Can Ducks Enjoy Eating Cherries Without Any Risk In Their Diet? An Expert Guide

Updated: 17 Mar 2024


Observing the ducks in my yard, I’ve often pondered the question: can ducks eat cherries directly from the cherry tree? The sight is quite common, especially near ponds and lakes where ducklings eagerly eat the fruit.

Based on personal experience and a bit of research, the answer leans towards yes, but with caution. Cherries are indeed nutritious, providing a refreshing taste along with essential vitamins and minerals.

However, they must be ripe and soft enough to be swallowed whole, as ducks do not chew. It’s crucial to moderate the amount due to the high sugar content, which can pose a risk if fed excessively.

When incorporating cherries into a duck’s feed, it’s important to remove the pit and stalk to avoid any choking hazard. The pit contains a toxin that could harm your feathered friends.

Cherries should be offered rarely as an occasional treat alongside alkaline foods like watermelon, asparagus, green peas, broccoli, and carrots to balance their diet.

I’ve made it a habit to cut the cherries in half, ensuring they’re safe for serving. This not only prevents the potential of them choking but also makes it easier for the ducks to enjoy their treat in the water, turning it into a delightful feeding experience.

Table of Content
  1. Can Ducks Eat Cherries?
    1. Can Duckling Eat Cherries?
    2. What kind of Cherries Can Ducks Eat:
      1. Dried Cherries:
      2. Pitted Cherries:
      3. Ground Cherries:
      4. Sour Cherries:
      5. Black Cherries:
      6. Sweet Cherries:
    3. Other Food Ducks Like:
    4. Do Wild Ducks Eat Cherries?
    5. Benefits of Cherries For Ducks:
      1. Ducks Have a High Metabolic Rate:
      2. Cherries Are Very Low In Fat:
      3. Good Source of Vitamins A and C:
      4. High in Fiber:
      5. Rich in Antioxidants:
      6. Promotes Feather Health:
      7. Aids in Weight Management:
      8. Promotes Heart Health:
      9. Boosts Immune System:
      10. Regulates Blood Pressure:
      11. Aids in Digestion:
      12. Provides Energy:
    6. Risks of Feeding Cherries to Ducks:
      1. High in Sugar:
      2. Choking Hazard:
      3. Digestive Upset:
      4. Allergic Reactions:
      5. Risk of Cyanide Poisoning:
    7. How To Feed Cherries To Ducks:
      1. Make A Salad With Cherries for Your Ducks:
      2. Make a Smoothie with Cherries for Your Ducks:
      3. Make Nice Cream with Cherries for Your Ducks:
    8. How Often Can Ducks Eat Cherries?
    9. FAQs Can Ducks Eat Cherry?
    10. Conclusion:

Can Ducks Eat Cherries?

As a pet duck owner, I’ve often encountered the query: Can ducks and ducklings eat cherries? My experience has taught me that ducks indeed love the mouthwatering treat of cherries, a type of stone fruit that requires preparation before serving.

It’s crucial to remove pits and seeds to prevent any risk, making it a deal-maker for those looking to enhance their duck’s diet with nutritional benefits. Cherries are immense in nutrients, making ducks’ feathers appear shinier and their health thrive.

Can Ducks Eat Cherries

However, they should only be combined with other foods, especially alkaline foods, to balance the acidity and ensure the ducks’ stomachs, which are quite fragile, don’t suffer from being fed cherries too often or in large quantities.

Dried cherries, being sugar-dense, are a problem and shouldn’t be fed to ducks. It’s worth being careful to occasionally include fresh cherries in their diet, mindful of the calories and sugar content, to do not feed them over what’s beneficial.

Can Duckling Eat Cherries?

When considering the diet of ducklings, it’s essential to recognize that these cute and fragile young birds have specific nutritional needs. Ducklings require a carefully balanced diet to support their healthy growth and development.

