Feeding ducks old bread & cereal - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 27 Old 05-05-2006, 04:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I keep a bag of stale bread and cereal in the cupboard so dd and I can bring it to the nearby pond to feed the ducks.

But I've been thinking more and more that this could really mess up their little tummies, or mess up the ecosystem.

Does anyone know if feeding ducks "people food" could really do some damage? Would they become dependent on my stale bread for their food source?

The other thing that recently occured to me is that most of the things I'm feeding the ducks are made from... (gulp) eggs.
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#2 of 27 Old 05-05-2006, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by kamilla626

The other thing that recently occured to me is that most of the things I'm feeding the ducks are made from... (gulp) eggs.
: I never thought about that before.
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#3 of 27 Old 05-05-2006, 04:21 PM
 
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Feeding ducks and geese is a crime in my city...no kidding! However, it isn't for their benefit, it to keep them off the golf courses and park grass.

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#4 of 27 Old 05-05-2006, 04:47 PM
 
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Yes, it is harmful to them for two reasons. Reason 1 is because what you're feeding them is not part of their natural diet, and so they fill up on it and aren't as motivated to seek out the foods they need for good duck nutrition. Reason 2 is because it leads to them becoming dependent on humans for food, which disrupts their natural behavioral patterns and can even lead to them failing to migrate at the proper time. They will cluster in areas where people food is regularly available, which leads to overcrowded lakes and ponds, which then become polluted because of duck excrement.

Wild animals should never be fed people food. If you absolutely must feed the ducks, however, turtle pellets that you can buy at the pet store are a much healthier choice for the ducks.

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#5 of 27 Old 05-05-2006, 04:48 PM
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We used to feed the ducks here bread, too, then they other day we noticed that they posted a big sign warning not to do it

PhDin' mama to dd (Oct. 2005)
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#6 of 27 Old 05-05-2006, 04:49 PM
 
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Bread swells in a ducks belly so that they aren't hungry for healthy food. Many ducks end up basically starving (malnutrition) because of people feeding them bread.

Do NOT feed bread to ducks!

I'll say it again...DO NOT FEED BREAD TO DUCKS!!
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#7 of 27 Old 05-05-2006, 05:46 PM
 
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Wow. I had no idea it was bad for them!
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#8 of 27 Old 05-05-2006, 06:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Llyra - thanks for your post. Everything you mentioned was stuff I'd thought about already, just didn't really want to believe it could be that bad. We love to feed the duckies!

I like the idea of buying turtle pellets though. What about bunny food or other mostly-vegetarian pet food?
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#9 of 27 Old 05-05-2006, 06:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lizc
Bread swells in a ducks belly so that they aren't hungry for healthy food. Many ducks end up basically starving (malnutrition) because of people feeding them bread.

Do NOT feed bread to ducks!

I'll say it again...DO NOT FEED BREAD TO DUCKS!!



I spent my entire childhood feeding bread to the local ducks at the neighborhood pond. Now I know better.

:
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#10 of 27 Old 05-05-2006, 06:14 PM
 
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We had ducks and when we would go to the local park that had wild ones we brought baggies of duck pellets. DD could not go w/o feeding them!
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#11 of 27 Old 05-05-2006, 06:16 PM
 
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I was wondering about this just the other day too. Maybe some other alternative food is best.

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#12 of 27 Old 05-05-2006, 06:39 PM
 
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Food meant for aquatic animals is best. You can actually ask a veternarian what to feed ducks. I know that we used to go to an Agway (farm supply store) when we were kids and we bought stuff to feed to our ducks. I don't remember what it was though.
You can probably do some research online to find out what is acceptable to ducks/geese.

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#13 of 27 Old 05-05-2006, 06:47 PM
 
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I didn't know that feeding ducks old bread was bad. Ooops! I've done that for years.

Normal is just a setting on your dryer.
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#14 of 27 Old 05-05-2006, 07:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by RedWine


I spent my entire childhood feeding bread to the local ducks at the neighborhood pond. Now I know better.

