MAR 25, 2017 7:01 AM PDT

Love Feeding Ducks? Avoid Giving Them Bread

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

People have been feeding ducks and other types of birds since what seems like the beginning of time. On the other hand, it turns out that what you choose to feed them really has a bearing on their health, and can also cause harm to the environment.

Stale white bread is a very common treat that people tend to rush to the scene with, as ducks love to gobble the stuff up, but it turns out that this is actually a pretty bad idea. Given all the negatives that can occur from feeding ducks white bread, and the sheer magnitude of people who do, it's no surprise that this is quite a long-standing issue.

Feeding ducks stale white bread is a bad idea.

Image Credit: airatic/Pixabay

While the science doesn’t say that you should stop feeding ducks altogether, it does suggest that white bread is not the best thing to be giving to ducks, as it’s really nothing more than junk food. White bread has its similar issues whenever human eat it, as it lacks any real nutritional value.

Apart from just being junk food, white bread can also leave birds malnourished, causing issues like ‘angel wing,’ which is a wing deformity makes it impossible for the creatures to fly. Since ducks will eat just about anything, feeding them something that actually has nutritional value has a lot more to offer for them.

Among other issues, bread can also accumulate mold when it sits on the ground for too long, and ducks will often carelessly pick away at the moldy bread when they find it because they don’t know any better, which can leave them with diseases like avian botulism. The problem is amplified when ducklings, rather than fully-grown ducks, eat the junk food because they need healthy food to grow big and strong.

White bread can also sometimes make it into the duck pond, where it ends up harming the surrounding environment by harvesting surface algae, bacteria, and other microscopic problems that can make other animals in the region ill, such as fish.

While there are a number of people who continue to feed ducks (and other birds) chunks of white bread, it’s encouraged that this behavior is stopped for the sake of duck health and for the sake of the environment.

On the other hand, you don’t have to stop feeding the ducks completely. Some good alternatives to white bread are:

  • Any type of birdseed or oats
  • Cooked rice
  • Chopped seedless grapes
  • Corn or peas
  • Chopped carrot or lettuce

While some of these things might not be as tasty as white bread, you would be feeding the animals something that offers nutritional value and won’t harm the surrounding environment. It also prevents malnourishment, and since some of these items are often found in leftovers, it shouldn’t be too difficult for those who love feeding birds to incorporate them into their hobby.

We’re sure you can put that spoiled bread to good use at home without feeding it to ducks; consider making some stuffing with it the next time you have chicken or turkey, and it will be like having a miniature Thanksgiving dinner.

Source: Popular Science

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
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