by johnah on November 9, 2020
Duck Habitat Safety – What Are Some Plants Ducks Can’t Eat
What are some plants ducks can’t eat?
The following list contains several plants that don’t taste good to most birds. However, they are safe for humans (and other animals) to consume. These plants may cause digestive problems or even death if eaten in large quantities. So please avoid feeding these poisonous plants to your ducks!
Lavender is one of the safest plants to feed ducks. It doesn’t contain any toxic chemicals or harmful substances. You can use it in small amounts on their food like carrots, cucumber, lettuce etc.
If you want to give them a larger amount, then just add 1/2 teaspoon of lavender oil per cup of water and mix well. They will love it!
Mint is another plant that does not have any dangerous effects on human beings. But it’s bitter taste makes it unsuitable for feeding ducks. Therefore, you shouldn’t feed mint to your ducks either.
3. Fennel Seeds
Fennel seeds are very nutritious and tasty to humans too but they aren’t safe for ducks to eat because of its strong smell which causes vomiting in many species of birds including chickens, pigeons, quail etc..
Catnip can be toxic to many birds including ducks. It can lead to respiratory problems and other complications and is not safe to feed to them. However, humans can consume catnip without any side effects.
If you want to give your pet ducks a treat, then go ahead and give them a small amount of catnip tea.
Many types of lilies can be toxic and poisonous to birds and are advised to be avoided. If you notice any of your birds eating lilies, then take them to the vet immediately. There is no specific data about which types of lilies are okay and which aren’t so better be on the safe side and just avoid feeding them to ducks.
Although there are no reports of toxicity in ducks, it is best avoided since there are no benefits either. The plant itself is not particularly tasty or nutritious. It is better to stay on the side of caution.
Amaryllis belladonna, also known as naked lady or jonquil, is a very beautiful yet toxic plant. The ingestion of any part of this plant may lead to many undesirable side effects such as vomiting, diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain, confusion, and in some cases even coma or death.
Apples are one of the most popular fruits around the world. But it is not a good idea to feed them to birds including ducks. The seeds of apples are fatal to birds and can cause stomach lining erosion or obstruction of the intestine.
Apricot pits or kernels contain a bitter compound known as cyanide. It can lead to difficulty in breathing, weakness, difficulties in walking and ultimately death if ingested. The amount of kernels or fruit required to kill a duck is unknown.
So it is best avoided.
10. Water Lilies
Water lily is sometimes used as fish bait so it should be avoided if you are using the pond for fishing too! It has similar toxic effects on ducks as water chestnuts do. The root system can also take over your entire pond and destroy its natural beauty.
Other plants to avoid feeding your ducks are, azalea, calla lily, castor bean, chrysanthemum, croton, foxglove, lantana, oleander, rhubarb and yew.
You may have another list of plants that you should avoid feeding your ducks. This can be because some of the plants in your area are poisonous to all animals or perhaps you have a case of animal intolerance. It is always best to find out which plants to avoid and which are okay.
You should also bear in mind that some plants are only toxic during certain times of the year such as the common azalea which is toxic only during certain seasons.
Sources & references used in this article:
Habitat use in ducks breeding in boreal freshwater wetlands: a review by S Holopainen, C Arzel, L Dessborn, J Elmberg… – European Journal of …, 2015 – Springer
Waterfowl habitat management handbook for the Lower Mississippi River Valley by BK Strickland, RM Kaminski, K Nelms… – Other Publications …, 2009 – digitalcommons.unl.edu
Planting a refuge for wildlife: How to create a backyard habitat for Florida’s birds and beasts by S Cerulean, C Botha, D Legare, S Nardandrea – 1986 – repository.library.noaa.gov
Waterfowl Habitat Management Handbook by R Valley – mrmpros.com
The field guide to wildlife habitats of the eastern United States by JM Benyus – 2010 – books.google.com
Duck by V De Rijke – 2008 – books.google.com