Ducks instinctively dislike snakes and try to scare them away. Ducks may also prey on small snakes that they can easily chew and digest.
Larger snakes can be dangerous and may pose a risk to ducks because snakes also eat ducks.
Unbeknown to many people, ducks and snakes are enemy species. This means that they will hunt, attack, and feed on each other whenever they cross paths. Usually, the size of both animals determines which will be on the winning side.
How Do Ducks Catch and Eat Snakes?
Ducks can be both wild and semi-domesticated fowl, meaning even pet ducks are in touch with their natural hunter side. While they are often kept in coops and duck houses, they also enjoy roaming around and foraging for their food.
During these rounds, if a duck comes across a small snake or a snake of a size that they can manage, it may attack and feed on the snake without missing a beat. Here’s evidence:
Ducks can eat both venomous and non-venomous snakes without getting super affected by the venom. This is because ducks have a certain degree of immunity against venom, especially when the venom has been ingested.
Thus, some of the most common snakes eaten by ducks include copperheads, corn snakes, and garter snakes. These birds can also drive away larger snake species such as water mocassins, especially if the ducks are in a group and the snakes are few.
Related Article: What Eats Ducks?
Do All Duck Breeds Eat Snakes?
All duck breeds have the capacity to deter and eat small snakes. However, particular duck breeds have better expertise in catching and eating snakes. They include the following:
Muscovy ducks are among the quietest duck breeds. However, they are pretty territorial, especially when it comes to snakes. They will chase a snake away at first sight, and if the snake is small enough, the duck will eat it.
2. Steamer Ducks
These ducks are wild and not easily domesticated. They are known for aggression and could easily be the most aggressive ducks in the world. Steamer ducks have a great dislike for snakes and would be great for controlling or reducing the population of snakes in an area.
Related Article: Do Male Ducks Sit on Eggs?
Quite the opposites of the Muscovites, mallard ducks are some of the loudest duck breeds around. They are equally aggressive, a quality that makes them good snake predators. Just like many other duck breeds, mallards mainly target small snakes such as copperheads and corn snakes.
Related Article: Can Ducks be Rude?
4. Indian Runners
This duck breed is known for its master hunting skills. They are stealthy, don’t leave trails, and give almost no signal to the prey that they are around the corner. Indian runners are big snake predators.
Do Snakes Eat Ducks?
Snakes and ducks are born enemies. The same way ducks deter and eat snakes is the same way some snakes are dangerous to the safety of ducks. Still, the amount of risk a snake poses on a duck will depend on its size compared to the duck.
Several snake species are known to eat duck eggs. For instance, the ‘chicken snakes’ will swallow a whole duck egg. Such snakes can grow up to 7 feet tall and are much bigger than the types of snakes that ducks will catch and eat effortlessly. Even so, ducks will not shy away from scaring and possibly chasing them.
Other snake species, such as the adult northern waters snakes, eat duck eggs and swallow ducklings. Furthermore, larger snakes such as the python will easily kill and swallow a whole-grown duck without so much as a struggle.
Therefore, it is safe to deduce that just as ducks are dangerous to small snakes, the birds are susceptible to the same amount of risk from larger snakes.
Related Article: Are Ducks Loyal?
How to Protect Ducks from Snakes
As a duck owner, you will want to protect your pets if there are relatively large snakes roaming around the area.
Here are some of the ways you can keep your fowl safe by keeping away dangerous snakes:
1. Keep Your Yard Clean
Keep your yard trimmed, neat and tidy to discourage snakes from slithering in and hiding in tall grass or beneath sheets and rock piles.
Snakes are known to love sheltering in places where they are hardly noticeable. Therefore, leaving your yard unkempt will attract snakes into your compound, where they can easily attack and harm your ducks and duck eggs.
2. Inspect Duck House for Openings
Ensure that the duck coop is fully enclosed such that snakes can’t penetrate through openings or cracks. Pay special to the base of the house, as most snakes move along the ground. If there are cracks, patch them carefully using mortar, sheet metals, and hardware cloths.
3. Reduce Rodent Population
Snakes are easily attracted to places where there can find food.
As rodents make up snakes’ diet, having a high population of them at your residence will bring snakes to your home. Therefore, find ways to reduce or fully eliminate rodents from your home.
Without food sources, snakes will not trespass into your compound, and your ducks will be safe.
4. Install a Snake-proof Fence
If none of the other methods works effectively, consider erecting a snake-proof fence. This will deny snakes entry into your compound or the duck coop.
While these fences can be pretty expensive, they are worth it, especially if you have a large population of ducks.
Ducks deter and eat small snakes such as copperheads, corn snakes, and garter snakes. They consume both venomous and non-venomous snakes as they are pretty immune to the effects of the venom. Some of the duck breeds that mostly eat snakes include Muscovites, Indian Runners, mallards, and steamer ducks.
Similarly, relatively large snakes pose a danger to ducks. Chicken snakes are known to eat duck eggs. Adult northern water snakes eat both duck eggs and young ducks. Larger snakes such as pythons will eat both snake eggs and a full-grown duck.
I am the founder and owner of Fauna Facts. My mission is to write valuable and entertaining information about animals and pets for my audience. I hope you enjoy the site!