If you are here, researching what’s best for your ducks then surely you have these aquatic birds on your farm. And you are curious to provide the best nutritional snacks to them? If you keep ducks then surely it’s your responsibility to check which food options are healthy for them.
Like human beings, ducks have their preferences, taste, and nutritional requirements. Ducks are omnivores so there are a variety of food options.
You may get overwhelmed by the number of options and a load of information provided on this topic. So choose food that with satisfying the taste buds fulfills the nutritional requirements of the ducks. Sunflower seeds come up in several discussions because of their high nutritional value. To end this sunflower seed debate, let’s have a meaningful discussion.
Can ducks eat sunflower seeds?
Of course yes! Ducks can eat sunflower seeds. Sunflower seeds are the tiny fruits of sunflower that become a healthy treat option for several birds including ducks. It is loaded with several vitamins and minerals that ducks need to live a carefree healthy life.
How much is safe for the ducks to consume?
As per the popular saying, excess of everything is bad. Now the question is how many seeds a duck can eat daily? A handful of seeds either with or without other grains and seeds are safer for the ducks to have once in a while.
Feeding sunflower seeds to Ducks
It depends on the duck’s mood whether they like eating raw or roasted ones that suit their taste buds more. Both ways of feeding are a hundred percent safe for aquatic birds like ducks(resource)
With or without shells?
You are free to serve the sunflower seed with shells or without shells. Even shells contain a good amount of fiber and fiber is an important nutrient that does a neglectable job in improving duck’s health.
Watch out for salt
Many ready-to-consume sunflower seeds available in markets contain some salts to enhance the flavor of these tiny rewarding fruits. Ducks don’t need an excess amount of salt in their diet, it kills the poor bird. So you should look for seeds that don’t contain any salt.
Health benefits of sunflower seed for Ducks
Let’s have a look at the health benefits of sunflower seed for ducks.
Vitamin E is a good way to boost the overall duck’s health. Vitamin E has strong antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that help in preventing wry neck disease (Wryneck is a condition in which ducks are not able to lift their heads properly). With other health benefits, it gives the ultimate support to the duck’s immune system.
Selenium favors the thyroid gland and immune system. It is loaded with oxidants that are known for improving joint health. It is an important micronutrient that is required for normal growth and health maintenance.
This vitamin works for the healthy functioning of red blood cells and nervous system functions. And sunflower seeds are an important organic source of the rewarding vitamin B6.
Sunflower seeds contain a good amount of protein. We all know how beneficial protein is for the health of every living thing on planet earth. Protein intake becomes even more important when the ducks are being raised for meat and eggs. A good amount of protein and calcium improve the quality and quantity of duck’s egg.
Fat & Fiber
Like humans, Fiber is helpful for ducks as well and sunflower seeds contain 9 grams of dietary fiber. It assists in achieving a healthy weight and helps your ducks to live a long healthy life. Sunflower seed has a high amount of polyunsaturated fat and this fat is proven to improve heart health.
Manganese is an essential nutrient that improves bone health and aids in better bone development. Manganese is vital for healthy reproduction, metabolism, and clotting.
It is a macromineral that works for nerve and muscle function. Magnesium does not just support the good immune system but also maintains a steady heartbeat. With fixing several functions in a duck’s body, it is also the reason for the provision of energy to these birds.
Phenolic acid and flavonoids
Phenolic acid and flavonoids work for the duck’s body in various ways. Due to strong antioxidants properties, it reduces the risk of certain common bird diseases. Flavonoids aid in regulating cellular activity. It enables the duck’s body to perform more efficiently.
Pantothenic acid has got a reputation for the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats in the body. Pantothenic acid supplementation is a common practice in poultry as it improves the health and performance of laying birds like ducks.
Ducks need a good amount of niacin in their diet. Niacin deficiency leads to the leg and joint issues and even death in some serious cases. Sunflower seeds contain 10% RDI niacin which is enough to fill some part of the total niacin requirement.
A balanced iron intake is needed to overcome the danger of anemia. Per 100 grams of sunflower seeds is enough to provide at least 5.3mg of iron to these birds. But if the bird is suffering from the clinical symptoms of iron deficiency sunflower seeds may help but it won’t fulfill the whole deficiency.
Folate deficiency leads to reduced growth rate, macrocytic anemia, and an enlarged liver. So, if a snack is rewarding with a noticeable amount of folate then what’s the harm?
Yes, ducks can eat sunflower seeds. Sunflower seeds can be highly nutritional when served in moderation. It can be used in the place of an unhealthy and high-calorie snack. Keep in mind that many processed sunflower seeds contain salt and salt is harmful to ducks in various ways. So make sure the seeds your duck is consuming is salt-free. For duck’s safety, I would recommend a handful of sunflower seeds either in combination with other foods or alone every 4 days.
I hope all your confusion is gone and your questions are answered. Lastly, I would say keep the duck’s safety your priority, and do not forget to get a vet’s comment on feeding sunflower seeds to your ducks.