Can Ducks Drink Milk? (Yes And No)

Can ducks drink milk? The answer to this question is yes.

But slow down before start giving your feathered friend full glasses, there is something that you need to know, Ducks like chickens are lactose intolerant, so yes, milk is fine but we are talking about very small quantities per meal.

Milk is rich in nutrients such as calcium and protein which are important for growing animals. However, they are not equipped to digest it properly since they are lactose intolerant, it also has a lot of fat and cholesterol which can cause problems.

Is Milk Good For Ducks?

Milk is an important part of a healthy diet. It’s rich in nutrients such as

-calcium, to grow and maintain strong bones

-phosphorous, which helps with the muscle structure and growth

-potassium, to reduce blood pressure and water retention

These are just few of the health benefits that milk provides, unfortunately, in the small quantities that ducks can actually absorb, it’s wise to look for these important in other sources of food more suitable for them like green leafy vegetables for calcium, fruits for potassium and legumes for phosphorous.

Is Milk Bad For Ducks?

After covering the benefits of milk, it’s also important to highlight the downside.

Ducks are lactose intolerant, they don’t have the enzymes to break down the lactose in milk. This can lead to a very uncomfortable and painful digestion process for them.

In addition, in some circumstances, it can also cause diarrhea because of the high levels of fat contained.

So, if you decide to give some milk to your ducks, for sure avoid whole milk and go for skim milk or at least partially skimmed. Also, goat milk could be better as well, always for the low fat levels.

Anyway, it’s always better for them to drink only water, and always choose solid food and not liquid. Ducks, like Chickens, have an organ called Gizzard that squeezes in itself to break up the food and fuse it to the gastric juices.

Can Ducks Eat Cheese?

We talked about milk, so the next natural question is: can they eat cheese?

Well, cheese contains high levels of calcium, so it’s not a bad idea. However, the problem remains the same, even if they will be able to process cheese a little better than milk, they are not mammals so they are not made to digest It.

If you plan to give them in little quantities, try to make their snacks more interesting with some healthier choices. That way the cheese will be used in the right way by your ducks and you won’t be facing excess fat and protein.

Another thing about cheese is its fat content: 30% of your duck’s daily intake can come from this one food item. So be careful and maybe on a higher level make sure that they don’t get too much of it into their system through meals as well.

In conclusion, can ducks eat cheese? Yes, but even better is giving them some other healthy treats such as carrots (which usually stay longer in the duck’s tummy), veggies, or even carrots with boiled peas or grits. This will guarantee a balanced diet and make sure they get the right nutrients they need while they are having fun.

What You Shouldn’t Feed To Your Duck

Well, as we saw milk and dairy products are not really dangerous but not the ideal source of food for them.

What is the food to stay away from?

– Citrus Fruits: Due to their high acidic levels will cause problems to their digestive system.

– Raw rice: I advise to always give them cooked rice and not raw, it could ferment in their stomach.

– Chocolate: yes, you read it right, chocolate is bad for your ducks because it contains toxic elements (caffeine) for ducks.

– Coffee: I know, it’s a little bit harder to imagine that the duck could eat coffee, but you should avoid giving them any.

– Eggshells: It can be healthy, but that might confuse them and lead to a wrong behavior: eating their eggs after being laid.

– Sugary and/or Salty Foods: ducks have a very low tolerance for salt and sugar.

– Raw Meat/Fish: They can transmit disease and lead ducks to uncharacteristic behaviors like high aggressiveness, always give them cooked!


Milk is a nutrient-rich food that provides protein, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K2, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and selenium.

But it’s very important if you want to avoid suffering and potentially serious consequences, think of milk as a treat for your ducks every once in a while, in very small amounts.

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