While adult birds might thrive on a variety of foods, including feeds designed for laying eggs or producing eggs, ducklings need starter and layer feeds that provide extra nutrition.

This brings us to the question: can ducklings safely eat cherries? Cherries are not an ideal food for ducklings due to their high sugar content and low protein level, which does not align with the high protein requirements of ducklings.

Feeding cherries to ducklings should be done with moderation as the key. A treat of one or two cherries per day is sufficient, and always ensure these cherries are free of pits to prevent choking hazards or digestive problems.

Overfeeding cherries can lead to upset stomachs or diarrhea, which indicates that while cherries can be included in their diet, they should not form a significant portion of it.

The regular food of ducklings should mainly consist of starter feed, supplemented with safe, nutritious foods that cater to their need for a diet high in protein and low in sugar. Thus, while cherries are not toxic and can be offered occasionally, they should never become a primary food source.

What kind of Cherries Can Ducks Eat:

Ducks and ducklings can eat different kinds of cherries to meet their daily nutrients and fats. Some of the common cherries are as follows:

Dried Cherries:

Dried cherries serve as a popular snack among humans and can be a treat for our pets, including ducks. However, their high sugar content makes them harmful in excess.

While nutritionally beneficial, dried cherries offer a concentrated burst of flavor that can be tasty to our feathery friends. They store conveniently for outdoor excursions, yet their higher sugar content demands feeding in moderation.

Pitted Cherries:

Pitted cherries are safe for ducks, but one should be cautious of the choking hazard. Once the pits are removed, these sweet and delicious fruits become a special treat for our quacking companions.

Ground Cherries:

Ground cherries, rich in vitamins A, C, calcium, and iron, should also be fed in moderation. These nutritious, unique, sweet, and tangy fruits resemble cherries crossed with tomatoes and are encased in a small, papery husk. Ducks can nibble on these delightful treats.

Sour Cherries:

Sour cherries, or tart cherries, are safe but their acidic nature may cause digestive upset. As a healthy treat, their tart, tangy, and zesty flavor offers a refreshing change. Due to their acid content, introduce them gradually and monitor your duck’s response.

Black Cherries:

Black cherries are packed with antioxidants beneficial for the immune system and have a rich, sweet flavor that aquatic friends will enjoy. Whether whole or chopped, these vitamins and minerals-rich fruits should be washed to remove any pesticides or residues before feeding.

Sweet Cherries:

With a higher sugar content, sweet cherries are suitable in moderation. Their enticing balance in a diet offers a palatable taste but should be introduced gradually to avoid adverse reactions. Always remove pits and stems to ensure safe consumption.

Other Food Ducks Like:

Other Food Ducks Like:

Rabbit Food

Do Wild Ducks Eat Cherries?

Wild ducks happily eat ripe cherries, drawn by the sugars, carbs, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants these fruits offer. They seek out diverse diets that include aquatic plants, seeds, grains, algae, small fish, insects, and, importantly, fruits and berries.

As they migrate, they often find themselves in cherry orchard areas during summer, where they sample fallen cherries from the ground or directly off trees.

Orchard owners sometimes report flocks of foraging ducks, with birds like American Black Ducks and Mallards showing no discrimination in finding food.

They consume what’s readily available in their habitat, finding in cherries a sweet, seasonal source of carbohydrates and nutrients.

Unlike domestic ducks, where one must be cautious of pits due to toxicity risk, wild ducks consuming the flesh of cherries show the opportunistic, omnivorous nature of these birds, who make the most of every fruit opportunity in their environment.

Benefits of Cherries For Ducks:

Benefits of Cherries For Ducks:

Some potential benefits of eating cherries for ducks are as follows to meet their daily nutrients.

Ducks Have a High Metabolic Rate:

Ducks, with their high metabolic rate, benefit from protein, fats, and natural sources of vitamin C to bolster their immune system and ward off disease. This nutritional support is crucial for maintaining the health and vitality of a duck flock.

