Sunday, August 19, 2007

A Friend to Ducks

Today we were going merrily along, taking a reading break from tidying up, and one of the things we read was Watch Me Grow - Duckling.
On page 17 of this book filled with beautiful photographs we come to "Foods like bread and cookies are bad for ducks because they swell up in their stomachs. Ouch!"
What? Why have I never heard this? Bread is bad for them? When dhEric reads this he'll say "I told you lots of times!" Well, yeah, you said that they need to eat the pond insects and algae, but you didn't say that we were harming them! Why didn't you hit me over the head with it?
In my defense, every since dh expressed his concerns with this, about a year ago, we don't take bread or snacks to the ponds, and have respected his wisdom in this issue.

Back to the story.

So Trev and I stop and go "what? it's bad for them?" "Bud, as soon as we finish reading, do you think we should look this up and find out what it's about?" "Yeah."

It is indeed very bad for them, folks. It's alright for domestic ducks, but not safe for wild ones. How can you tell the difference? If it's a wild duck, it can fly (almost all domesticated ducks cannot). If it can fly, you are harming it by feeding it anything.
Here's a website that I found that will tell you all about it....
Here is a bit from the page - When wild ducks are fed human foods their organs become engorged and fatty on the inside and they quickly die from malnutrition, heart disease, liver problems and other health complications. An overfed, malnutritioned duck is sluggish and can't escape from predators. Feeding wild ducks adversely affects natural migration patterns, which are critical for their ongoing survival.

I can't take it back, but I can certainly share this knowledge with my children and others.


  1. Thank you Stephanie! I had no idea! We don't normally feed the ducks, but have on occasion. We will definitely heed your advice. I even worked at Tracy Aviary for a small stretch and never learned that.

    On a side note, when we were camping at Bryce Canyon we learned not to feed the squirrels or chipmunks because they cannot digest human food. They are only able to digest their natural diet of wild foods and if they start eating human foods they start to "depend" on them and also teach their babies where to get human food and they end up starving to death with full stomachs! They called it, rightfully so, animal cruelty to feed wild animals human food.

    Thanks for alerting us!


  2. Julie
    Squirrels and chipmunks, too?
    We are always quite free with our scraps while camping.
    Not things that are harmful, mind you, but those that are compost-worthy, certainly.
    of course it makes sense.
    dang, again.
    Thanks for telling me!
    Wondering how I am Ever going to be Snow White,


Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!