Can Ducks Eat Oranges?

Written By Emily

As someone who spends her days surrounded by ducks, I’ve learned a thing or two about what they can and can’t chow down on. More about me here.

Because this citrus can cause more harm than good, your ducks should not eat oranges.

Read more to find out why.

Avoid feeding Oranges to ducks

I’m going to list more citrus fruit you should avoid feeding your ducks and the consequences if ducks eat oranges and citrus fruit in general.

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Avoid Feeding Oranges to Ducks

The digestive system of ducks is not accepting oranges well because it causes stomach pain and acid reflux.

And that is not the end of bad news.

Oranges (and all citrus fruit) won’t allow calcium absorption in the duck’s body.

Running ducks lawn backyard

And our ducks need all the nutrients for maintenance, growth, and reproduction – especially calcium.

Yes, oranges are full of vitamins and minerals, but feeding your ducks oranges is bad for them.

Read further to discover what problems can occur if ducks do not get enough calcium in their system.

Lack of Calcium Consequences

We always pay attention to providing ducks with enough calcium through the feed.

Sometimes it is even necessary to feed crushed oyster shells in addition.

And citrus fruit like oranges can mess that up and prevent calcium absorption, meaning you get thin shell eggs.

Not only that.

Ducks can not eat oranges

The lack of calcium will negatively impact:

  • egg production rate
  • egg weight
  • and eggshell breaking strength

Calcium deficiency can also lead to rickets (ducks’ nutritional diseases that result in soft bones), low growth rate, and in extreme cases, increased mortality rate.

Now, I want you to know that you won’t kill your duck with a few bites of orange here and there.

But feeding them with citrus treats for an extended period will lead to malnutrition and health problems.

What About Orange Peels

Feeding ducks orange peels are not poisonous or anything.

Orange peels are bad for ducks

However, ducks will struggle to digest the peels.

Avoid all citrus fruits and peels.

There are hundred other types of fruits that are beneficial to ducks. Risking with orange peels is not worth it.

Which Fruits Is a Citrus?

I will list the most common ones in our homes and wonder if we can share them with our ducks and other pets:

  • Orange
  • Clementine
  • Lime
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemon
  • Mandarine
  • Pomelo
  • Limetta
  • Tangerine

There are hundreds of citrus fruit in the world.

Citrus fruit bad for ducks

If you are wondering, can ducks eat some specific and unusual fruit, type in the search bar on this blog to find out if I have a blog post about that fruit.

Or, if you can’t find it, type it into Google to find out if that fruit is citrus or not.

If it is a citrus, avoid giving that fruit to your ducks.

Several Substitutes for Oranges

It’s a real shame that our ducks can’t eat oranges.

They are full of vitamin C, which positively affects growth performance and the antioxidant status in ducks’ bodies.

However, not only citrus fruits have lots of vitamin C. Strawberries also have this vitamin.

pekin ducks can eat strawberries

When people suffer from allergies, they need to research a little to see from which fruits or vegetables they can get some vitamins.

The same principle applies here.

If citrus fruit is a no-no for ducks, we need to research where they can get vitamin C.

Did You Know? – Strawberries and kiwifruits have more vitamin C than oranges? And that parsley has more vitamin C than these two?

Now you know there are many options instead of giving them citrus fruits.

Or you can provide them vitamin C through supplements from the local feed store.

Here I listed safe fruits and vegetables for ducks rich in vitamin C.

You can feed your ducks with one of these instead of oranges.

Ducks in a shed

However, don’t forget. All fruits are also full of sugar.

Only feed ducks in moderation.

Raw 3.5oz (100gr)
Vitamin C
1. Parsley133mg
4.Brussels sprouts85mg
9. Cabbage36mg
Fruits & veggies rich in vitamin C


It doesn’t matter if you keep meat-type or layer ducks, or even if you only feed them in the park; ducks need vitamins and minerals daily.

Ducks get nutrients from fruit, duck feed pellets, and vegetables.

However, citrus fruits are bad for them, and in this post, you learned why.

Avoid feeding your ducks oranges and all citrus fruit at all costs.

There is a ton of alternative fruit snacks (like strawberries and kiwifruits) you can give them to meet their nutritional needs.

Hey there, I’m Emily, the resident duck fanatic on my homestead. My farm may be home to a variety of critters – goats, chickens, sheep – but my ducks are my pride and joy. And as someone who spends her days surrounded by feathered friends, I’ve learned a thing or two about what they can and can’t chow down on. So if you’re ever wondering if ducks can eat bananas, bread, or whatever else you’re considering offering them, just give me a holler. I’m always happy to share my avian expertise with fellow duck enthusiasts.