Feeding ducks bread is not a good idea. The BC SPCA states on their website that feeding wildlife is unhealthy, as human foods are not a good substitute for natural foods that they are evolved to eat, it also spreads disease when they gather in larger groups than they normally would, and it causes habituation. (Pixabay photo)

Feeding ducks bread crumbs is a harmful habit

Wild Arc suggests to never feed wildlife in general

Feeding ducks – though awesome and soul replenishing in theory – is unfortunately harmful in practice.

Ducks seem to enjoy smacking their quackers down on some snacks of the breaded variety, however, this is actually a danger for them. Bread is empty calories for ducks, explained Wallis Moore-Reid. The senior wildlife rehabilitator at Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre (ARC) added that the air-like food is very filling, but doesn’t provide any nutrients.

Moore-Reid said if ducks eat too much bread, they can get intestinal problems. For ducklings, it can cause growth deformities and lead to low bone density or metabolic bone disease, where their bones can fracture easily.

Throwing bread crumbs in the water can also affect the entire ecosystem, said Moore-Reid. If the food is not ingested by ducks it can lead to excessive growth of microbes that can pollute the water and disturb other microbes that support plant growth.

ALSO READ: Health officials urge long weekend safety as B.C. sees 23 new COVID-19 cases, one death

Wild ARC suggests never feeding wildlife in general, as all sorts of problems can develop from this unnatural habit. Moore-Reid highlighted problems such as population issues which leads to disease outbreak.

“It seems harmless if you aren’t doing it often, but if everyone is feeding them a little bit, it’s actually a lot,” said Moore-Reid.

The BC SPCA states on its website that feeding wildlife is unhealthy, as human foods are not a good substitute for natural foods that they are evolved to eat, it also spreads disease when they gather in larger groups than they normally would, and it causes habituation.

“Unfortunately, this loss of fear has an impact beyond just the individual animal being fed,” said Meghann Cant, animal welfare educator for the BC SPCA. “When mothers bring their babies to their favourite feeding spots, it can teach the young ones that humans are not to be feared. Growing up on human foods, they can also lose the ability to find food on their own in the wild.”

For more information, please visit spca.bc.ca, or check out the BC SPCA “Don’t feed the animals!” brochure.

ALSO READ: Burritos, miso soup and key lime pie among top 10 ordered foods in B.C.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Wild ARC

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Three years for serial bank robber who hit Sidney branch

Lucas Bradwell was wanted for robberies in Sidney, Abbotsford and Vancouver

New report finds ‘chronic’ shortage of daycare spaces across Greater Victoria

Sidney meets 52 per cent of demand, the best figure for six surveyed communities

Cook Street Village grocery icon closing, new owners plan major renovation

Louie family has operated Oxford Foods and predecessor for five decades at Cook and Oxford streets

WorkSafeBC investigating death at Victoria Customs House construction site

Prevention officer will ensure all safety issues addressed before work starts again

Double the speed limit nets Saanich driver $368 fine, points, car impound in Colwood

Colwood council has identified Ocean Boulevard as a hot spot for speeding

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

POLL: Do you agree with the decision to call a provincial election for Oct. 24?

British Columbians will put their social distancing skills to the test when… Continue reading

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Local councils important, Horgan says as municipal conference ends

B.C. NDP leader says ‘speed dating’ vital, but it didn’t happen

Penticton woman sentenced to one year in prison for manslaughter of teen boyfriend

Kiera Bourque, 24, was sentenced for manslaughter in the 2017 death of Penticton’s Devon Blackmore

Sooke Philharmonic introduces new quartet

SPO presents first online concert Oct. 5

B.C. Green leader says NDP abandoning environmental plan

Horgan’s claim of unstable government false, Furstenau says

‘Won’t be gathering for Thanksgiving:’ Trudeau says COVID-19 2nd wave underway

In all, COVID-19 has killed about 9,250 people in Canada

Most Read