Science explains why we're really not supposed to be feeding bread to ducks
Last year, the citizens of England and Wales fed approximately six million loaves of bread to ducks. While the stats for America aren’t currently available, judging by the amount of carbs the ducks at my local park intake every weekend – I’m talking loaves on loaves here – I’m guessing the numbers aren’t so different stateside.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it turns out bread is literally the worst for ducks. This news comes straight from the mouths of UK conversationists in a report by the Guardian. Apparently, bread has no nutritional value for the little pond-dwellers, so eating a loaf of honeywheat on a regular basis is the equivalent of a human, well, eating a loaf of honeywheat on the a regular basis. It’s all empty calories and dashed carb-loaded dreams.
Plus, ducks get addicted to bread, causing them to rely solely on the kindness of humans who have an extra bag of hot dog buns lying around. The more you enable ducks with their bread addiction, the less they will seek out healthy, natural food for themselves. Eventually, they become so malnourished that it significantly shortens their life span.
In some very serious cases, birds who gobble down too much of the sliced stuff wind up with a condition called “angel wing.” Sounds beautiful, but it’s quite the opposite. Living on a high-calorie diet that includes a surplus of protein and carbs but lacks vitamins D, E, and manganese (a.k.a. the all bread diet), can mess with a duck’s body so much that its wings point straight out. Birds with “angel wing” can’t fly, which leads to early death.
As if that wasn’t disturbing enough, it turns out throwing bread willy-nilly into a body of water can cause poisonous algae and dangerous molds to develop, which is not only really disgusting, but super harmful to organisms in the water and living near shore. You’ve seen what happens when you accidentally forget about those last few slices of potato bread – it pretty much grows a coat of fur. Yuck!
Long story short, just watch the ducks. Mimic them in your selfies. But, please, don’t feed them.
(Images via Shutterstock and Disney/Giphy.)