Ducks Guide

Can Ducks Eat Earthworms? Good Source Of Protein

Earthworms are found just about everywhere in the world. These worms are nutritious and make a good meal for many different animals. As for ducks, can they eat earthworms, and is it safe for them? Can ducks eat earthworms? Let’s dive in!

Is It Safe For Ducks To Eat Earthworms?

For ducks, earthworms are a safe food for them. These worms are naturally found in soils and ducks love to forage for them.

The only thing you need to watch out for is parasites in the earthworms. In the wild, earthworms will move around from one place to another. This has the potential for them to get parasites.

If the ducks eat earthworms that have parasites, they too will have parasites in them.

Parasites in the ducks will cause them to lose weight, have a fever, and diarrhea. If you notice any of these issues after the duck has eaten earthworms, you should take them to the vet for further examination.

can ducks eat earthworms

Are Earthworms Good For Ducks?

Earthworms are a wriggling superfood. They are packed with nutrition that the ducks need to stay healthy and strong.

On a dry matter basis, earthworms contain around 70% protein, 6-11% fat, and niacin.

Yes, ducks can eat earthworms. This is one of the duck’s favorite food. Due to their beaks, these birds are great at digging up the dirt and foraging for earthworms. The worms have plenty of nutrition that the ducks need so it makes great food for them to eat.

Below are some of the health benefits of feeding earthworms to ducks:

Prevent Niacin Deficiency

Earthworms are a good source of niacin, also known as vitamin B3. For ducks, niacin is very important for them and their health depends on it. Niacin helps convert the food that the ducks eat into energy.

These birds are unable to store niacin in their body and will need a constant supply of the vitamin each day.

Without niacin, ducks will start to deteriorate in health. Some of the health issues will be weak bones, bowing of legs, enlarged hock joints, pigeon-toed stance, and inability to walk.

Produce Quality Eggs

Earthworms are packed with protein, which helps the hen produce quality eggs. Good quality eggs will be bigger and taste better.

When hens are laying eggs, you’ll want to give them extra protein. Not only does it helps the eggs be of better quality, but keeps the hens strong and healthy.

Can Duckling Eat Earthworms?

Yes, ducklings can eat earthworms, but only when they are at least 3 weeks old.

Once they are 3 weeks old, you can start to feed them earthworms.  Start by giving them a very small worm first.

Place the worm next to the duckling to get them to eat it. They may be hesitant at first since this is something new to them. After a while, just out of curiosity, they may eat it.

How To Feed Earthworms To Ducks

When feeding earthworms to your ducks, there are two methods of doing so. The first method would be to simply dig up the dirt where you know there are earthworms. Then let the ducks out and they’ll start picking and eating the earthworms. Not only are they getting to feed on nutrient-rich food, but they’ll always get to exercise.

The second method is to dig up the earthworms and place them next to them. This way isn’t really great for the ducks because they won’t get to exercise.

How Many Earthworms Can A Duck Eat?

While earthworms are healthy and full of nutrition, you should only feed the worms to them in a small amount.

For baby ducks, they should not be given any earthworms. They are too small and the earthworms could cause the ducklings to choke on them. Once the ducklings are at least 3 weeks old, you can start to introduce the worm to them.

For adult ducks, 5-6 medium-sized earthworms. This is enough for the duck to enjoy this delicious treat.

How Often Can Have A Duck Eat Earthworms?

Earthworms should be fed to the ducks in moderation. The worms are healthy for them to eat, but it has a high amount of protein in them. A lot of protein is unhealthy for the duck and will cause them to have angel wings. This is a condition where the tip of the wings will twist or rotate and point away from the body. When ducks have angel wings, it will make it difficult for them to fly.

To prevent that from happening, two to three per week is plenty enough earthworms for them. If you are feeding them other foods that are high in protein as well, reduce the number of earthworms given to them just to once a week.

Other Worms That Ducks Can Eat


Mealworms are packed with nutrition such as fiber, protein, and fat. This nutrition is what the ducks eat to stay healthy. However, due to their high amount of protein and fat content, feed the mealworms to the ducks in moderation. If they eat too much of the worms, they’ll become overweight and could develop a condition known as angel wing.

Calci worms

These calcium worms are the larvae of the black soldier flies and are natural nutrient-rich insects. Like their name, the worms are high in essential calcium. Calci worms are also a good source of protein, fat, and amino acid. All of these nutrients are what the ducks need to stay healthy.


Superworms make a great treat for ducks due to their high nutrition content. These worms are similar to mealworms, but they are much bigger and more nutritious. Superworms have a high content of protein and fat. For that reason, feed the ducks only in moderation.

However, if you have a hen that is beginning to lay eggs, you can increase the number of superworms fed to them. During this time, the hens need plenty of protein and fat content to stay healthy and produce quality eggs.


Earthworms make a good treat for feeding your ducks. If you have a large yard, you can let them forage for the worms, which will keep them busy for hours. While earthworms are nutritious for the ducks, it’s best to feed them in moderation.

This post on can ducks eat earthworms was originally published on February 16th 2021 and updated on May 12th 2023.

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