Can Ducks Eat Peas? (All You Need to Know)

Pets are an integral part of many of our lives, some keep dogs, cats and some keep birds as their companions. But many people may prefer to keep ducks as pets as well, which requires a different sort of care and diet.

If you are a duck owner or simply enthusiastic about them, you can learn more below.

Can ducks eat peas?

Ducks can eat peas and are considered nutritious and healthy for them as well. However, it should not be the main diet for ducks and only be fed occasionally – this is because despite the nutrients and vitamins peas pack they are also high in sugar which disrupts their balanced diet.

Ducks absolutely love peas and will finish a bowl of peas within minutes. They are not just great treats for ducks but also extremely beneficial for them as well. Contrary to popular belief, ducks prefer greens such as peas over foods like bread.

Other than peas, vegetables such as corn, broccoli, cucumber, and zucchini along with beet, sweet potatoes, carrots, and radishes are not only healthy but also very much loved by ducks.

Among these vegetables, peas are quite preferred by ducks but despite their preference peas also pose some risks.

There are many health benefits of peas that may prompt people to include them in their duck’s regular diet. But a balanced diet of ducks should not contain any more than a quarter of a bowl of peas for a maximum of twice a week.

This is because peas are rich in sugar compared to other vegetables, so eating too many peas will lead to an overweight duck.

Sweet peas:

Ducks can eat sweet peas both raw and cooked but they are quite fibrous. To make them easier to digest, you can boil the peas and chop them up before feeding.

Sugar snap peas:

Similar to sweet peas, sugar snap peas are quite fibrous as well so they should be cooked and chopped up. Ducks also prefer to eat the pods, leaves, stems, and vines of sugar snap peas.

Black-eyed peas:

Ducks can eat black-eyed peas but they must be cooked and softened. Raw black-eyed peas are difficult to eat and take a long time to digest for ducks and also might contain elements poisonous to ducks.

Chickpeas:

Similar to black-eyed peas, ducks can also eat chickpeas that are cooked. Raw chickpeas are not only difficult for ducks to digest but also contain some harmful toxins that may cause ducks to have upset stomachs.

What are the health benefits of peas?

Peas are healthy treats for ducks as they provide a lot of antioxidants which make them resistant to diseases and infections. It is a rich source of fiber which aids in digestion as well as prevents bacteria buildup in their digestive tracts.

Peas contain lots of protein and vitamins that aid in the growth and development of ducks.

Can ducks eat:

We already know by now that ducks can eat peas, but can they eat other parts of the peas as well? Let’s find out:

Peapods:

Ducks eat peapods but their health effects on ducks are unclear. If you plan on feeding them, clean the pods, boil them, then sew the pods and hang them together when you’re feeding them.

Pea shoots:

Pea shoots are a great source of protein for ducks and they do eat them. You may want to give your ducks a small number of pea shoots for starters to see if they like it.

Pea plants:

Ducks pretty much eat anything plant-based, so they will eat pea plants as well. But make sure you chop the pea plant into bite-sized pieces to compensate for the duck’s lack of teeth.

Pea flakes or dried peas:

Ducks can eat dried peas but they have to be split and cooked. Dried peas are difficult for ducks to digest and they cannot properly absorb all their nutrients.

Pea gravel:

Pea gravel is not eaten by ducks and should not be eaten by them. Pea gravel is used as a treading ground for ducks to walk and nap on, but not for eating.

Can you feed ducks split peas?

Peas can be fed to ducks, even those which have been split. However, there are slight differences in feeding conditions for each variety:

Green split peas:

Ducks can eat raw, cooked, or frozen green split peas as long as they are in a limited amount. These green split peas should be treated as occasional treats for ducks and not be a part of the main diet. 

Yellow split peas:

Yellow split peas can also be fed to ducks in measured quantities. These peas are quite dry so it is suggested to cook them before giving them to ducks. Similar to green split peas, they can be fed to ducks in a raw or frozen state as well. 

Uncooked split peas:

Ducks do eat uncooked split peas but it is not recommended to feed them uncooked ones. Not only are they hard for ducks to digest but they also might still retain some elements that are toxic to ducks.

Dried split peas:

Yes, ducks eat dried split peas but it is suggested to cook them as well before feeding. Cooking dried split peas eases digestion as well as allows ducks to absorb more nutrients which they would miss out on uncooked dried split peas.

How to feed ducks peas? Can ducks eat frozen peas, cooked peas, or canned peas?

Ducks cannot chew their food, so their food should be soft and sometimes accompanied by water. However, they can eat harder food as well despite not being able to chew. To learn more on how to feed different types of peas, follow along:

Raw or uncooked peas:

Ducks have no issue eating raw or uncooked peas, although it is advised to cook them before feeding. Raw or uncooked peas have the nutrients but ducks cannot easily digest them or absorb all the nutrients properly.

You should feed them in a bowl in small amounts accompanied by some water.

Frozen peas:

Ducks are not eager to eat frozen peas and are also difficult to digest. You should feed your duck frozen peas after defrosting them to normal temperature or cooking them.

Directly feeding your ducks frozen peas is not recommended since the peas are still hard and ducks cannot chew, which will make it difficult for them to eat.

Cooked peas:

Cooked peas are recommended for ducks but in smaller portion sizes. Cooked peas hold all the nutrition of raw peas while being easily digestible for ducks. The feeding procedure is similar to raw or uncooked peas except you do not need to add water.

Canned peas:

It is not recommended to feed your ducks canned peas because canned peas contain an excessive amount of salt that is dangerous for their health. If you still wish to feed your ducks canned peas, unpack them and rinse them with fresh water several times before feeding.

Can ducklings eat peas, green peas, split peas, frozen peas, and canned peas?

Newborn ducklings should not be fed peas. Older ducklings, however, can eat peas of different sorts. They can eat green peas or split peas when cooked while frozen peas need to be defrosted.

Directly giving them canned peas is not recommended as they contain excessive sugar and salt which are hazardous for their health.

Can wild ducks eat frozen or canned peas?

Wild ducks are better off finding a balanced diet of food on their own in the wild. They eat a variety of greens such as seeds, oats, rice, and peas along with small insects. But if you wish to feed them, wild ducks do eat frozen or canned peas.

However, similar to domesticated ducks, these wild ducks should not be directly fed frozen peas or canned peas straight out of the can. You should thaw the frozen peas to normal temperature and rinse the canned peas before handing them out to the wild ducks.

Why do ducks eat peas so fast?

Ducks eat peas so fast because peas are delicious for them and packed with many nutrients as well. Since ducks cannot chew their food, peas are easy for them to eat and digest for being small in size.

Ducks only take a couple of minutes to finish a bowl of peas which goes to show how much they like it. They love eating peas since it gives them loads of vitamins and minerals that help fight diseases. However, do not feed them peas frequently as it may lead the ducks to obesity.

How old do ducks have to be to eat peas?

You can introduce peas to ducklings when they are 4 weeks old but it is best advised to make them eat chick feed for the first 2 weeks and then switch to waterfowl starter till week 18. After 4 weeks, you can start feeding peas to ducklings.

If you are feeding peas to ducklings, make sure they are soft and cooked. Better if you can split the peas into softer mush before feeding them to ducklings.

Final Thoughts

Ducks love to eat peas and are very fond of them as well. Peas are considered nutritious and healthy for their growth. But they should be an occasional treat for ducks despite their nutritious benefits because they are high in sugar which could lead to their obesity.