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Feeding ducks: Don't throw bread in the water!


Many people want to make water birds happy and feed the ducks. Old bread or other pastries are often used for this, which the birds pounce on with apparent pleasure. 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 can do everything right. Even if it is tempting: do not feed ducks carelessly with bread leftovers - Shutterstock / Maslov Dmitry

It is an idyllic picture: pensioners or parents with small children who feed ducks in the park or at the pond with bread or cake crumbs. The waterfowl seem to like to eat the food on offer and they certainly taste good in part - but this can have bad consequences for the ecosystem on and in the water.

Why bread is not good duck food

As a rule, bread and pastries are always left over when you feed them to ducks, especially if you throw the supposed treats into the water. The animals do not catch every crumb or are so full at some point that they no longer want to eat. The bread that has fallen into the water rots there. Certain biochemical processes take place that consume a lot of oxygen. Algae growth increases and the water "tilts over"; Fish and other aquatic animals can then no longer live there - and die.

Furthermore, the duck population piles up at popular feeding places, so that bird droppings increasingly pollute banks and water and the plants on the water's edge are eaten too much. The oversupply of feed can also lead to an overpopulation with waterfowl because animals that would have been too weak or too sick to survive would also survive. As a result, the habitat for ducks is becoming scarce. At the same time, bread and pastries are not poisonous, but they are bad duck feed because they swell in the stomach and are not good for the birds. Bread also contains too much salt. In principle, baked goods for ducks are comparable to fast food for humans - from time to time it doesn't do any harm, but you shouldn't consume them regularly. Moldy food is completely taboo: it should be left in the residual waste immediately. By the way: Not only ducks willingly eat the bread they are offered, unwanted guests such as rats, pigeons or mice are also happy to eat it comfortably. Unfortunately, these animals are often carriers of various diseases.

Cute ducklings explore the world

Feeding ducks: Observe the following instructions

For these reasons, it is actually prohibited in some cities or at least not welcomed to feed ducks. If allowed, there are a few tips you can take to do something good for the waterfowl without harming the environment and other animals. Bread is not bad in very small quantities, but you should rather feed the ducks with oatmeal, small pieces of fruit or special water bird food from the pet store. Always give small portions and do not throw anything into the water, but only feed the ducks on the bank. It is best to choose feeding sites that are not yet so heavily frequented, in order to avoid too many animals in one spot.

On the shore, it is also much easier to watch when the ducks are full and leave the rest of the food. Collect the leftover duck feed and throw it away - this way you prevent rats and co. From being attracted. If you mainly feed ducks to watch birds in the wild, there are also nice alternatives - 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 fellows and learn a lot about them together with other animal friends.