Can Ducks Eat Thyme? (Benefits & Feeding Tips)

can ducks eat thyme

Ducks can eat thyme, yes. Thyme is an awesome addition to their diet and offers a number of other benefits to them. However, you should only feed it to them in moderation.

Is Thyme Good for Ducks?

Thyme is a fragrant herb that can grow in almost any environment and requires little maintenance. Best of all, it has an amazing taste which makes it a common ingredient in Mediterranean cuisines.

An area that has well-drained soil and is exposed to the sun is ideal for planting thyme. This herb can grow pretty tall and makes a good ground cover for your ducks to dust bathe in.

Thyme is great for ducks. There’s nothing toxic about it. In addition to making their runs and nesting boxes smell good, thyme adds some decent nutrition to your birds’ diet along with other benefits.

However, feeding excessive thyme to your ducks could potentially cause some serious health issues. Ducks need a well-balanced diet and thyme alone cannot provide all the nutrients they require.

A general rule of thumb when feeding ducks is that about 90% of their diet should be their feed.

Some duck parents have also seen a change in the taste of eggs laid as a result of feeding their birds too much thyme. Though I have yet to see scientific evidence to prove it.

Health Benefits of Thyme to Ducks

According to Healthline, thyme offers the following health benefits to our feathered friends (and to us):

  • Acts as Natural Antibiotic – If like me, you prefer using natural medicines as opposed to synthetic ones, you’re in luck. Thyme has the ability to destroy different kinds of bacteria meaning that your ducks will be protected from common poultry bacterial infections when they ingest it.
  • Repels rodents and insects – Thyme has a strong smell that insects and rodents dislike. Planting it around your ducks’ houses and runs is great but not enough to protect your ducks and ducklings. You have to rub the leaves on their skin to discharge the essential oil.
  • Boosts their immunity – Thyme contains a good amount of Vitamins A and C which are crucial in preventing your ducks from catching a cold. If they catch a cold, feeding them this herb will help them get back in good health faster.
  • Getting Rid of Mold – This might be a bit far-fetched but thyme essential oil has antifungal properties and can help in eradicating mold from your duck house and run.

As I’m sure you’re aware, moldy food is harmful to ducks and this might help in preventing your birds from having to eat scraps with mold spores on them.

How to Feed Ducks Thyme

Feeding your waterfowl thyme is easy. This herb has small leaves and there is no need to cut it into smaller pieces. All you have to do is pluck the leaves from the stem and throw them out to your birds.

You can also take dried thyme from a jar and mix it with their feed. Better than that, you can mix it with their favorite snacks like scrambled eggs and oatmeal.

If you buy your thyme from a store, it’s good practice to always give them a good wash before feeding them to your ducks. They may contain pesticides that could potentially harm them.

Can Baby Ducks Eat Thyme?

Baby ducks can eat thyme, yes. The only concern is that it can be a choking hazard for them. So, ensure you chop the leaves into small pieces to prevent that from happening.

What Other Herbs Can Ducks Eat?

Other than thyme, there are a couple of herbs that ducks can eat safely. Here are common herbs that duck owners feed their birds:

  • Cilantro
  • Dill
  • Oregano
  • Rosemary
  • Basil

Summary – Can Ducks Eat Thyme?

Thyme is fine to feed to your ducks. It has no toxins that could potentially be harmful to your ducks. Most ducks will like it but it’s not guaranteed. Like us, they have their personal tastes and preferences.

Thyme also has beneficial nutritional content for your birds. So, if you have spare thyme, it’s worth sharing some with them.