Ducks Guide

Can Ducks Eat Sunflower Seeds?

During the summer, sunflowers will start blooming a large yellow flower. In the middle of the flower will be many seeds. These seeds are enjoyed by many species of birds such as chickadees, robins, and many more. When it comes to ducks, can they also eat sunflower seeds?

Can ducks eat sunflower seeds? Yes, ducks can eat sunflower seeds, either with the shell or without the shell. In fact, if the ducks are fed duck feed and seed mixes, sunflower seeds are added to them. Sunflower seeds are nutritious and can benefit the duck’s health.

Are Sunflower Seeds Good For Ducks?

Sunflower seeds may be tiny, but they are packed with nutrition. These seeds are a good source of many vitamins and nutrients, especially niacin.

Other nutrients they have are fiber, protein, iron, and vitamin E. All of these nutrients are important to the health of the ducks.

Prevent Niacin Deficiency

Sunflower seeds have a vitamin that critical for the correct development of ducks. Vitamin B3, also known as niacin converts nutrients like fats, carbohydrates, and proteins into usable energy.

Without the proper amount of niacin, especially for ducklings, it will lead to leg problems and deformities. This condition isn’t reversible and will make it difficult for them to move around when they are an adult.

Aid In Digestion

Sunflower seeds have a good amount of fiber in them. Ducks require fiber to help aid in digestion.

Fiber helps promotes regular bowel movement and prevent constipation.

With the right amount of fiber each day, foods that the duck eat will move smoothly through their digestive tract.

Can Duckling Eat Sunflower Seeds?

Ducklings should not be fed any sunflower seeds. The seeds are too large and could cause them to choke on it.

However, when the ducklings are at least 4 weeks old, you can try to feed them sunflower seeds. Make sure to crush it into small pieces first.

When they are about 2 months old, you can give them the entire seeds.

Can Ducks Eat Sunflower Seeds With Shell?

Yes, ducks can eat sunflower seeds with the shell. Ducks have a flat beak which allows them to break open the seed.

When feeding them sunflower seeds with a shell, make sure you have a hard ground for them to break the shell open. Ducks will grab the seed with their mouth and hit the ground for the shell to open.

Can Ducks Eat Salted Sunflower Seeds?

No, ducks should not eat sunflower seeds that are salted. Salt in general is bad for ducks. Too much salt can cause health problems. 

How To Feed Sunflower Seeds To Ducks

When it comes to feeding sunflower seeds to the ducks, they can eat either seed with or without the shell.

If feeding them sunflower seeds with the shell, make sure it’s on hard ground. This will allow the duck to break open the shell and eat the seed inside.

Without the seeds, you can simply toss them onto the ground for the ducks to eat.

Another way to feed sunflower seeds to the ducks is to mix them with other food. Doing so will give the ducks a boost in nutrition, especially niacin. Mix leafy greens with vegetables and sprinkle some sunflower seeds on them.

How Much Sunflower Seeds Can A Duck Eat?

When feeding the ducks, you should only feed them sunflower seeds in a small amount.

For ducklings, you should not feed them any sunflower seeds. However, once they are at least 4 weeks old, you can start to feed them sunflower seeds.

For adult ducks, a handful of sunflower seeds is enough.  

How Often Can Have A Duck Eat Sunflower Seeds?

Just like any other treat, sunflower seeds should be fed to the ducks once or twice per week.

The reason why you shouldn’t feed them too often is that the seeds are hard for the ducks to digest. Overfeeding them with sunflower seeds could cause crop impaction.

Other Seeds That Ducks Can Eat

Bird seeds

Bird seeds make a great treat for feeding the ducks. Commercial bird seed mixes are safe and suitable for ducks. These seeds contain a variety of seeds such as sunflower, safflower, milo, and cracked corn. Feed them bird seeds in small quantities to avoid crop impaction.

Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are great for giving the ducks as treat. During the fall when it’s time to harvest the pumpkin, instead of throwing away the seeds, you can feed them to the ducks. You can either feed them fresh pumpkin seeds or roasted pumpkin seeds. Just make sure to not add any salt to them.

Watermelon Seeds

Instead of throwing away the watermelon seeds, you can feed them to your ducks. The seeds can be fed to them fresh. If you want to keep the seeds for later feeding, roast the watermelon seeds, but not with any salt.

Also, when feeding watermelon seeds to the ducks, don’t give them too much of at one time. Too much and they won’t be able to digest it properly, which could lead to crop impaction.


Sunflower seeds make a fantastic treat for ducks. It’s packed with nutrition and tasty for the bird to eat. The only thing you should watch out for is if the sunflower seeds are salted. If it is, avoid feeding them to the ducks or crack open the shell and feed them just the seed inside.

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