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Do Ducks Eat Snails & Slugs? (All You Need to Know)

Ducks are a popular type of bird also known as waterfowl because they are mostly found in ponds and rivers. These relatively small, short-necked, large-billed birds have diverse food habits. In this article, we will know about the diet of ducks. 

Do ducks eat snails & slugs? 

Generally, the ducks mostly consume leafy green vegetables and insects as well. So, they love to eat snails and slugs as well. They are known as slug hunters. That is why many farmers prefer to use ducks to control pests in the field and also fulfill the need for proteins in ducks’ daily diet. 

Since the ducks are waterfowl animals, which means they are mostly found in ponds or rivers, their regular diet consists of leafy materials such as seeds, pondweed, insects, worms, snails, slugs, and many more. 

In addition to that, the snails and slugs can be a big issue for farming, so you can rely on ducks to eat them and use the ducks as a perfect method for pest control. 

Feeding them slugs and snails as treats can be a good decision to train them. This will help them understand that the slugs and snails are their food and they will become good slug and snail predator animals. 

Below is a brief discussion on whether the ducks eat different types of snails and slugs: 


Snail eggs: 

The ducks love to eat snail eggs as it helps to cover the lack of protein in their body. 

Snail pellets: 

Since the snail pellets are considered safe for pet animals, there is no risk of feeding them or letting the ducks eat snail pellets. But in some cases, the pellets may be toxic for the ducks to eat. So, it should be avoided.

Pond snails: 

The ducks are commonly known as waterfowl animals, which means they mostly roam around ponds and rivers. So, they will eat the pond snails as a part of their regular diet. 

Water snails: 

Ducks have incredible expertise in eating food from the water. So, they usually search for water snails and can eat them.

Sea snails: 

The ducks have no issues eating the sea snails unless they are toxic and can cause severe health issues to them.

Apple snails: 

Live apple snails can be a good diet for the ducks. The ducks can be used to control pests in the rice fields. 


Slug eggs: 

Ducks have an amazing finding and consuming capability of slugs; they love to eat the slug eggs. 

Slug pellets: 

It’s not always right to feed the ducks slug pellets because if they are poisonous, it could harm the life of the duck as well.

Large slugs: 

The size of the slugs doesn’t matter to the ducks as long as they can eat them. So, providing larger or different breed slugs will not cause any issues.

Are snails poisonous to ducks? Is it OK for ducks to eat slugs?  

Generally, the ducks are known as waterfowl animals which are seen roaming around rivers and ponds. So, they usually consume anything that they find around the ponds. So, it is very normal for the ducks to eat snails

They love to eat snails because it covers the lack of needed protein in their body. But, in some cases, if the snails are poisonous, they can affect the duck’s body

Usually, it is totally fine for the ducks to eat slugs. But some of the slugs may have poisonous compounds inside them. In some cases, the slugs carry an intestinal parasite that is harmful to the ducks and can risk their life if consumed. 

Although, the slugs that are found in ponds are not that fatal to the ducks if consumed. They are rich in protein and can help the ducks to grow. So, it is better to check the slugs before feeding them to ducks.

3 reasons why ducks eat snails and slugs  

There are some significant reasons why ducks can eat slugs and snails. The ducks mostly rely on the food around the ponds or rivers since they roam around the area most often. 

So, snails and slugs can be a great option to fulfill their daily diet. Below is a brief discussion on the reasons why ducks eat snails and slugs: 

They are rich in protein: 

The snails and slugs are rich in protein which fulfills the diet of ducks. That is why they easily rely on snails and slugs. 

Easily available in their pastures exist:

Since ducks roam in rivers or ponds, they will first look for food in the vicinity of their habitat. Since snails and slag are located in the same place, it is considered to be readily available food for ducks. 

They like to hunt and eat: 

The common characteristic of ducks is to hunt and eat any animal. These characteristics help them to hunt the snails and slugs and eat them.

Do all ducks eat snails and slugs? 

There are different types of ducks available depending on region and nature. As a result, there is diversity in their regular diet. The ducks usually love to eat leafy green vegetables and, in some cases, they also prefer to eat snails and slugs. 

Since they have a predator instinct, they love to hunt the animals and eat them. Below is a brief discussion on whether a different type of ducks can eat snails and slugs:  

Mallard ducks: 

The mallard ducks usually have such an appetite that they do not hesitate to eat anything. 

Their diet includes different types of insects such as snails and slugs as well. Apart from that, they are omnivorous and will eat from fish to worms and snails. 

Muscovy ducks: 

The Muscovy ducks are omnivorous. As a result, they eat a variety of plants, and aquatic animals such as fishes, worms, seeds, and roots. So, eating the snails and slugs is also common for the Muscovy ducks. 

Pekin ducks: 

The Pekin ducks usually consume almost any type of insect and animal. Apart from that, they eat algae, berries, worms, nuts, and yes, slugs and snails.

Wild ducks: 

The wild ducks are commonly known for relying on almost any type of food including slugs and snails as well.

Wood ducks: 

Generally, the wood ducks should feed on aquatic plants and seeds, and aquatic insects. So, they can easily eat snails and slugs but it has to be non-toxic.

Baby ducks: 

All types of ducks can eat and digest snails and slugs. But it is better to smash the snails as a preparation to feed them. This will make the feeding process easy for them.

Runner ducks: 

The runner ducks are known best for their characteristics to control pests, especially snails. So, it will not cause any issue if you feed them snails and slugs.

What do ducks eat the most?  

The ducks are known as waterfowl animals, so they have a huge diversity in their regular diet depending on nature and region. But on average, the diet of most ducks is the same. 

They usually rely on green leafy vegetables, seeds and nuts, aquatic plants, and insects. But, after all this type of food, sometimes they lack protein. 

As a result, they need to eat something that will cover the requirement of protein to fulfill their diet. Apart from all these, the ducks also prefer to eat high protein-enabled food such as mealworms, crickets, minnows, feeder fish, lobster, or shrimp shells

They will not hesitate to eat them even if they are alive or not. As a result, the ducks can easily balance their diet in their habitat.

How to keep ducks so that they’ll eat your snails?  

You need to maintain a routine to feed the ducks snails and slugs so that they can understand the importance of the rarity of the food. 

In addition to that, since the ducks are well predators, you can simply train them so that the next time you don’t have to. Below is a brief discussion on how to keep the ducks that they eat the snails:  

Train them well: 

You need to train them by taking them around the ponds and locating the snails for them to eat. Simply find a snail and make a noise that will bring them to you, and offer them the snail.

Give them as a treat: 

Instead of providing slugs and snails regularly to the ducks, give them as a treat so that they can be more focused when eating snails and slugs.

Adding snails and slugs to their diet: 

Simply add the snails and slugs to their diet but in limited amounts so make them familiar with such type of food. 

Final Thoughts 

The snails and slugs can be a great option for the duck to eat since they are waterfowl and have predatory instincts. In addition to that, it is recommended to feed them non-toxic snails because some might have fatal poisons which can affect the ducks’ bodies and eliminate them.