Cherries Are Very Low In Fat:

Cherries, being low in fat, are ideal for preventing overweight ducks. They help maintain healthy cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart problems without adding extra calories to their diet.

Good Source of Vitamins A and C:

Cherries are a rich source of vitamins A and C, enhancing the immune system, supporting vision and skin health, and guarding against respiratory infections. These vitamins play a key role in tissue growth and repair, thus maintaining the well-being of ducks, improving their eyesight, and facilitating the absorption of other nutrients.

High in Fiber:

The fiber in cherries aids in digestion by promoting a healthy intestinal tract and digestive system, regulating bowel movements, and preventing constipation.

Rich in Antioxidants:

Cherries are rich in antioxidants, protecting the immune system from infections and diseases by neutralizing free radicals that cause damage. These properties provide anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer benefits to cells.

Promotes Feather Health:

The vitamin A and beta-carotene in cherries contribute to keeping a duck’s feathers healthy, shiny, strong, and effective for insulation, flight, and waterproofing, crucial for the growth and maintenance of their plumage.

Aids in Weight Management:

Cherries, with their balance of calories, assist in weight management when fed in moderation, preventing obesity and related health issues. Unlike fatty treats, they offer a balanced diet that minimizes stress on joints and organs with their low-calorie content.

Promotes Heart Health:

The flavonoids in cherries support heart health by reducing inflammation and improving circulation within the cardiovascular system, thereby protecting blood vessels.

Boosts Immune System:

Rich in vitamins and antioxidants, cherries strengthen the immune system, enabling it to fight off infections and diseases with an active and responsive approach to maintaining good health.

Regulates Blood Pressure:

The potassium found in cherries helps regulate blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart disease, hypertension, and other heart-related problems.

Aids in Digestion:

Cherries’ fiber content ensures smooth digestion, alleviating constipation and other digestive issues, contributing to overall well-being by adding bulk to bowel movements and supporting proper digestion.

Provides Energy:

The natural sugars and carbohydrates in cherries offer energy, keeping ducks active and alert. This makes cherries a perfect snack for increased activity levels, especially in cold weather, when energy requirements soar.

Risks of Feeding Cherries to Ducks:

Risks of Feeding Cherries to Ducks:

Besides potential benefits, there are some drawbacks for ducks to eating cherries. Some of the drawbacks are as follows:

High in Sugar:

Cherries, while nutritious, are high in sugar, which can lead to obesity and other health issues in ducks if overfeeding occurs. High-sugar treats like dried cherries possess a high sugar content, offering a quick burst of energy that can contribute to weight gain. Therefore, it’s essential to feed cherries in moderation, balancing their benefits with the risk of overindulging.

Choking Hazard:

The pits in cherries represent a significant choking hazard. They can cause blockages in the digestive tract, leading to health problems. These small, hard objects can be swallowed and become lodged in the throat, causing discomfort or potential injuries. It’s crucial to remove cherry pits before feeding to ducks.

Digestive Upset:

Feeding cherries in large amounts can cause digestive upset in ducks, including diarrhea and vomiting. A balanced diet is key, as digestive issues can arise quickly from large quantities of cherries due to ducks’ sensitive digestive systems. Introduce cherries gradually, monitoring response to avoid digestive discomfort and other gastrointestinal issues.

Allergic Reactions:

Though rare, allergic reactions to cherries can occur in ducks, leading to skin rashes or respiratory issues among other health problems. Watch for signs of an allergic reaction and consult a veterinarian if allergies or foods cause skin irritations or digestive problems. If adverse effects are observed, discontinue feeding cherries and consult a professional.

Risk of Cyanide Poisoning:

Cherry pits contain cyanide, a toxic substance that, in large quantities, can lead to cyanide poisoning. Despite the health benefits of the flesh, the risks associated with adverse reactions to pits underscore the importance of caution. If there are concerns, consult a veterinarian or poultry expert for advice.

