For many people, one of their most memorable and enjoyable children's activities was feeding the ducks. All you needed to do was bring some bread to the nearby lake, stream or other body of water to feel close to nature. However, one of the most disturbing things to learn is that, in fact, you should not feed duck bread as this can be dangerous for them.
While it can be a bit depressing to learn, feeding duck bread can actually be detrimental to your health.
When left to defend themselves, ducks usually eat plants, seeds, insects, worms, snails and even crustaceans.
But what are the six things you should never feed to ducks?
- Moldy Foods
Although bread is not harmful to ducks, it fills them and they feel no need to eat anything else, which in turn can be dangerous.
Ducks cannot live alone on bread because they have no real nutritional value.
If ducks constantly eat this and nothing else, it can lead to malnutrition for ducks.
Just as bread, chips, crackers, cereals and sweets make the ducks feel full, causing swelling.
This can make the ducks feel lethargic and look bad.
These items also have no nutritional value for ducks and can damage the duck.
Meanwhile, moldy foods can be physically harmful to a duck as they are unable to counter the potentially harmful impacts of moldy foods.
RSPB spokesman Harry Bellew said: “Feeding the ducks in the park's lake – or geese and swans in the rivers – is often the first experience children have with wildlife and is a family favorite activity.
"But it is important that we are feeding the ducks the right kind of food to help keep them happy and healthy, and ensuring that our waterways are kept in good condition.
“Try to vary what you give them and trade them in for more natural and healthy treats like frozen oats, corn or frozen peas.
"It's a bit like eating a lot of bread or food like that – we feel good to start with, but we may feel bloated and slow. And that can be harmful to birds as they accumulate in them and not in other more nutritious foods."
Mr. Bellew added: “There is a risk that ducks and other waterfowl have a disease known as angel wing, caused by a lack of adequate nutrients in their diet.
"The disease causes deformity in the wings of birds that can hinder the way they fly or even stop them completely, which could obviously be fatal.
“Rotten and uneaten food left by ducks can trigger harmful odors and feed algae that can eventually eradicate fish from the area, in addition to attracting rats, mice and insects.
"Moldy bread can also cause aspergillosis, a fatal lung infection that can kill flocking waterfowl."