Why We Shouldn’t Feed Bread to Ducks and Geese

Feeding bread to ducks and geese is a childhood rite of passage, but it’s one we should leave to generations past. What may seem like a fun and harmless pastime is actually bad for waterfowl because the bread and crackers we love to feed them is essentially junk food — high in carbs, low in protein, and lacking the nutrients they would get in their natural diet. Like humans who eat too much junk food, ducks and geese can suffer dire consequences when they eat too much bread. Improper diet makes ducks and geese susceptible to a condition called angel wing. Their wings become deformed because the carpal joint grows incorrectly, leading the wing to stick out from the bird’s side rather than lay flush. Birds with angel wing can’t fly, and their flight feathers also grow improperly. The condition is irreversible and can often be fatal. Birds with angel wing are also rejected by their flocks. The truth is, ducks and geese don’t need our help to eat well. Allowing them to eat their natural diet is better for them and for the environment.