Can Ducks Eat Barley? (Everything to Know)

can ducks eat barley

Ducks can eat barley, yes.  Barley is full of nutrients such as fiber and carbohydrates that are good for the well-being of your ducks. It is not easy to digest barley as easily as corn, and therefore it should be given in moderation. Although the ducks eat barley, it is vital to regulate how often you feed your ducks with barley to avoid any health issues down the road.

Can Ducks Eat Barley Grain, Grass, and Straw?

Barley straw can be given to ducks. Feeding ducks barley straw is nutritious for the ducks and safe for the pond. You need to place a lot of it around the pond. Barley straw can control pond scum and inhibit the growth of algae in the pond naturally. The ducks can eat but, it will be for pond maintenance.

Ducks can also be fed with barley grains. They are full of nutrients but, they have a lot of carbohydrates, starch, and fiber thus they should be fed in moderation for digestion. It is not easy to digest barley because of the fiber and thus rather than being fed to the ducks directly, it is better to feed them as a mixture of other grains to avoid complications of indigestion.

On the other hand, barley grass is very nutritious not only for ducks but for other fowls as well. Ducks like nibbling on the grass while looking for bugs. It provides ducks with super nutrients, fiber, and proteins. Especially if you feed sprouted barley grass to the ducks, it surpasses the nutrient levels in grains and straw sixfold.

While barley grains are hard to digest, sprouted barley grass has increased digestibility. This helps the ducks in obtaining most of the nutrients they require for growth and flight.

Can Ducks Eat Uncooked and Cooked Barley?

Ducks can eat barely cooked or uncooked. However, it has different nutrient values when cooked and when not cooked. Pearl barley as well as many other barley types are recommended to be cooked a bit before being fed to the ducks.

Cooked barley is more nutritious than uncooked and ducks tend to pick other grains and leave whole barley to the other birds.

Is Barley Healthy for Ducks?

Barley is healthy for ducks, yes. It contains a variety of nutrients including calcium, crude fiber, crude fat, and carbohydrates which help ducks in preventing diseases and forming strong bones and beaks.

Barley grain cannot be fed in massive amounts to the duck due to its high fiber content, which makes it highly indigestible. On the other hand, barley as a whole grain can be very bulky for the duck’s stomach.

Do Ducks Like Eating Barley?

Ducks like eating barley, and therefore it should be fed since it is nutritious and prevents diseases. It enhances the energy levels in the bird.

Can Baby Ducks Eat Barley?

Barley is a bit too heavy for young ducks. However, you can feed barley to ducklings in small amounts and mix it in the mash. Growing ducklings require a lot of nutrients for the formation of their beaks and legs.

How to Feed Barley to Ducks

You can feed barley to ducks in a mixture of grains. You can mix it with mash too. The barley grains can be fed in a mixture of oats, wheat, and corn. The barley can be fed as straw and grass too.

Barley straw can be fed to ducks to supplement their diet and act as a natural pond cleaner.

Can Ducks Eat Pearl and Pot Barley?

Ducks can eat most varieties of barley including pot barley and pearl barley. Just ensure that it is fed in mixtures, and it is good to cook it for a while too before giving it to the ducks.

Can Ducks Eat Malted Barley?

Ducks eat malt barley and love it. Malt barley is high in nutrients but, just like other varieties of barley, it should be fed in moderation.

What Other Plants and Grains Can Ducks Eat?

The following foods are also safe for ducks to consume:

  • Cracked corn
  • Edible flowers
  • Grass
  • Quinoa
  • Birdseed


Barley can be fed to ducks and ducklings in moderate amounts. Barley is heavy in nutrients, starch, fiber, and carbohydrates. The ducklings require a lot of nutritious food for beak formation and bone formation.

Barley should be fed to ducks in a mixture of grains such as wheat, corn, and oats. Barley can be fed to duck as pearl barley, pot barley, and malted barley but in moderate amounts.