Can Ducks Eat Snails and Slugs? 3 Surprising Benefits

Can ducks eat snails? Yes, ducks love the taste of snails and will happily eat them. Ducks are actually great for pest control and will take care of any snails, insects, and bugs in your yard.

Ducks will also eat slugs, although they are not as appetizing as snails. Slugs live in shaded areas so it’s less likely for a duck to come into contact with a slug.

Read on to find out everything you need to know about snails, slugs, and ducks.

can ducks eat snails and slugs

What are Snails?

Snails are mollusks that have a spiral shell and an elongated body. Snails prefer to live in moist ecosystems where there is plenty of vegetation for them to eat.

There are around 35,000 species of snail living on our planet today. Some can be found in aquatic habitats while others will stick to land locations such as woodlands and gardens.

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What is a Slug?

A slug is basically a snail without a shell. They will leave their homes in search of food and moisture during the nighttime hours. Slugs prefer to snack on plants such as lettuce and cabbage so gardeners often end up with a slug infestation.

Can Ducks Eat Snails?


Yes, ducks love snails and will happily devour them. Because of snails’ spiral shells, they are great for quacking entertainment.

Ducks can be fed raw or cooked snail meat. If you choose to cook the snails first make sure that they are completely cooled before feeding them to your duck.

Are Snails Safe for Ducks?

Yes, snails are safe for ducks. They do not contain any chemicals or toxins that would be harmful to your duck. They also do not have sharp teeth so they cannot hurt your duck when eating.

Slugs may contain parasites that could be harmful to your duck if it is not cooked thoroughly. Also, slugs are nocturnal creatures so they are less likely to cross paths with your duck during the daytime hours.

Do Ducks Eat Slugs?


While some ducks can eat slugs, it is much less common than them eating a snail. Ducklings that have just hatched shouldn’t be fed slugs until they are much older and their digestive system has matured more.

Slugs live in shaded areas which makes it very unlikely for a duckling to come into contact with them while playing.

Health Benefits of Snails for Ducks

Snails are a great source of protein and calcium for your duck. They also contain high levels of vitamin A, B1, and C making them an excellent addition to any diet.

Eating snails provide your duck with a good source of healthy fats and they also contain omega-3.

Ducks will happily eat snails whenever they get the chance because they love the taste so much. The slime that covers snails is an additional benefit for ducks who like to coat their feathers with it before preening themselves.

They produce oil from their glands which allows them to clean and waterproof their feathers at the same time.

Are there any Risks in Feeding Snails to Ducks?

mallard duck

No, there are no risks associated with feeding snails to ducks. They do not carry any diseases and can be safely eaten.

There is also no risk of your duck getting injured from a snail as they do not have teeth or sharp limbs.

Are There Any Health Risks for Ducks Eating Slugs?

Slugs can carry parasites so it’s best to avoid feeding them to your duckling until they are older and their immune system has developed more. If the slug is infected it could cause harm or death if ingested by your duckling, even after cooking it.

Where Can Ducks Find Snails?

Ducks usually opt for snails over slugs because they like the taste more and also come across them easier. You will find snails thriving in pond or lake environments but they can also be found at the bottom of rivers and streams. They love damp places such as bogs, marshes, meadows, swamps, and forests.

Snails need a moist environment to survive and will usually go into hibernation mode if their living space becomes too dry. Ducks can find them easier in these types of environments and may come across them while they are looking for other food such as insects, worms, and water plants.

Can Ducks Eat Cooked Snails?

duck swimming

Ducks can be fed cooked snails as they will not harm them in any way. Cooked snails are a great source of protein and calcium, both essential for a healthy diet. They also contain high levels of vitamin A, B1, and C that are good for ducks.

Ducks will happily eat cooked snails whenever they can get their little webbed feet on them. Make sure the snails are completely cool before feeding them to your duck as hot food could cause burns if eaten quickly.

Can Ducks Eat Raw Snails?

Yes, raw snails are perfectly safe for ducks to eat. They have very little effect on the digestive system of a duck and are an excellent source of healthy fats, vitamin A, B1, and C.

Read More: Can Ducks Eat Cabbage? 6 Fantastic Benefits

How Often Should Ducks Eat Snails?

Snails are a great treat for ducks and can be fed to them as many times as you like throughout the day. Since snails contain high levels of calcium, it is also recommended that they should be fed to your duck daily.

Are Snails Safe for Ducks during Winter?

Ducks do not hibernate so will need access to food all year round. Snails are safe for ducks to eat throughout the winter months but if their living environment becomes too cold then they will become dormant, meaning you should stop feeding them until spring arrives again.

During this time, give them plenty of room in their shelter or outside run so that they can move around freely and keep themselves active.

Can Ducks Eat Snails – Final Thoughts

Can ducks eat snails? Yes, snails make for great snacks for your duck. Ducks are great for pest control and will happily hunt down any slugs or snails in your yard.

Ducks can be fussy though. Make sure that you know what kind of snail or slug it is before feeding them to your duck. If you’re not sure if a snail or slug is safe to feed to your ducks then don’t do it.

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Jill Taylor Happy Farmyard

Jill Taylor

Jill is a full-time homesteader who enjoys learning about sustainable living and practicing self-reliance. She'll most likely be found tending to her many animals including chickens, ducks, goats, and alpacas. You find out more about her on LinkedIn.