A question often posed is whether ducks are omnivores or not? In fact, a lot of people often ask whether ducks are herbivores or carnivores too. Well, we know from where the confusion comes from, so let’s clarify everything right here on this page!
First, let’s understand what are the categories in which all the animals are divided based on their diet.
- Herbivores = Plant eaters,
- Carnivores = Meat eaters,
- Omnivores = Plant + meat eaters.
Now, let’s see in which category is the duck.
Are Ducks Omnivores?
Yes, ducks are omnivores. This means that ducks can eat both plants and meat. In fact they will eat whatever fits in their mouth. This includes plants, algae, insects, warms, small fish, fish eggs etc.
Ducks, for the most part, will eat plants, insects, and small water-dwelling animals, particularly crustaceans. In fact, a good amount of their food is going to come from the water. This is why ducks are omnivores.
People are omnivores too, but also lots of other animals like many bear species, pigs, rats, turtles and so on.
Why Ducks Are Not Herbivores?
This is where things can get a little bit confusing. This is because a lot of people seem to be of the belief that ducks are herbivores when they are not as such. Although, we will talk more about this in a short while.
Some folks have come to the erroneous conclusion that ducks must be herbivores simply because they do not have teeth.
Obviously, it is true that they do not have teeth, but they can still eat meat. Which means ducks are omnivores! Ducks, especially those in the wild, regularly eat small fish, fish eggs, warms and various insects.
With that being said, ducks cannot be herbivores simply because the primary food of the herbivore animals is plant. Herbivores eat only grass, leaves or other plants all the time and nothing else. Just like the geese.
For example horses, cows, elephants etc. have evolved different type of digestive system capable of handling large amount of plants, unlike the carnivores for example.
It is worth pointing out that the herbivores can be further divided into subcategories like Seed eaters, Fruit eaters, Nectar eaters and Leaf eaters.
Why Ducks are not Carnivores? They Eat Meat, Right?
Now that you know that ducks can eat worms, small fish or various insects, does that make them carnivores? Of course, not. But this is where the confusion comes, so let’s clarify this.
The carnivore animals only eat meat and nothing else. On the other hand, ducks regularly eat plants that is why ducks are not carnivores.
Some carnivores have evolved to kill their pray, like the lions or the crocodiles for example. Some have evolved to inject venom in their victim’s blood, like the snakes or the spiders.
Other carnivores do not kill their pray but will eat the flash of a dead animal.
Conclusion: Ducks are Omnivores, Not Carnivores, or Herbivores
It is worth pointing out that, of all the duck breeds out there, not every duck breed will have the same diet.
For example in the nature or in the wild, 90 percent of the Mallard duck’s diet will consist of vegetable matter and the remaining 10 will come from small animals and insects. The diet of other duck breeds leans more towards meat.
Now, we hope that we have clarified why ducks are omnivores and why they are not considered carnivores or herbivores.
Interesting article that we think you might want to check it out: Smallest Duck Breeds – Bantam Ducks.