Can Ducks Eat Lemons? (Answered)

Ducks are a type of bird that has evolved to be able to eat many types of food. They are omnivores, which means they will eat both plants and animals. These birds have even been observed eating things like snails, small invertebrates, earthworms, seeds, insects, fruit, and even other birds!

However, can ducks eat lemons? Yes, they can. Lemons are not toxic to ducks but their body is not really able to process strong acidic food, so is lemon recommended from me? I would not say so, I would not introduce citrus fruits in their diet but if eaten one in a while it will not cause any problems!

The Acid In Lemons Can Cause Damage To Ducks

What are the risks in giving acidic fruits to ducks?

When an animal eats something it is digesting it. The acid in lemons can damage the membranes of the intestines, which can cause a leaky gut.

A leaky gut can be very dangerous since the large molecules that make up fiber will be able to pass through the gut wall and go into other parts of the body where they don’t belong. Pathogenic bacteria and their toxins that are small enough to not be caught by the body’s filters, will also pass through the gut wall and into the bloodstream. This can result in inflammation and disease.

You don’t have to throw away the lemons if your ducks ate them, but if they make your ducks sick then try not to give them lemons again. If your ducks do not show any signs of being sick after eating citrus fruits it is okay to feed them every once in a while!

Can Ducks Drink Lemonade?

I got asked this question in the past, with the intention of giving the drink as a refreshing summer treat and while lemon is not particularly toxic in small quantities I would say no, it’s better not to give them lemonade due to the dangerous mix of the acid of the lemon and the sugar which is a big no for them.

At the end of the day, I always suggest only giving them water to drink, and avoid any type of soda/beverage.

What Type Of Food Is Recommended For Ducks?

As I told you before ducks are omnivorous, so they can enjoy a pretty diverse diet, however, they need to be supplemented with some foods to fulfill their nutritional needs.

The types of food that ducks can eat are:

Vegetables: Beans, carrots, corn, cucumber, lettuce, peas and Chinese cabbage. Things you should take into account is that cucumbers and beans should not be given whole; the seeds inside can cause problems for the digestive system of the duck. Also, carrots should only be fed in small amounts so that they don’t get too many calories from their diet. The rest of the food items should not be fed in excess either because then your duck will gain weight and some may have problems digesting all those rich foods. 

Grains/seeds: Barley, oats, wheat bran, or ryegrass seeds (but only if they are milled or cracked). Foods rich in fat/oils: Sunflower seeds, corn, soya beans, and maize.

They can enjoy any kind of vegetable oil in moderation. Foods rich in protein: Any kind of meat like chicken, beef, fish, and dried insects (insects must be soaked in water to make them more digestible). Foods rich in minerals/vitamins: Soya beans (but only if they are milled or cracked), carrots, parsley, and lettuce (they are a good source of Vitamin A).

Ducks also enjoy eating different kinds of rice. Barley rice is perfect for your ducks because it’s an important source of energy for your ducks in winter time when there is less green food available for them.

The ideal diet for your duck should consist of a combination of the items I listed before:

You must not offer duck just one type of food from the list at any one time. This will lead to a deficiency of certain important nutrients.

The main reason why the ducks live very long in the wild is because they eat a lot of variety and not just one type of food.

Ducks must be fed at least three times a day, although if they have free access to water all day long they can be fed only twice.

What Is The Type Of Food To Avoid?

I gave you a comprehensive list of food that ducks would need to have a complete diet, but what about what they should avoid?

It’s better for them to stay away from eggplants, corn, peppers, and tomatoes. Also avoid avocado, coffee, beans, and high fat and high sugar food.


Yes, ducks can eat lemons, even if it’s not bad for them per se, I would not advise feeding it to them, as citrus food can cause problems to their stomach if they are eating it too much, even though I highly doubt it because they generally don’t seem to be attracted to these fruits.

Credits: Pictures From Nennienszweidrei and RichardJohn of