Skip to Content

Can Ducks Eat Pumpkin?

*This post may have affiliate links, which means I may receive commissions if you choose to purchase through links I provide (at no extra cost to you). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please read my disclaimer for additional details.

When it comes to feeding your ducks, there are many options to choose from. At the same time, there are some options you should avoid. Foods like avocado, green tomato, green potato, and white potato are toxic to ducks. But what about pumpkins? Are they safe?

Ducks can eat pumpkin. Pumpkins are a great option for ducks since they contain a considerable amount of nutrients. Both raw pumpkin and raw pumpkin seeds are excellent food sources for your ducks.

Besides offering nutrients, pumpkin seeds are quite beneficial to ducks; they have natural antiparasitic effects on the digestive systems of poultry.

Although pumpkins are safe for ducks, you should avoid giving certain types of processed pumpkin to your ducks. We shall discuss this, amongst other things, in the ensuing paragraphs.

Feeding Ducks Pumpkin

Ducks can eat pumpkins, and in fact, they enjoy eating it. Pumpkins contain considerable amounts of beta-carotene ( a vitamin A precursor and antioxidant), potassium, magnesium, vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin E, and calcium. Pumpkins are quite nourishing to ducks.

The flesh of a pumpkin does not contain substantial calories. However, the seeds make up for this with their high fat and carbohydrate content.

Wild ducks resting on lake shore

At first, your ducks may not jump at the pumpkins you offer. They might watch it warily for a few days instead of munching as you expect. But don’t give up!

In such situations, you can entice them by spreading some duck food on and around the pumpkins. By doing this, you are introducing the pumpkin flavor to them using the duck food flavor, which they are accustomed to.

So, which parts of a pumpkin can ducks eat?


Ducks can eat raw pumpkin seeds, and as we said earlier, the seeds offer some nutrients and medicinal properties.

Pumpkin seeds contain carbohydrates (about 33% dietary fiber), unsaturated fats (such as omega-3 and omega-6), and protein.

They also contain minerals and vitamins, including iron, magnesium, calcium, and vitamin A (beta carotene).

In essence, pumpkin seeds can contribute a significant part of your ducks’ balanced diet.

Also, calories make up over fifty percent of a pumpkin seed’s content. So, the seeds could be beneficial during the cold seasons, since the ducks will need more energy to keep themselves warm.

Cucurbitacin, an amino acid found in pumpkin seeds, has shown significant antihelminthic activity. It is said to paralyze flatworms, making them easier to eject from the body. With pumpkin seeds, you are not just giving your ducks a treat – you could also be treating them.


Pumpkin flesh is one of the healthiest parts of a pumpkin, and it is very delicious too.

Besides the vitamin and minerals in pumpkin seeds, the flesh contains vitamin B2, vitamin C, potassium, copper, and manganese.

Pumpkin flesh also contains a significant amount of water and fiber – a combination that will help digestion in your ducks. But it has a low carbohydrate content, so don’t count on it if your ducks need energy.

Pieces of and a whole pumpkin with leaves


Ducks may be able to eat the skin of a pumpkin. But this depends on the variety you give to them. Smaller pumpkin varieties are softer and tastier. Larger ones tend to have harder skins and be less palatable.

Hence, your ducks might prefer the smaller varieties to the larger ones.


Ducks can eat pumpkin leaves, too. The nutrients in pumpkin leaves are similar to those in the flesh. Like the flesh, they contain dietary fiber that will benefit your ducks’ digestive system.

Can Ducks Eat Cooked Pumpkin?

Raw pumpkin is fine for ducks. But you can also cook pumpkin and serve it to your ducks.

If you intend to give cooked pumpkin to your ducks, do not add salt or any other flavoring to it. Salt and any other additive you may add may harm the ducks.

When a pumpkin is cooked, it becomes less crunchy. So, if your ducks savor crunchiness, they may prefer the raw ones over the cooked ones.

Can Ducks Eat Canned Pumpkin?

Canned pumpkin is not a great option for your ducks. It tends to come with various additives, including sugar, salt, spices, and preservatives, which are bad for ducks.

moldy pumpkin in the garden

3 Pumpkin Treats You Should Avoid Feeding Your Duck

Besides canned pumpkin, you should avoid feeding the following pumpkin treats to your ducks:

Moldy Pumpkin

Moldy foods are generally not good for ducks, and moldy pumpkins are no exception.

Moldy pumpkins carry toxins produced by the fungi growing on them. If your ducks consume these toxins, they could get sick and possibly die.

Apart from that, the ducks can inhale the spores of the fungi growing on the pumpkin. If this happens, they could come down with a fungal infection such as aspergillosis.

Since fungal infections are generally difficult to treat, infected ducks are at a high risk of dying.

Salted Pumpkin Items

Feeding ducks a considerable amount of salt can lead to salt intoxication. Experts recommend that ducks should not get more than 0.2% salt in their feed. Above this level, salt intoxication will set in.

The severity of the symptoms of salt intoxication you will notice in your ducks depends on how much salt they ingest. At low levels of intoxication, you will notice symptoms like increased water intake and watery fecal matter.

At higher levels, you will notice severe symptoms such as death. So, do not give your ducks salted pumpkin items.

Sweetened Pumpkin Items

Give them a lot of sugar, and ducks will gain weight rapidly. When they fatten up, their organs become strained, and this makes them unhealthy.

Besides causing them to gain weight, ducks are more likely to have digestion issues or become bloated when given sweetened items. It is best to avoid giving them sweetened pumpkin items.

Pumpkin seeds in bowl on wooden background

3 Pumpkin Treat Ideas for Your Ducks

Thinking of a pumpkin treat to make your ducks happy? Try one of the following:

Pumpkin Seeds and Peanut Butter

  • Place some pumpkin seeds in a bowl.
  • Add peanut butter (10-30% the quantity of the pumpkin seeds) to the bowl.
  • Stir thoroughly, then offer to your ducks.

Pumpkin and Watermelon Mix

This treat would be welcome when the weather is hot.

  • Chop equal amounts of watermelon and pumpkin flesh into a bowl.
  • Place the bowl in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
  • Remove from the refrigerator, then serve to the ducks.

Scrambled Eggs With Pumpkin Seed Powder

For this treat, you have to dry some pumpkin seeds and make them into powder. Pumpkin seed powder is available in stores, but beware that it may contain additives. A better way would be to make your own from dried pumpkin seeds.

  • Crack 2 eggs and empty their contents into a bowl.
  • Add 2 teaspoons of powdered pumpkin seeds to the bowl, then whisk.
  • Prepare scrambled eggs just like you normally do, but use a very thin layer of oil when frying.
  • When cool enough, put the mixture out for your ducks.


Pumpkin and pumpkin seeds are healthy and nutritious food sources for ducks. As long as the pumpkin is not moldy and does not contain additives, ducks can safely eat it. So, if you’ve got some leftover raw pumpkins from a garden cleanout or Halloween, let your ducks have a go at them.