Can Ducks Eat French Fries? 4 Reasons They Shouldn’t

Written By Jill Taylor

French fries are one of the most popular snacks available out there. In fact, most people cannot enjoy a proper dinner without French fries as a side dish. However, the real question is, can ducks eat French fries?

Generally speaking, ducks can, or should we say, will consume French fries if offered up. However, fries are not an ideal treat for birds, including ducks. You can give French fries to a duck but in moderation. If a duck devours too many fries, it can lead to salt poisoning, weight gain, gastrointestinal issues, and other health complications.

Keep on reading to learn why French fries are not the ideal treat for a duck!

can ducks eat french fries

Ducks and French Fries

French fries are made of potatoes that are not toxic for a duck as long as they are properly cooked. That being said, ducks should not consume potatoes in the form of chips and French fries, but instead as cooked or mashed.

This is because French fries can do more harm than good. These snacks are not actually a powerhouse of nutrients. Furthermore, they are loaded with unsaturated fat, leading to obesity and other weight-related problems.


Can Ducks Eat French Fries – Potential Risks

Instead of potatoes, French fries are off-limit for ducks due to other ingredients. Here are some of the most common health issues related to French fries and ducks.

Salt Poisoning

French fries are incomplete without salt. In ideal quantity, salt is quite beneficial for ducks. It can help optimize a duck’s performance in meat and egg production. However, too much salt consumption is considered toxic for birds because they can experience eggshell defects.

The excess of sodium chloride can cause a shortage of bicarbonate, calcium concentrations, and carbon dioxide tension in the fluid covering the egg. As a result, the egg-shell becomes non-existent and thin, permitting bacteria to flow through the egg easily.

Weight Gain

french fries

One of the most significant reasons why French fries are a no-no for ducks is that they are loaded with calories. Due to the cooking oil, these snacks contain unsaturated fats and calories that can lead to weight gain.

It’s noteworthy to mention that weight gain can itself cause a lot of other health complications in ducks, including obesity, heart diseases, mobility, and development problems.

Heart Diseases

Compared to humans, ducks are less likely to get heart diseases. However, they can still suffer from these complications – especially if they live in a commercial setting. According to many veterinarians, too much consumption of French fries can cause high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and several other health diseases in ducks.

Digestive Problems

Uncooked or undercooked French fries are not just indigestible, but also dangerous for ducks. These snacks can lead to digestive ailments in birds, including diarrhea and other gastrointestinal problems.

These problems occur because of the high levels of starch found in potatoes. Ducks have a different digestive system than humans do, so they cannot process these complex sugars well.

Read More: Can Ducks Eat Popcorn? Vital Tips for Healthy Ducks

Alternatives to French Fries

Apart from potatoes, there are several other cruciferous vegetables that ducks can easily digest and benefit from. Here are some healthy alternatives to feed a duck:


Pellets are the appropriate form of feed for ducks. They offer essential nutrients, minerals, vitamins, amino acids, and fats that every bird needs on a daily basis. As such, it is highly recommended to give your pet pellets as its primary natural diet.


Ducks can eat practically any salad apart from coleslaw and potato salad. However, chicory leaves, arugula, endives, dandelions, and millet leaves tend to be healthier treats compared to iceberg lettuce.

Read More: Can Ducks Eat Chocolate? Why It’s Not A Good Idea

What Should You Do If a Duck Has Eaten French Fries?

mallard duck

Ducks usually follow their stomach. They will try to consume French fries and other human foods whenever they get a chance. If your duck has consumed one or two pieces of French fries, you don’t have to imagine the worst. He/she might feel digestive problems, including vomiting and diarrhea.

Alternatively, if a duck has consumed too many French fries, you have to visit your veterinarian immediately and follow his/her instructions!

Read More: Can Ducks Eat Crackers? The Risks And Why You Shouldn’t Feed Them

Can Ducks Eat Homemade Fries?

In case you have been wondering whether ducks can eat homemade fries, the answer is “no.” Just like French fries from a fast-food restaurant, homemade fries are often loaded with too much salt and fat.

Can Ducks Eat Fried Potatoes?

Yes, but only if they are cooked to the right extent. Fried potatoes are not optimal snacks for ducks because they can cause digestive problems in birds.

Can Ducks Eat Potatoes?

Yes, ducks can eat potatoes! In fact, they usually love them because of their high starch and carbohydrate content. Mashed or boiled potatoes are healthier because they contain fewer calories compared to fried ones.

Can Ducks Eat Mcdonalds Fries?

Some fast-food restaurants such as MacDonalds offer French fries for their clients. However, these snacks cannot be given to ducks because they are not healthy and nutritious enough.

Read More: Can Ducks Eat Cheerios? The Ultimate Guide for Owners

Can Ducks Eat Burger King Fries?

duck eating

No, you cannot feed your pet fries from a Burger King restaurant. In addition, you should never feed a duck other human foods sold in fast-food chains! Apart from the fact that these items usually contain too many calories and fat, they might also contain some chemical residues or other toxic substances.

Can Ducklings Eat French Fries?

Young ducks are growing and developing rapidly. As such, they need high-quality nutrients that help them grow healthy and strong. It is not advisable to feed baby ducklings with French fries because it can cause digestive problems in these young birds.

Can Ducklings Eat Potato Chips?

No, ducklings cannot eat potato chips! Commercial baby duck foods contain enough calories and minerals for healthy development. By giving your pet chips, you might deprive him/her of several crucial nutrients he/she needs on a daily basis.

Can Ducks Eat French Fries – Final Thoughts

It’s reasonable to wonder, can ducks eat French fries? Well, French fries do not offer any nutritional value to your duck. Plus, the excessive consumption of these snacks can cause weight-related and heart diseases in ducks. Therefore, it is recommended to avoid giving ducks French fries.

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