Feeding Ducks Bread
Name: Linda L.
We live near a lake in Orange County California.
There are many species of ducks and geese at the lake. Many people feed
them bread (of different kinds and freshness levels). Our local fish and
game people told "someone" that it is bad to feed them bread as the yeast
in the breads may interact with bacteria in the water and cause disease
and/or death. We did have several ducks die earlier this year. Do you
have any information on why the birds should not be fed bread? Thank you.
Any feeding that concentrates waterfowl in a small area creates a serious
potential for spread of disease through contact and droppings,
particularly avian botulism. Bread is not very good nutrition for
waterfowl, and "training" birds for a reliance on easy but nutritionally
poor food may reduce their ability to survive harsh conditions or when
feeding stops. Naturalists and biologists generally discourage or prohibit
any feeding of wildlife beyond backyard bird feeders.
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Update: June 2012