Why Is My Duck Throwing Up Water?

If you’ve noticed your duck throwing up water, it can be a cause for concern. Ducks, like any living creature, can experience health issues that may result in this behavior. Understanding the potential reasons behind this phenomenon will help you address the problem and ensure the well-being of your feathered friend.


One possible reason for your duck throwing up water could be dehydration. Ducks often ingest water to assist with digestion, and if they don’t have access to enough water or are unable to consume it properly, they might regurgitate what little they have. Dehydration can occur due to various factors:

  • Inadequate water supply: Ducks need constant access to clean, fresh water, and if they cannot find it, their bodies may react by expelling any water they’ve managed to ingest.
  • Poor water quality: If the water provided to ducks is contaminated or stagnant, they might instinctively reject it and throw up in order to prevent further harm.
  • Illness or injury: Ducks suffering from illnesses or injuries might experience reduced water intake due to pain or discomfort, leading to dehydration and vomiting.

To prevent dehydration, make sure your duck has access to clean and fresh water at all times. Regularly clean and change their water source to maintain its quality. If you suspect illness or injury might be the cause, it’s advisable to consult a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Poor Digestive Health

Another reason for ducks throwing up water can be related to poor digestive health. Issues within their digestive system can affect their ability to properly process food and water. Here are a few possibilities:

  • Impacted crop: The crop is a part of the duck’s digestive system where food and water are stored before entering the stomach. If the crop becomes impacted or blocked, it can result in the regurgitation of water.
  • Infection or inflammation: Infections or inflammation within the digestive tract can cause ducks to experience discomfort while ingesting food and water, leading to vomiting.
  • Dietary problems: Feeding ducks an inappropriate diet can disrupt their digestive system. For example, providing them with excessive amounts of bread or other low-nutrient foods can result in digestive issues.

If you suspect digestive health problems, it’s crucial to assess and modify your duck’s diet. Ensure they have a balanced diet consisting of appropriate waterfowl feed and avoid offering foods that may disrupt their digestive system. If the issue persists, consult with a veterinarian for further examination and advice.

Ingestion of Foreign Objects

Ducks are curious creatures that may inadvertently ingest foreign objects, which can lead to vomiting or regurgitation. Some potential culprits include:

  • Gravel or rocks: Ducks might swallow small stones or gravel to aid in food digestion. However, if they consume larger pieces or inedible objects, it can cause irritation and vomiting.
  • Plants or toxic substances: Ducks exploring their surroundings may consume plants or substances that are harmful to their digestive system, resulting in vomiting.

As a duck owner, it’s important to provide a safe environment, free of objects that could be harmful if ingested. Regularly inspect their living area and remove any potential hazards. If you suspect your duck has ingested a toxic substance, seek immediate veterinary assistance.

Viral or Bacterial Infections

Viral or bacterial infections can affect a duck’s overall health and lead to vomiting or regurgitation of water. Some common infections include:

  • Duck viral enteritis: This highly contagious viral disease can cause digestive problems, including vomiting, diarrhea, and reduced water intake.
  • Fowl cholera: A bacterial infection that affects ducks and other poultry, resulting in various symptoms including vomiting.

If you notice other signs of illness, such as lethargy, loss of appetite, or abnormal stool, consult with a veterinarian to diagnose and treat any potential infections. Quarantine the affected duck to prevent the spread of illness to other birds.

Stress or Anxiety

Ducks, like many animals, can experience stress or anxiety, which may manifest in vomiting or regurgitation of water. Factors that can contribute to their emotional well-being include:

  • Poor living conditions: Ducks should have adequate space, shelter, and access to clean water and food. Overcrowding or unsanitary conditions can lead to stress-related behaviors.
  • Environmental changes: Ducks might struggle to adapt to sudden changes in their environment, such as relocation or alterations to their habitat.
  • Predator presence: If ducks feel threatened by the presence of predators or other animals, it can induce stress and lead to vomiting.

Provide a suitable and stress-free environment for your ducks, addressing any potential triggers. Minimize changes to their environment when possible and ensure they have a secure and predator-free space.

In conclusion, if you observe your duck throwing up water, it could be due to various reasons such as dehydration, poor digestive health, ingestion of foreign objects, viral or bacterial infections, or stress/anxiety. Assessing the possible causes and taking appropriate measures, such as ensuring a clean water supply, a balanced diet, a safe environment, and seeking veterinary care when necessary, will help address the problem and maintain your duck’s well-being.