And the Swans and the Gulls — BUT, DON’T FEED THEM BREAD
Wanna get the kids out of the house but can’t think of an activity? Take them down to the water’s edge and feed the birds that live there! This cherished tradition is the perfect memory to share with your Little One. Just make sure you do ONE thing: DON’T feed them bread!
Yep, you read that right. Do NOT feed bread to the birds. (You can feed the birds, that’s not the issue, it’s just that bread is really bad for them).
Throwing bread to the birds causes more problems than you probably know.
Feeding bread can cause a condition known as ‘Angel Wing’. It’s a deformity found in ducks, geese, swans and other waterfowl that causes wings to grow too fast, and can rob birds of their ability to fly. Bread, popcorn and processed ‘people food’ contain proteins and carbohydrates that can create the perfect storm for Angel Wing to take hold.
Birds suffering from Angel Wing can’t fly. And birds that can’t fly, can’t fly away from predators, or weather conditions. That means they die.
Ducks with Angel Wing disease (Photo courtesy: Cengland, Wikimedia Commons)
Also, waterfowl tend to grab as much bread as they can (After all it’s free junk food to them!). But when they do, those pieces can get lodged in their crops, the bird organ for storing food located right behind the throat. The bread that gets stuck there can mould and cause yeast infections that are often fatal.
So What can you do to save this cherished activity?
Change what you feed them!
Leave the bread at home and bust out something healthy for our little feathered friends!
Lettuce, fruit berries, chopped up veggies like carrots and celery (cut to pea-sized chunks), peas, cracked corn and raw seeds are all awesome substitutions for bread.
The alternatives here all have far more nutritional value than bread ever will. And you’ll still have the memory of feeding the birds with your Little One. Pass the word to others, and you’ll be helping all those lovely birds stay healthy!
Now that’s definitely something to remember!