Ducks will forage for plants, insects, snails, and more, but the primary food source should be mixed food (commercial or at the farm) that will meet all requirements for protein, fat, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Adding grains to their feed is fine as long as you are not overfeeding your ducks.
Your ducks can eat quinoa, and knowing all the health benefits, it is even advisable.
Read more to learn about quinoa seeds and plants and the limits of using them in the daily diet of your ducks.
What Is Quinoa Exactly?
Technically quinoa is not a grain.
However, thanks to the amount of healthy nutrients, it is well known as a grain and accepted worldwide.
There are thousands of different types of quinoa, usually grown for its edible and highly nutritious seeds.
It is an annual plant (from the Amaranth family) that comes from South America and in the human diet has been used for more than 3000 years.
Health Benefits of Quinoa
Quinoa seeds are super rich in protein, vitamins, dietary minerals, and fiber.
I’m saying super rich because, compared to other grains, quinoa seeds are the most nutritious.
In 3.5 oz (100gr) of uncooked quinoa, you will find:
- 14% protein
- only 6% fat
- and 7 gr of dietary fiber
From the list of minerals and vitamins, your ducks will appreciate:
- niacin (vitamin B3)
- vitamin B6
- thiamin (vitamin B1)
- and more
The duck’s eggs, bones, and feathers will be more vital and healthy.
However, the amount of calcium is not (only 47mg) is not enough for ducks, especially if you are keeping them for eggs.
That’s one of the main reasons why ducks need variety in their diet. Even one of the most nutritious foods like quinoa can’t be the main staple of their diet.
Should Ducks Eat Cooked or Uncooked Quinoa
If you are wondering if ducks can eat uncooked quinoa, you should know that no matter how you feed them, with this food, ducks won’t have any problems digesting.
Ducks can eat cooked or uncooked quinoa.
Only make sure not to overfeed them because with 1,539 kJ (368 kcal) per 3.5oz (100 gr) of raw quinoa, it will deliver them enormous energy (if you cook quinoa 503 kJ or 120 kcal.
To Compare – 3.5 oz (100gr) of fresh green peas has around 339 kJ (81 kcal). More than four times more energy than quinoa will provide to your ducks. That brings us to the next important point.
Feeding Ducks Quinoa – How Much and How Often?
Well, quinoa will give your ducks a similar amount of energy as oats, so feeding them only quinoa is not the option.
You can only mix raw quinoa with duck feed (no more than 10% and 20%).
As I mentioned, quinoa is high in fiber, and ducks are not capable of digesting too much fiber at once.
The primary source of their diet should be formulated duck food, fresh greens, and fiber should be only 5% of their daily diet.
Furthermore, feeding them a few times per week would be good enough.
They would get all the nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and just enough fiber they can digest quickly.
Is Sprouted Quinoa Better for Ducks?
Actually, it is.
Quinoa seeds are full of antioxidants; sprouting the seeds can increase the antioxidant content even more.
Also, ducks will digest it more efficiently and absorb all the needed nutrients much quicker.
Here are a few short steps on how to sprout quinoa seeds at home.
Can Baby Ducks Eat Quinoa
Even though quinoa is one of the most nutritious types of food you can give to your ducks, I suggest avoiding feeding ducks with food that is not specially formulated for their age.
Maybe as a snack, you can give them a little, but focus on a regular duckling diet.
Your ducks need commercially prepared duck feed and non-stop access to fresh water.
Also, they will appreciate some grains like quinoa or oats, greens like cabbage or lettuce, and fruit a few times per week.
Remember that your ducks can eat quinoa, but it’s the best idea to limit the amount of quinoa your ducks consume to 10%-20% of their daily diet.