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So Its Ok to Feed Bread to Duck Again?

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https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/newsbeat-50087990

It was a childhood pastime I remember doing frequently, visiting the ponds in the parks and feeding the ducks bread. Then about a couple of years ago, notices started popping up to say not to feed bread to the water fowl, as it’s bad for them. But now the water fowl are starving and underweight

Do you like to feed ducks? What do you use?

For a while I’d been using cereal, but found it was only ok on the floor, and pretty useless when dashed into the ponds! Lol

hspexy
4 months ago
What do you think of this?
Lynibis
Lynibis4 months ago

Well, that raises the question, what do they eat if the public do not feed them in parks? I doubt that enough fish survive to keep them fed throughout the year. Do park keepers go around feeding them? (Come to think of it, I have not seen a park keeper since I was a child).

Maybe I will Google what water fowl eat and take some along.

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hspexy
hspexy
Original Poster
4 months ago

I dont believe I’ve ever seen parks or grounds keepers feed any creatures while they’re on duty. I suppose they might do so very early in the day, before people visit. Usually the ducks look like they’re snacking on something on the waters, but not entirely sure what

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angemski
angemski4 months ago

Reading this was really sad - I can understand how the new way of thinking is leaving the birds starving. I've sent the article on to a particularly single-minded friend who has gone down the seed-only route and reprimanded me on more than one occasion over a couple of rounds of bread.

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Dilligaf
Dilligaf4 months ago

Bread and similar products such as crackers, chips, crisps, donuts, crusts, cereal, and popcorn are great sources of carbohydrates but they offer little nutritional value for ducks, geese, swans, and other birds. In fact, bread is the equivalent to junk food for birds. Just like humans would suffer from a diet of nothing but candy, too much bread can lead ducks to excessive weight and malnutrition as well as many other problems.

Offered as a rare treat in extreme moderation, bread is not immediately harmful to ducks or birds, but that moderation is hard to judge. While one person or family may only feed the ducks once every few months, there may be many other families and individuals who are feeding the ducks bread far more frequently. Adding all these well-meaning feeders together can lead to a diet based almost solely on unhealthy bread products. Environmentally conscious birders will refrain from offering any bread or bread-like products to ducks to avoid nutritional problems and other issues caused by a carbohydrate-rich diet.

Not only can bread be fattening to ducks and make it harder for them to fly and otherwise evade predators, feeding ducks bread can also lead to other serious problems.

Duckling Malnutrition: Ducklings require a varied diet and plenty of natural plants and insect proteins to mature properly. If ducks are regularly fed bread, ducklings will not receive adequate nutrition for proper growth and development. Furthermore, because ducks will eagerly seek out an easy food source such as human handouts, ducklings will not learn to recognize or forage for natural foods as easily.

Overcrowding: Where an easy food source is abundant, ducks and other waterfowl will lay more eggs and the pond or lake will become overcrowded. This makes it more difficult for the birds to seek out healthier food sources and increases the likelihood of territorial aggression. In overcrowded areas, predators can also thrive and will impact other bird populations, and diseases can quickly spread through large flocks as well.

Pollution: When too much bread is offered to ducks, not all of it will be eaten. Soggy, uneaten bread is unsightly and rotting bread can create noxious odors as well as lead to greater algae growth that can clog waterways and crowd out more desirable plants. This concentrates the pollution and can eventually eradicate fish, amphibians, crustaceans, and other life in the vicinity, making good food sources even scarcer.

Pollution: When too much bread is offered to ducks, not all of it will be eaten. Soggy, uneaten bread is unsightly and rotting bread can create noxious odours as well as lead to greater algae growth that can clog waterways and crowd out more desirable plants. This concentrates the pollution and can eventually eradicate fish, amphibians, crustaceans, and other life in the vicinity, making good food sources even scarcer.

Diseases: Feeding ducks bread can increase the spread of diseases in two ways. First, a carbohydrate-rich diet leads to greater defecation, and bird faeces easily harbour bacteria responsible for numerous diseases, including avian botulism. Second, mouldy bread can cause aspergillosis, a fatal lung infection that can decimate entire duck and waterfowl flocks..

Loss of Natural Behaviour: When birds become accustomed to handouts, they lose their natural fear of humans and may become aggressive in order to get more food. Their loss of fear can also cause other dangers, such as a willingness to cross busy roads in order to reach picnickers and other likely sources of food.

Wild ducks and waterfowl can live longer, healthier lives by relying on natural food sources such as aquatic plants, seeds, grasses, and insects rather than taking handouts from well-meaning humans. If you still want to feed the ducks, which can be an enchanting experience, there are many healthier alternatives to offer instead of bread. Great foods to feed ducks include:

Grapes (cut in half to prevent choking)

Cracked corn, barley, oats, birdseed, or other grains

Frozen peas or corn kernels (defrosted first, but no need to cook)

Duck feed pellets available from farm supply stores

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lucyeva72
lucyeva724 months ago

Well said! :-)

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