Don’t throw bread in the water!

Many people want to please waterfowl and feed the ducks. Old bread or other leftovers are often used for this, and the birds pounce on them with apparent delight. Unfortunately, this is a fallacy, because the baked goods are not good for the ducks and leftovers can pollute the water. With the following tips you will do everything right.

Tempting, Don't Feed Ducks Leftover Bread Carelessly - Shutterstock / Maslov Dmitry

Tempting, Don’t Feed Ducks Leftover Bread Carelessly – Shutterstock / Maslov Dmitry

It is an idyllic picture: pensioners or parents with small children feeding ducks with bread or cake crumbs in the park or by the pond. The waterfowl seem to like the food offered and they certainly like it in some cases – but this can have serious consequences for the ecosystem around and in the water.

Why bread is not good duck food

As a rule, there are always leftovers of bread and pastries when you feed them to ducks, especially if you throw the supposed treats into the water. The animals do not catch every crumb or at some point they are so full that they do not want to continue eating. The bread that fell into the water rots there. Certain biochemical processes take place that consume a lot of oxygen. Algae growth increases and the body of water “overturns”; Fish and other aquatic animals can then no longer live there – and die.

Furthermore, the duck population accumulates at popular feeding grounds, so that there is more bird droppings polluting the banks and water and the plants at the water’s edge are eaten too much. The oversupply of food can also lead to an overpopulation of waterfowl, because animals that would normally have been too weak or too sick survive. As a result, habitat for ducks is becoming scarce. At the same time, although bread and pastries are not poisonous, they are still bad feed for ducks, since they swell up in the stomach and are not good for the birds. Bread also contains far too much salt. In principle, baked goods for ducks are comparable to fast food for humans – it doesn’t hurt from time to time, but you shouldn’t eat it regularly. Moldy feed is completely taboo: it belongs in the residual waste immediately. By the way: Not only ducks willingly eat the bread that is offered to them, but also unwanted guests like rats, pigeons or mice like to feast on it. Unfortunately, these animals are often carriers of various diseases.

"Well, what's going on back there?" – Image: Shutterstock / Valentina Razumova
  • Pictures Animal

  • Beastly beautiful

04/09/2015 – 05:41 p.m

Cute ducklings explore the world

top list

Watch now

Feeding ducks: Observe the following information

For these reasons, in some cities, feeding ducks is strictly forbidden, or at least discouraged. If it is allowed, you can follow a few tips to do something good for the waterfowl without harming the environment and other animals. Bread isn’t bad in very small amounts, but you should still feed the ducks oatmeal, small pieces of fruit or special waterfowl food from the pet shop. Always give only small portions and it is best not to throw anything into the water, but only feed the ducks on the bank. It is best to choose feeding places that are not yet so heavily frequented in order to avoid too many animals piling up in one spot.

On the bank it is also much easier to see when the ducks are full and leave the rest of the food. Collect and dispose of the leftover duck feed – this way you prevent rats and the like from being attracted. If you feed ducks mainly to watch birds in the wild, there are nice alternatives for this too – for example, if duck feeding is prohibited in your city. NABU, for example, offers bird excursions in many places, where you can watch the chirping companions together with other animal lovers and learn a lot about them.

You might also be interested in these topics on

Baby bird found: How to help the little birdie

Pet-friendly vacations: 7 possible tourist traps

Bird flew into the house: what to do?

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button