feeding ducks mouldy bread?

  • ahopefulagain on Monday, 1st November 2010

    Is it ok to feed ducks moudly bread?

    I'm planning (as long as it's not raining) on taking DS to the park this afternoon and taking the old bread with us for the ducks. Well originally I planned to do it saturday, but forgot the bread, and now it's gone a bit mouldy.

  • Message 2. Posted by musicalGill on Monday, 1st November 2010 permalink


    sorry for shouting.

    Really shouldn't feed animals things you wouldn't eat your self. You would eat dry bread, say toasted or in a dread pudding but mouldy no.

  • Message 3. Posted by hannahbanana on Monday, 1st November 2010 permalink

    Apparently you're not supposed to feed bread to ducks at all! I heard this somewhere but we still enjoy our trips to the park to feed the ducks our leftover bread smiley - blush

    As for moudly bread, I'd definitely give it to the ducks. My mum knew an old lady many years ago who was virtually blind and by the end of the week she'd been eating mouldy bread and was absolutely fine smiley - ok

    In our house we just chop the mouldy bits off and eat the rest of the bread.
    Waste not want not!!!

  • Message 4. Posted by jemCake2011 on Monday, 1st November 2010 permalink

    Another no smiley - sadface
    My mum is a bit of an expert on all things birdy and wildlify, and apparently while bread isn't harmful to ducks, it's not that great for them either as it bulks them up and gives them little vitamins. You can get special duck feed from pet shops, but this costs bl00dy loads so we still take good old bread when visiting duck friends. My mum isn't very impressed but I'll let her buy the duck feed if she wants!!
    But mould, no smiley - sadface

  • Message 5. Posted by jemCake2011 on Monday, 1st November 2010 permalink

    I suppose after reading Hannah's reply it depends how mouldy you are talking smiley - erm smiley - laugh
    When I read the word mould I imagine proper fuzzy horrible mould. If it's just little specks I wouldn't worry too much smiley - erm
    Waiting to post...........

  • Message 6. Posted by ahopefulagain on Monday, 1st November 2010 permalink

    Thanks. After reading Gill's reply I chucked it away. It's a bit fuzzy to be honest, rather than just speckly. smiley - blush And I'm not sure if I'd want to touch it to throw it in anyway! We have some other stuff that is just very dry.

    I thought it was just that you weren't supposed to feed them white bread due to lack of nutrients? Ours is wholemeal, so I thought that was ok.

    Also the ducks at this time of the year are so famished they climb out the pond and come right up to you! It's very scary when the swans start doing it though, I shoo them away before they get to close and if they keep coming I grab DS and run!

  • Message 7. Posted by islama on Monday, 1st November 2010 permalink

    I know ducks are different types of birds, but, as I mentioned before in another thread, my grandmother feeds her chicken bread (often mouldy...) that we save and give her. She mixes it with vegetables and chicken feed, though.
    They are perfectly fine.

    I wouldn't want to handle mouldy bread, though. Yuch. smiley - biggrin And I think it's horrible when people just dump a whole bag of bread in the water. Better to put it in the compost bin.

  • Message 8. Posted by ahopefulagain on Monday, 1st November 2010 permalink

    when people just dump a whole bag of bread in the water

    and they are missing out on so much fun! I love picking a duck and trying to get it to get the bread. And throwing in about 5 or 6 pieces of bread and watching them swarm to it like locusts! So much fun! smiley - laugh smiley - blush

    (Yes I know I need to get out more!)

  • Message 9. Posted by jemCake2011 on Monday, 1st November 2010 permalink

    But islama, isn't that like saying "I give my LO chips most days and they are fine" ?! We all know how many of us on these boards don't like saying things like that, why should it be any different for our duck/chickeny/birdy friends? smiley - laugh

  • Message 10. Posted by islama on Monday, 1st November 2010 permalink

    Well, unlike our children, we have had the opportunity to follow those chickens throughout most of their lifespan.

    As for the ducks, they are not fed exclusively on mouldy bread.

    Besides, have you seen what ducks eat in the wild? All those things in the water?
    You wouldn't eat those, but they do.
    Do you really think mouldy bread is the worst thing (from a human perspective) that they will eat? smiley - biggrin

  • Message 11. Posted by jemCake2011 on Monday, 1st November 2010 permalink

    smiley - doh smiley - doh
    Lighten up....! smiley - laugh
    I can imagine the crap ducks like eating in their murky water, I wasn't being *all* serious, we are talking about ducks and chickens after all, not human children..

  • Message 12. Posted by Sholesa on Monday, 1st November 2010 permalink

    Here comes a party-pooper . . . .smiley - biggrin

    I know we humans think it's fun, or cute, to get close to wildlife, and feeding it is a means to an end. But from one who is never happier than when being part of the wilderness, it is very unwise for several reasons.

    First, what does "human" food contain, and what processes has it been through? Even bread is not what you think it is. Will it harm the recipients?

    Second, wildlife that is fed from the human hand tends to lose its natural instincts, and fear. That makes it vulnerable . . . not only from human predation, but human infrastructure, too.

    Third, feeding wildlife makes it more aggressive in its desire to obtain easy pickings. Even out in the wilderness, where where human/wildlife contact does take place ("points of interest") I have seen deer slash a person who has run out of offerings. And being slashed by a deer 'aint funny!!!

    Fourth, what happens after you turn your back? Wildlife will quickly imprint, and become dependent on your handouts. It loses its identity as "wild"life, and the natural instinct to forage. Not good, after a summer of full belly, to be suddenly left bereft when the frosts begin.

