There are numerous different animals around the world that eat duckweed as a major part of their diet. All types of animals including fish, ducks and geese, small mammals, and even reptiles are known to eat duckweed and other related aquatic plants. Humans also eat duckweed in some areas. Duckweed can be a great food source for animal feed because it grows fast and requires very little care or maintenance. This is why it is commonly used in farming operations worldwide. For some people duckweed can be a nuisance. It can completely overtake small ponds and lakes with thick mats of vegetation. Because of this many people look for animals that will eat duckweed to help them control growth.
As you would guess from its name, duckweed is a favorite snack of ducks, as well as geese and some other birds. Duckweed can make up a major part of duck’s diet where it is available, but ducks rarely eat enough to control the growth rate of the duckweed plant or to have a noticeable effect on surface area coverage.
There are also a wide variety of fish that are known to eat duckweed. Many types of carp love to eat duckweed. Enough large fish actually can help to control duckweed growth in small ponds. Another fish that loves to eat duckweed is tilapia. Tilapia are commonly farmed using duckweed as a food source. Tilapia and duckweed are perfect for each other as they booth can grow very quickly, enabling farmers to maximize yields and profits. Many other tropical and freshwater fish will also eat duckweed plants if they are introduced to an environment that contains duck weed. This makes duckweed a great aquatic plant for aquariums because it can be grown as a secondary, or even primary food source for most tropical fish. Duckweed also helps to filter out pollutants in water, making ponds and aquariums cleaner.
Several mammals are also known to eat duckweed occasionally. Muskrats, beavers, woodchucks, rats and mice are all duck weed eaters. In addition to these animals, many farm raised animals also eat duckweed that is made into animal feed. Pigs are commonly fed feed made from duck-weed and other aquatic plants. Duck-weed has a very fast rate of growth and is high in protein so it is an ideal plant to grow for animal feed.
There are also some reptiles and amphibians that will graze on duck weed from time to time. These include turtles, frogs, snakes, and salamanders. For these animals duckweed usually makes up a small part of their diet.
Duckweed is truly an amazing plant, and it is a vital part of many ecosystems. At the same time it can be a devastating invasive species if it is allowed to overrun small lakes. For this reason many people are choosing to control duckweed with fish and other animals that will eat it.