Do Ducks Eat Goldfish? (Is Your Pond In Danger)

Maybe you have a decorative goldfish pond and think about adding some ducks to your backyard, or maybe you have seen wild ducks hanging around your pond. In either case, you are sure to worry about the safety of your fish and are asking yourself:  

Do ducks eat goldfish? Yes, ducks will eat small fish, including goldfish. Ducks eat basically everything that is small enough to fit into their beaks. Depending on the species of duck, an entire mouse can be swallowed, as can frogs.  

Unfortunately, if you consider adding ducks to your decorative goldfish pond, though, the danger they pose to your fish is not even the worst that can happen.

Since ducks spend most of their time foraging for food, they will practically spend all day carrying mud and debris into your pond when zooming around catching bugs and frogs. When they eat stuff from the bottom of the pond, they will rake up mud and your pond will soon turn into an opaque soup. 

Do Ducks Eat Goldfish
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Additionally, duck poo is excellent fertilizer that will cause algae to bloom. Planting water lilies can help with that, though – when their leaves float on the surface of the pond they reduce the amount of sunlight that gets through and that algae need to grow. Unfortunately, ducks also have the tendency to shred and eat the plants you have in or around your pond. 

As aesthetically pleasing it might seem to invite pretty mallard ducks to enjoy your goldfish pond, it is probably the best solution to give the ducks an extra pond for their swimming and eating pleasure. If this pond is deep and big, it will not as easily get dirty as a small decorative pond.

Your decorative pond, then, should be surrounded by a fence. Make sure that this fence is tall and robust. Ducks are very curious, and the chances are good that if they really want to see what’s on the other side, they will find a way. 

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What Kinds of Food Are Safe and Good for Ducks? 

When you want to keep your ducks away from the plants and fish you want to protect, it is important to offer them food that will keep them satisfied and, of course, healthy. 

The golden rule for feeding ducks is to not give them bread or bread-like food (like crackers or cookies)! It has no nutritional value for ducks but fills them up so they won’t eat anything that is actually good for them. Therefore, a duck that eats a lot of bread can become malnourished. 

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Things that you can feed safely to ducks are, for example, duck pellets, which you can find in pet stores, lettuce and other greens (best to tear them into small pieces before feeding them to your ducks), vegetables like corn, zucchini, or frozen peas that have been defrosted, vegetable peels, non-citrus fruits, oats, rice, or seeds.

They can also eat dog food every once in a while since they are omnivores, but they technically do not need this extra dose of protein, so this should only be an emergency solution when you have nothing else at home. 

Ducks do not have teeth so they need a regular supply of granite grit that helps them to grind up food in their gizzard. Be sure to buy age-appropriate grit depending on whether you have adult ducks or ducklings. When you have a laying hen you can offer crushed oyster shells as an additional source of calcium. 

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So, Which Animals Are Stealing My Goldfish? 

Maybe you have been keeping an eye on your ducks and they are as well-behaved and happy as you could possibly wish for. Nevertheless, your goldfish keep disappearing. Unfortunately, there are quite a few animals that eat goldfish, mostly at night when no one is awake to stop them.  

Pets like cats and dogs can pose a threat to goldfish and depend on where you live, other offenders might include herons, raccoons, coyotes, snakes, or opossums.

It might be a good idea to protect your goldfish pond with a monofilament net. This material is strong and durable but hardly visible, so you can still enjoy the view. A fence or simply raising the edge of your pond is a simple way to deter smaller potential predators.