How To Feed Cherries To Ducks:

Feeding any food to ducks is always challenging ducks here are some potential ways to feed ducks cherries.

Make A Salad With Cherries for Your Ducks:

Creating a salad with cherries for your ducks is a nutritious way to include this fruit in their diet. Salads can be served with water and combined with other favorite foods and alkaline foods such as peas, green beans, carrots, and broccoli. You don’t need to cook these ingredients; simply serve them raw for happy ducks. Remember to cut any larger vegetables into smaller pieces to make them easier for ducks to eat.

Make a Smoothie with Cherries for Your Ducks:

Smoothies are an easy and low-effort way to provide nutritious meals for ducks. To make a smoothie more appealing, combine alkaline fruits like apples and bananas for a creamier texture, adding oats or your favorite green vegetables to intrigue your feathered friends. A fantastic green smoothie bowl can be created by ensuring to remove all stalks and pits before blending.

Make Nice Cream with Cherries for Your Ducks:

Nice cream, a homemade ice cream alternative without dairy, is simple to make and requires little time. Blend peeled, frozen bananas with a bit of water and oats to create a base, then add pitted cherries for their sweet flavor and strong color. This treat is an enjoyable way to offer cherries to ducks, especially during warmer weather.

How Often Can Ducks Eat Cherries?

Ducks can be fed cherries as a nutritious part of their diet, but given the high sugar content, it’s best to offer them occasionally as a treat rather than a staple meal. Integrating cherries with other foods like veggies and grains can provide a balanced diet.

The amount and frequency should be determined based on their overall diet, but a good guideline is to keep it to a maximum of five cherries per duck, and even that is pretty seldom. It’s important to ensure the stalk and seed are removed before feeding to make it easy and mess-free.

A simple method to remove seeds involves placing the cherries in several small plastic bags, then gently pressing them flat from the inside of the bag until the seed is pushed out with a rolling pin or the bottom of a pot, making it used safely for duck feeding.

FAQs Can Ducks Eat Cherry?

Can Ducks Eat Cherry Leaves?

No, they did not eat it. Cherry leaves contain hydrogen cyanide and are toxic for ducks and their babies. 

Can Ducks Eat Moldy Cherries?

No, Mold cherries are toxic and contain lethal. Mold is harmful because it helps fungus grow. 

Can Ducks Eat Canned Cherries?

Yes, canned cherry cannot have any added failover and sugar. It also does not add any salt or any other harmful things. Before serving to ducks cut it into small pieces.

Can Ducks Eat Cherry Tomatoes?

Absolutely yes, They love to eat this because it is full of vitamins, minerals, fibers, and antioxidants.  

Can Ducks Eat Cherry Pits?

No, they did not like to eat because if they swallowed whole they would die. It contains the cyanogenic glycosides chemical after digestion it converts into hydrogen cyanide. They can eat a very small amount of cherry pits.


Cherries can be a delightful and nutritious treat for ducks when offered in moderation and with proper preparation. By removing pits and seeds, and limiting consumption to avoid the risks associated with high sugar content and potential choking hazards, ducks can safely enjoy the health benefits of cherries.

Nouman Ali

Nouman Ali

I'm delighted to introduce myself as the voice behind the diverse array of insights and information you'll find here. With a passion for animals that spans over eight years, I've immersed myself in the fascinating world of pets, exploring their lifestyles, behaviors, and unique needs. Growing up surrounded by various animals, I developed an innate curiosity and deep connection with our furry, feathered, and scaly friends. This early fascination ignited a lifelong journey of learning and understanding the intricacies of pet care. Over the years, I've had the privilege of sharing my knowledge and experiences with fellow pet enthusiasts through various platforms. Whether it's offering tips on nutrition, behavior training, or health management, my goal has always been to empower pet owners to provide the best possible care for their beloved companions.

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