VIDEO: What you should feed the ducks — not bread

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Don't feed the ducks bread!

Feeding wildlife in parks and gardens is a popular pastime but did you know that bread is actually harmful to animals?

Bundaberg Regional Council is reminding residents of the best ways to feed ducks through an informative video shot at the Botanic Gardens.

Area supervisor Cody Johnson said bread was not only bad for the ducks, but could also have a negative effect on the surrounding environment.

“Bread fills their stomachs and doesn't leave room for the normal varied diet they eat in the wild,” he said.

“It can lead to health issues. Bread can also negatively affect the water quality.”

Cody said Council did not wish to deter visitors from feeding the ducks altogether, and instead had some tips for what foods worked best.

“We recommend you feed them a diet that more closely resembles one they would eat in the wild,” he said.

“So things like lettuce, corn, peas and seeds.”

If you don't take our word for it, here's some advice from National Geographic:

  • Bread is like junk food that offers little-to-no nutritional benefit to the ducks. “White bread in particular has no real nutritional value, so while birds may find it tasty, the danger is that they will fill up on it instead of other foods that could be more beneficial to them,” says a spokeswoman for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.
  • Reliance on human-supplied junk food keeps ducklings from learning how to forage healthy food for themselves.
  • A high-carbohydrate, high-protein diet is associated with a wing deformity known as “angel wing” or “airplane wing”. Angel wing is a condition where the last joint on the wing is distorted and causes the end feathers to stick out laterally—sideways—instead of lying flat against the body. This prevents the bird from flying.

The Botanic Gardens are situated on Mount Perry Road, North Bundaberg. Enjoy the gardens but don't feed the ducks bread!

Don't feed the ducks bread
Ibis and ducks at the Bundaberg Botanic Gardens. Don't feed them bread.

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