I am a duck breeder who relocated from urban life in Tampa, FL, to a rural mountainous area outside of Radford, VA.
Do Ducks Really Eat Fish?
I have always wondered, do ducks eat fish? I mean, they do float in the pond most of the day, right? It turns out that ducks, being the omnivorous foraging cute little creatures that they are, eat just about anything they can fit into their mouths. Unfortunately, this also includes glass, garbage, and anything else they can find on the ground. Please don't litter.
For the most part, ducks eat the same things other wild birds eat. Seeds and nuts are common snacks for these little creatures. Ducks also eat insects like flies, bees, and wasps; these little ninjas can jump up in the air and snatch a bug almost as fast as you can blink. Salamanders and other lizards are on the menu, watch a duck chase a fast lizard through the grass; it’s like watching a kitten and a laser! Foul eat meat and proteins too; they really like cooked chicken, cooked duck, and even their own eggs scrambled and fed back to them . . . gross! After all of that, I am still left asking the question, do ducks eat fish?
Ducks Eat a Lot of Things
Ducks that spend a majority of their time in the water eat a plethora of aquatic life. While in freshwater, ducks eat algae, that awful green stuff on the pond, which is full of vitamins and minerals. They will dive down and pull up seaweed, roots and other aquatic plants. Ducks love to chase the bugs across the top of the water and catch frogs along the banks. Newt and frog eggs are a special treat to the ducks. A Pekin duck can eat a frog the size of the duck's head! Saltwater ducks have a similar diet but also include things like small crustaceans or crabs and whatever else they can scavenge along the way. Now for the part you have been waiting for, it turns out, ducks do eat fish!
Yes, It's True
A duck's diet actually consists of mostly small fish. Ducks are foragers; it depends on location and what is currently in season to determine what the duck is eating the most at the time. Especially if strawberries, flies, and worms are around, they are hard to pass up. For wild ducks, fish provide much of the needed proteins and acids that the ducks require to thrive and live long lives.
Ducks dive down and swim under the water to chase fish, frogs, newts and other wildlife beneath the water's surface. Acorns, seeds, bugs, algae, plants, and fish complement the duck's overall diet. Domestic ducks like Cayuga, Runners, and Pekins also love to eat fish, algae, and other small aquatic life. So if you're keeping them locked up and feeding them poultry feed, they will enjoy these little extra snacks. Happy ducks produce better eggs!!!
Why Do Ducks Eat Fish?
Fish is a low-fat high-quality protein that is filled with omega-3 fatty acids and many other proteins vitamins and minerals. Ducks eat fish because they are curious creatures that will chase and taste anything, but that's beside the point. According to the Washington State Department of Health, fish are full of beneficial proteins, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. The high protein content provides long-lasting energy, and female ducks use the high calcium content to help produce stronger eggs.
Without an actual scientific reason for why ducks eat fish, my best guess would be that a duck's natural habitat is in the water. Fish live in the water; it only makes sense, right? Ducks are curious, focused little creatures. They are foragers; ducks are always looking for something to eat. Watching a duck chase a lizard through the grass is quite entertaining. I can only imagine what a duck thinks when it is bobbing in the water and a fish or frog swims by. Whatever the reason is that the ducks like them, I only know one thing for certain, ducks eat fish!
But Wait, Do Fish Eat Ducks Too?
All the little fishes and frogs that I have fed my little duckies, not once have I considered a fish eating a duck. The thought never even crossed my mind when I was researching a duck's natural predators. But yes, fish eat ducks! I am not talking about the kind of fish you would expect to eat a small duck like a shark, gulper or any other huge fish you would find in the ocean. I am talking about smaller freshwater fish like pike, walleye, bass, trout even catfish! Catfish do get pretty big, but we are talking about a simple everyday normal sized catfish here. If you are interested in seeing a fish eat a duck, check out the video, ducks eat fish and fish eat ducks!
© 2017 Drake Runner