SPOKANE, Wash. – It’s a common summer activity: feeding the ducks and geese at the park. But, is it safe to feed birds bread?
A viewer reached out to KREM 2 asking to verify whether or not it is okay for the public to feed the birds.
According to the Humane Society of the United States, feeding ducks and geese bread is similar to feeding children candy before dinner. It is not toxic, they love it, but it has no nutritional value. Bread fills up their stomachs and then they are not hungry for the foods they need to be healthy.
Eating bread, crackers or other similar foods can cause ducks and geese to develop a condition called “angel wing,” The lack of adequate nutrition during growth causes a bird’s wings to unnaturally twist outward instead of lying flat. Birds with angel wing cannot fly, which prevents them from escaping danger, finding food and flying away from bad weather.
Human foods other than bread, crackers and similar grains do not cause angel wing. Even with these safe food choices, it is important to not overfeed ducks and geese. This can train them to not find food on their own.
Many places, including the City of Spokane, ask the public to avoid feeding birds in public areas to avoid overcrowding and contamination of ponds in local parks.
In conclusion, we can verify that feeding bread to ducks and geese is unsafe and unhealthy for the creatures.
• Humane Society of the United States
• Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine
• City of Spokane