prepare yourself for the adverse consequences.

Ducks may die of malnutrition as popcorn is of little nutritional value to the ducks. Avoid other toxic food items like avocados, onions, citrus, nuts, and chocolate.


Putting it all together, if you care about the duck’s health, shower it with healthy treats. Keep junk, dough-based, and fried food items away from these naive birds. Long story short, no, popcorn is not safer for the ducks, treat them with healthy foods instead.

Sources

  • Hi, I am Talon Juper, a passionate farmer, and Livestock Expert. I have done my graduation in Agriculture and Animal breeding. Relevant to Farm Desire as a research writer and data recorder.

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