Do Ducks Vomit? (Reasons Explained)

Ducks do vomit, but in a different way than us, They do not use the abdominal, neck, and diaphragm muscles to force the contents of their stomachs out, they eject material from their crop, stomach, and intestinal tract.

If your duck displays this behavior, it may be a sign that something is wrong and that you should seek medical assistance.

Why Do Ducks Throw Up?

Even if they are not “vomiting” in the same way that we do, it’s possible that you will notice substances coming out from their bills.

The reasons for this could be multiple, here are the most common:

The crop has received a hit or a squeeze

A duck’s crop is a muscular compartment that holds food before it travels to the stomach and gizzard. To avoid an overload, ducks have a complex three step process for releasing food. However, if your duck’s crop receives a hit or a squeeze, it may lose control of the contents of its crop and begin to empty into its throat. Ducks will usually try to relieve any pressure on their crops by throwing up.

Dyspepsia, gastritis, and acidosis

While dyspepsia refers to an impairment of the organ responsible for the digestion, in this case, it is a dysfunction of the stomach. Gastritis refers to inflammation of the stomach lining and acidosis is a condition resulting from an excess of acidity. All three conditions can cause throw up in ducks. Not only that, but they can lead to a very serious condition known as Gut stasis (gastric stasis), which is when food does not move normally through the digestive tract.

Dysbacteriosis or bad bacteria

If your duck has dysbacteriosis, it means that there are microbial infection in the digestive tract, which can lead to a condition called Gut Stasis. This is the same condition as mentioned above and it is the most life threatening of all duck ailments. The diet of your duck plays an important role in preventing and treating dysbacteriosis.

Excess of water

This is probably the most common and not dangerous instance where you could see fluid coming out of their beaks.

Young goslings tend to consume too much water, resulting in water pouring out of their beaks. Ducks consume water by dipping their beaks into the water and letting gravity help to pull the water down their necks.

When water doesn’t flow completely down, so when they return their heads to a normal position, some water pours back out.

Related: Do Ducks Produce Milk?

What To Do When Your Duck Vomits?

Seeing fluid coming out of a duck beak could mean serious business, so you need to see through it.

In the case that it’s not just water coming back up, but other substances, it’s quite a serious matter, because it’s not something that they do often or something that is natural, so you need to act fast.

The best, and first, thing that you should do is to contact your veterinarian, to understand what should be done, as well as how to treat the duck, and that’s probably going to be the best course of action.

Related: Why Do Ducks Have Webbed Feet?

In Summary

Since ducks are not as likely to vomit, when they do it means that something is seriously wrong, so you need to handle it.

As we saw the causes could be many and varied, from excess water coming out or serious problems like damage to their crop, an issue in their digestive system or an infection spreading throughout their body and that’s why it’s important for you to know what to look for and what to do.

In most cases of vomiting, you should contact your veterinarian.