Is feeding ducks bread a good or bad idea?
When it comes to fun outdoor activities, feeding the ducks is a good family thing to do. Many birders were first introduced to the joys of wildlife by feeding the ducks some bread at a local park or pond. While you may have thought to feed the ducks was an environmentally responsible way to get rid of old or stale bread, offering bread to ducks is an unhealthy and potentially dangerous food for birds. Bread and similar bread products to include crackers, crisps, chips, donuts, popcorn and cereal are great sources of carbohydrates; they actually offer little nutritional value for ducks, swans, geese, and other birds. Bread is, in fact, the equivalent to junk food for birds. Just like humans suffer from a diet of nothing but candy, too much bread for a duck can lead them to excessive weight gain and malnutrition along with many other problems. If bread is offered to ducks in extreme moderation, bread is not immediately harmful to ducks or birds, but judging that moderation is hard to do. Feeding the ducks too much bread can lead to a diet that is based almost solely on unhealthy bread products. Environmentally conscious birders stay away from offering any bread or bread-like products to ducks so to avoid nutritional problems and other health issues that are caused by a carbohydrate-rich diet. You will find these tips for feeding ducks for health and wellbeing at the Spruce site.
Why bread is bad for ducks. Bread can be fattening to ducks and also make it harder for them to fly away and evade predators, but feeding the ducks bread can also lead to other serious health problems. Duckling malnutrition. Ducklings require a diet that is varied and has plenty of natural plants and insect proteins to help them mature properly. If ducks are fed bread on a regular basis, the ducklings will not receive adequate nutrition for proper growth and development. And because ducks will eagerly seek out any easy food sources such as bread from human handouts, the ducklings will not learn to properly forage for natural foods as easily. Overcrowding. When there is a food source that is abundant, the ducks and other waterfowl will lay more eggs, and then the pond or lake will become overcrowded. This also makes it more difficult for the birds to seek out food that is healthier and increases the likelihood of there being territorial aggression. In areas that are overcrowded, the predators can also thrive and will, in turn, impact the other bird populations, and diseases can quickly spread through large flocks as well. You'll want to take a look at the Spruce site to see what foods you should feed ducks for their health and wellbeing.
Don’t waste the bread. For many people, feeding the ducks bread is a fun outdoor activity for family, a good way to interact with wildlife, and a way to dispose of old, stale bread. There are many other useful ways to dispose of stale and unwanted bread. Instead of feeding the ducks your stale and unwanted bread you can instead add it to a compost pile to help create mulch and fertilizer for bird-friendly landscaping. You can also use stale bread in bread recipes such as bread pudding recipes, homemade dressing and stuffing recipes. Toasting stale bread is a great way to use up stale bread for homemade croutons, bread crumbs or garlic toast.
You will find these tips for feeding ducks at The Spruce site. On the site, you will find health and wellbeing, family ideas, fun outdoor activities, recipes, decor, garden, home repair, cleaning tips and so much more. **
Learn MORE at The Spruce
To help with slow website load, we have put all photos for this article here: View photo gallery.