    Even a birdfeeder should never be put out unless it is 100% possible, and intended, to maintain it with 100% natural seeds, suet, etc. Same applies to squirrels, etc, for whom failure to maintain is often a death sentence.

    Sure, it's cute to feed the ducks. But is that the end of the story? It is for us, perhaps, but, possibly, not for them. It's also cute to feed deer, but not only is it bad for the deer, it is also dangerous. I doubt anyone would get close enough to a bear to feed one, and yet "garbage" bears can become such a menace that they have to be shot. Hardly fair on the bear when the reality is that we are invading their space.

    So while I know my words won't have any impact on the propensity of humans to feed bread, mouldy or otherwise, to ducks; as one who is passionate about the wilderness and wildlife, I do ask you to think . . . . . .!!!

  • Message 13. Posted by islama on Monday, 1st November 2010 permalink

    I'm glad you were not being all serious, jemCake, even though you were the one who did talk about human children and were, it seems, being partially (a little to very?) serious. smiley - winkeye

    So, how do I lighten up? smiley - erm Agree with you? smiley - smileyNot respond to your post? smiley - biggrin Use the smiley - laugh smiley?

    Sure, fine, I agree. Consider yourself not taken seriously and appropriately ignored. smiley - laugh

  • Message 14. Posted by jemCake2011 on Monday, 1st November 2010 permalink

    Well I know now not to be so silly thinking you would "get" a bit of banter, or whatever you want to call it! Just use the smiley - laugh smiley, that would be fine! Or the smiley - doh one, the smiley - winkeye or like you said, just ignore smiley - winkeye

    Sholesa, I agree with what you have said, and it is something that's on the back of my mind when we head to the pond with our (non mouldy!!) bread. Maybe in future we'll give it a miss and just admire from afar!

  • Message 15. Posted by Sholesa on Monday, 1st November 2010 permalink

    smiley - laugh smiley - laughjemCake, Having been expecting a hailstorm of flak, my flabber is well and truly ghasted!!!smiley - laugh Thank you! Because even where I live, most would never think in the terms that I do. Particularly over a few ducks!!!

    Here, feeding "wild"life is against the law (domesticated critters not included) much for the reasons I have given. That said, I don't think anyone would be prosecuted for feeding bread to ducks, and I am not so narrow-minded that I, too, don't think of it as "cute" to see the kiddie's enjoyment of it. But people ARE prosecuted under the legislation every year, for feeding wildlife; the National Parks Service being particularly hot on it!

    So, while I won't report anyone for feeding bread (mouldy or otherwise) to ducks, on behalf of the wildlife, "Thank you"!!!smiley - biggrin

  • Message 16. Posted by StripyMoggie on Monday, 1st November 2010 permalink

    Feeding birds is not against the law in the UK. Here's what the RSPB advise:



  • Message 17. Posted by Sholesa on Monday, 1st November 2010 permalink

    Does that change the reality of which I speak????

  • Message 18. Posted by ahopefulagain on Monday, 1st November 2010 permalink

    Sholesa - I completely understand what you are saying. But these birds are already habituated to being fed by humans. So what do we do then? Are they truly wild anymore? The extra food we provide must help maintain wild populations. We have already disturbed their natural habbitat and reduced the amount of food that is available to them, so surely this supplementary feeding is invaluable? Maybe not in the canadian wilderness, but here in greater london there aren't quite as many natural areas! I also try to provide as much natural food as possible in my garden, in terms of plants that provide nectar or seeds, areas for insects, etc.

    SM - interestingly your link says no to mouldy food, but nothing about bread (that I could see frmo skimming it anyway!)

    Well the birds have been fed. It took the best park of 15 minutes! They were very hungry.

  • Message 19. Posted by Sholesa on Monday, 1st November 2010 permalink

    We have already disturbed their natural habbitat and reduced the amount of food that is available to them, so surely this supplementary feeding is invaluable?
    I agree in part, Ahopeful. Species that live in our cities are to some extent "domesticated". And although I know my words will have precisely zero impact, I still don't think we should be feeding the habit. Don't be so sure we are immune, here, either. Rarely a week goes by without a report of a dog being attacked by a coyote, and a small child would not be immune. To some extent it's a chicken or egg kind of thing . . . make food available (and some people ARE stupid enough to feed coyotes) city life becomes attractive, and thus the bolder and more opportunistic they become. Duck, coyote, they are still "wildlife" albeit they have shirttailed themselves on to us.

    I take the view that if no one would feed them they would go to where food is available to them naturally. As for London, I'm sure the Serpentine and other man-made lakes hold enough of their natural food, and you certainly wouldn't lose your ducks for the want of a few slices of bread. It's what happens to the wildlife after we've had our own emotional fix, and turned our backs on them having alienated them from their instincts, that bothers me more. And whether it be in the middle of London, or the Castle Wilderness, makes little difference to the eventual outcome.

    As I said, I know the attraction of feeding ducks, and there's nothing like encouraging children to have healthy contact with nature. Good grief, I, of all people do that at every conceivable turn! But would you encourage an unhealthy lifestyle to a threatened species?

  • Message 20. Posted by Caz-Rah on Monday, 1st November 2010 permalink

    Not sure about how the mould would affect the ducks, although plenty of responses here... but I never feed the ducks with anything I wouldn't feed my son, simply because he eats as much of the bread as he throws, for the ducks so mould is definitely a no-no!!! smiley - smiley

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