Ducks and Onions: Can Ducks Eat Onions?

 |  2 min read

You’ve got some leftovers. The kids turn up their nose, and you’re full. The ducks are always starving, of course (or at least they act like they are). So, you think, why not feed it to them? And then you remember…it’s got onions in it. Is this a good idea?

Will ducks really eat onions?

Some ducks will shun them. Others will like them. Like most foods, it depends on their personal likes and dislikes.

Is it okay to feed onions to ducks?

There is a danger with feeding them too much (or feeding it to them long-term), as onions are mildly toxic to ducks. They can also give the eggs an “onion-y” flavor. Onions are often on lists of “never feed your duck/chicken this!” While onions definitely shouldn’t be any regular part of a duck’s diet, you don’t need to fret about those leftovers. People do occasionally feed onions to poultry with no problems. A few bites here and there won’t hurt. The same goes for garlic; large amounts can be harmful and can give the eggs a strange flavor.

A little is okay. A lot is not.

Are there any health benefits? Onions and garlic are very healthy for humans, but what about ducks?

Garlic can help to prevent internal worms in ducks and chickens. They are not strong enough to eradicate a heavy worm infestation, and they do not completely prevent worms, but they can help. Onions, however, don’t protect from worms.

What happens if my ducks eat too much onion?

Overconsumption of onions can cause diarrhea or even vomiting. Extended periods of onion consumption can also cause hemolytic anemia, which leads to respiratory failure and eventually death.

Summary: It’s okay to give your ducks or chickens a little bit of onion; it won’t kill them. Just don’t feed a lot or for extended periods.


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