To Feed Or Not To Feed? That Is The Question

So is this true or is it a myth?  Is bread bad for ducks or is there a balance to be found?

Swan Support, which rescues swans, ducks and geese, said many were starving because people had stopped feeding them bread in recent years.  

Flocks of birds had become established in certain areas because of people feeding them and they had become reliant on this food supply.  

“It’s absolutely fine to feed bread. Bread has been fed to swans, ducks and geese for hundreds of years,” they say.  “However, people should only throw in as much as the birds ate, so there was no excess bread left behind to decay.

The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust said bread was “fine for water birds as long as it only forms a small part of their diet”.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) said it was fine to feed small amounts of bread to ducks but people should also feed them sweetcorn, porridge oats, peas and bird seed.

“Just like us, birds need a varied diet to stay healthy,” said Tony Whitehead from the charity.

“Although ducks and swans can digest all types of bread, too much can leave them feeling full without giving them all of the important vitamins, minerals and nutrients they need.

“So, although bread isn’t harmful, our advice is to only feed small amounts to birds.”

As with most things in life – balance is essential, all things in moderation, and everything coupled with common sense.  So dont forget the ducks this Christmastime.

Categories: Birds, Life, Natural World, PhotographyTags: , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. We have laws in South Florida forbidding the feeding of animals in natural areas.
    But who doesn’t feed them now and then. I find this law unenforceable. Happy New Year.

    • Very true. I quite agree. And I would never see anybody or anything hungry if I could do something about it. What goes around comes around.

  2. Great information, I have often wondered that, but did not look it up. I usually carry bird seed if I am going somewhere where I can watch the ducks and geese. Thank you.

  3. Your photos are a delight to my senses, Izzy. xxx

  4. Such lovely photos Izzy. We also have signs to not feed bread to the ducks here in Canada. It seems a bit of an over-reaction.
    Hope you had a lovely Christmas and all the best for the new year.

  5. Hi, and thanks for sharing! I’ve seen many “Don’t feed the ducks/ swans bread” signs but never really went any further to investigate whether it’s true or not. I hope you had a lovely festive season ❄️⛄❄️⛄ Aiva

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