:
me too. im glad u ladies have enlightened me.
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#15 of 27 Old 05-05-2006, 09:43 PM
 
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oh, wow - thank you for this thread. it is a little that i never thought it through - all of these reasons are so logical.
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#16 of 27 Old 05-05-2006, 09:54 PM
 
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yup you are not allowed to here either because it is so unhealthy for them..
plus the bread, yeast etc is bad for the ecosystem

very interesting duck/bread site

http://www.kidsturncentral.com/topics/animals/ducks.htm
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#17 of 27 Old 05-05-2006, 10:47 PM
 
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Another Mama here who loves to feed bread to the ducks with ds...It had never occured to me that this was bad...I will be seeking alternatives...

Thanks so much for the thread!!!!!!!!
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#18 of 27 Old 05-05-2006, 10:53 PM
 
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I love to feed the ducks here, but will now be a bit more sensible in the snacks I bring to them! No more bread for the duckies. But now, anyone have any good ideas on what to do with the stale bread ends that will acumulate in the house?
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#19 of 27 Old 05-05-2006, 11:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westernmamomma
But now, anyone have any good ideas on what to do with the stale bread ends that will acumulate in the house?
Toss them in the freezer, and when enough accumulate, thaw them out and process them in a blender or food processor for bread crumbs.

I've also found that my kids will eat the ends in sandwiches if I just flip the bread so the "nice" side is out.
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#20 of 27 Old 05-06-2006, 12:06 AM
 
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There's a local park where, despite posted signs to the contrary, people feed the chickadees all spring and summer--when the people want to be there. This inflates the population artificially, attracting huge flocks that cannot be supported by the wild food sources.

My mother, with the rangers' permission, will often show up in the winter, to feed them. If one must feed wild critters, it's often better to do it in a way that helps compensate for those who do it less mindfully.

The population is already artificially inflated--my mom won't contribute to that by joining the hordes of people doing it for sheer entertianment value. She does her bird-watching in the winter and keeps this extra-huge population from suffering from malnutrition and starvation.

I suspect an analogous scenario could be created with ducks
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#21 of 27 Old 05-06-2006, 12:25 AM
 
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Originally Posted by *andiflipping*
Another Mama here who loves to feed bread to the ducks with ds...It had never occured to me that this was bad...I will be seeking alternatives...

Thanks so much for the thread!!!!!!!!
:

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#22 of 27 Old 05-06-2006, 12:31 AM
 
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I knew bread was bad, but heard that corn was okay. Anyone know about this?
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#23 of 27 Old 05-06-2006, 01:26 AM
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We raise ducks for eggs, and although we don't feed them bread, much of the packaged feed for ducks does in fact contain bakery waste products (bread, pastries, etc.). I don't think most bagged feed for any animal is healthy, so we feed our ducks soaked whole grains with fish meal added. They are not herbivores and need a good amount of bugs or aquatic type insects and small fish. I have also read that one of the best foods for ducklings is boiled eggs and parsely, though I have not tried that. Eating eggs won't hurt them, and they will do that sometimes for the calcium in the shell if they aren't getting enough Ca in their diets. Anyway, when we see ducks/geese at parks we just don't feed them anything, because they are better off eating grass and bugs anyway. I think if we did decide we wanted to feed park ducks, we would bring produce of some sort.
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#24 of 27 Old 05-06-2006, 01:31 AM
 
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Originally Posted by RedWine


I spent my entire childhood feeding bread to the local ducks at the neighborhood pond. Now I know better.

:
Me too! Thanks for the heads up.

Mama to my spirited J, and L, my homebirth: baby especially DTaP, MMR (family vax injuries)
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#25 of 27 Old 05-06-2006, 01:35 AM
 
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I'm glad to know this info!
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#26 of 27 Old 05-06-2006, 02:34 AM
 
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We used to go to an amusement park that has a pond nearby and some rather famous ducks. People will feed these poor ducks the leftover junk that they bought inside the park - pretzles, french fries, hot dogs, ice cream treats, etc.

Whenever we were going to that park, we would stop by an old-fashioned feed store and buy some of their bulk duck food. That way, we could have the fun of feeding the ducks, and still feel like we were helping to balance their diet out a little bit.

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#27 of 27 Old 05-06-2006, 03:05 AM
 
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I had no idea that you were not supposed to feed ducks bread. Although I havent done it in years I think about it every time we eat at our local pizza shop. They have free bagged bread scraps by the front door for you to take to the parks here. This totally breaks my heart. Thanks for the links posted, I am going to email the pizza place and let them know.
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