One of your favorite childhood memories may be going to the park to feed the ducks. You’d take the day old bread to feed them, thinking it was better than being wasteful and helped the animals too. However, feeding ducks carbohydrate-rich food like bread and crackers is not healthy at all and can be extremely dangerous for the birds.
Our breads and similar products have little nutritional value for ducks and other birds. It’s like us filling up on junk food! Moderation is hard to judge because you don’t know how many other well-meaning families are also out there giving them bread as well.
According to birders, it is really best to avoid feeding bread to any birds to help prevent dietary problems including:
Growing ducklings require a varied diet, and if they are offered bread from humans, they will be less likely to search for the variety they need.
With the abundant food source available, ducks and birds lay more eggs, leading to overcrowding. Aggression and food shortage can occur, and diseases may flourish with the overpopulation.
Pollution and Disease
If there is too much food waste laying around and too many birds crowded in one area, algae growth can occur and spread diseases. Other animals in the water can also be affected if the bird population is off balance.
If you want to feed the birds, there are alternatives! You can go see the ducks and ensure their health as well. Consider offering any of the following in moderation:
- Grapes cut in half
- Grains such as oats and barley
- Peas or corn kernels
- Duck Food
Save your bread for the compost heap or use the stale bread to make croutons. When considering minimizing waste, please keep in mind the needs of the ducks and birds. Enjoy your birding, but do so respectfully.