Why You Shouldn’t Feed Ducks Bread
How many times have you found yourself at a public park or zoo and participated in or witnessed people throwing bread in the ponds? Somewhere along the line this became a standard practice but unfortunately it can do a lot of damage not just to the birds but also the waterways. As much as I’m sure the ducks and geese appreciate the gesture, there are several reasons why you shouldn’t feed ducks bread.
One of the biggest problems with feeding ducks and geese bread is the fact that it gives them absolutely no nutrition. They will fill up on bread instead of sourcing food that keeps them in top form. Preventing them from searching for a balanced diet will inevitably have long term effects on their wellbeing.
Bread isn’t the only human food that can harm waterfowl but it is the most common when it comes to feeding wild birds. We want to make sure these birds aren’t exposed to fatal or disabling conditions as a result of our ignorance. A disease caused Angel Wing, for example, is caused by a nutrient deficient diet- causing deformities like loss of wing use/ability to fly that may leave them vulnerable to predators.
The obvious issue bread in water creates is a decrease in quality. Do you want to swim in or drink water with remnants of soggy bread? Probably not. Worse than that- it creates a legitimate health concern to all who rely on these bodies of water to survive.
When there is excess bread in the water, it can cause changes in the bacteriological and chemical content, greatly increasing the risk of avian disease. Other life living in the water may also be fatally impacted as a result of these changes.
Safe Things to Feed Waterfowl
Nobody is saying you shouldn’t feed the ducks and geese you see, let’s just do it in a way that helps not hurts our birds and the environment. Here are some examples of what you can feed them:
- Cracked corn
- Rice (doesn’t have to be cooked)
- Birdseed (any mix)
- Sliced Grapes
- (Defrosted, not cooked) frozen corn or peas
- Earthworms and Mealworms
- Chopped lettuce or other greens
- Veggie trimmings
- Bread, Crackers, Biscuits
- Sugary food – like chocolate
If you’re here, you must care about the wellbeing of the Earth’s creatures! We appreciate that. As you may know, we’re a farm dedicated to raising awareness of rare farm breed preservation & encouraging environmental conservation. We are an educational facility, home to many rare breeds- bringing hundreds of children on tours every year so they will acquire the personal context needed to become protective stewards of our planet. If you are feeling particularly generous, and would like to help us continue to expand our efforts (we’re just a small family owned and operated farm) we would greatly appreciate it. Read more at our Dalby Farm Expansion GoFundMe page.