Thank You For Not Feeding The Ducks: Best Foods for Ducks

  • All Ages

Is it ok to feed ducks? Absolutely! One of the loveliest things to do with your little human, and indeed at any age really, is feeding the ducks at the park, as long as it's the right food. 

For some reason, we all believe that feeding ducks stale bread is the best choice, but where did that notion come from? Because, in truth, feeding ducks bread is possibly one of the worst things we can give our little feathered friends, and here's why.

Thank You For Not Feeding The Ducks: Best Foods for Ducks

Is it Bad to Feed Ducks Bread?

Boy feeding ducks bread
Giving ducks bread is never a good idea.

Yes! Unfortunately, the bread will make ducks (swans, geese, or any bird you might find at your local pond or lake) very sick.

Bread provides birds with no nutritional value at all (similar to feeding them junk food). It can cause abnormalities and will shorten their lifespan. Horribly, it has been shown that ducklings' growth and development rates do suffer when fed bread. According to the RSCPA, if ducklings are fed too much white bread, they can grow up with a deformity called Angel Wing, which means they won't be able to fly.

A Duck's Diet

Secondly, birds become lazy. We are taught from a young age not to feed wildlife for this reason, but we neglect to transpire this across to ducks. It truly is best not to feed ducks at all. Wild ducks will live longer, healthier lives by relying on natural food sources such as aquatic plants, seeds, grasses and insects.

They are wild animals, after all, and should be treated as such otherwise they become reliant on humans to feed them and will lose their natural hunting abilities. This leads to the third reason; vulnerability.

When wild animals become reliant on humans, they become too brazen and too trusting and leave themselves open to attacks from natural predators.

Finally, think of all the other species that also live in the water! Rotting bread can pollute the source, cause algae, kill fish, and spread disease.

So, What can Ducks eat?

Feeding ducklings
Ducklings are just as vulnerable to bread as ducks, so feed them duck food alternatives.

If you still want to feed your beloved local ducks and ducklings, appreciating that it can be an enchanting experience for children, then there are many healthier alternatives to offer instead of bread.

Great foods to feed ducks include:

  • Grapes (cut in half to prevent choking - you know the drill!)
  • Cooked rice or chopped lettuce
  • Cracked corn, barley, oats, birdseed or other grains
  • Frozen peas or corn kernels (defrosted first, but no need to cook)
  • Duck feed pellets.
  • Or this terrific duck food recipe we came across online!

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