Feeding bread to ducks at the local park is a childhood memory that many people cherish. However feeding ducks bread and bread products is actually bad for them and there are much better food stuffs they could be eating.
Although a small amount of bread is fine to feed them, if everyone is feeding the ducks bread it is not good for their health – and it is very hard to judge how much bread wild ducks are being fed.
So why is bread so bad? It can be fattening for them and this can make it harder for them to fly. Ducklings may not get the right nutrients they require and this can cause problems with their growth and development. By providing such an easy food source, ducklings may also not learn how to forage for natural foods properly and this may cause them issues as they grow up.
By providing an easy food source, many birds will be attracted to the area. This means that the pond may become overcrowded and this might increase territorial aggression.
Once an area becomes popular with people to feed the birds, too much food may be thrown into the pond and this means not all the bread will be eaten. Excess amounts of bread can encourage rats and mice into the area and this is undesirable as they carry diseases that can be dangerous to humans. As the bread decays and rots, this can encourage the growth of algae. This algae can cause problems by clogging natural waterways or reducing the amount of oxygen available in the pond, thus causing issues for other pond dwellers. Mouldy bread can also cause aspergillosis. Aspergillosis is a lung infection which causes death and can decimate local bird populations.
So what should you feed ducks?
There are plenty of alternatives to feed ducks which are better for their health. Some of these include:
So if you can’t feed the ducks bread, what can you do with your leftovers?
Bread is freezable, although you should always freeze bread that is as fresh as possible. So if you know that you only get through half a loaf a week, consider freezing the other half and defrosting it when you need it.
Bread is also incredibly versatile and there are a myriad of recipes out there for using up your leftover bread. Many of these recipes are really simple such as croutons (for pasta or soup), whizz up bread to make breadcrumbs, bread and butter pudding, or use them up in homemade meatballs or burgers.
Category: Home & Garden