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Name: Linda L.
Status: other
Age: 50s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 4/8/2003


Question:
We live near a lake in Orange County California. There are many species of ducks and geese at the lake. Many people feed them bread (of different kinds and freshness levels). Our local fish and game people told "someone" that it is bad to feed them bread as the yeast in the breads may interact with bacteria in the water and cause disease and/or death. We did have several ducks die earlier this year. Do you have any information on why the birds should not be fed bread? Thank you.


Replies:
Any feeding that concentrates waterfowl in a small area creates a serious potential for spread of disease through contact and droppings, particularly avian botulism. Bread is not very good nutrition for waterfowl, and "training" birds for a reliance on easy but nutritionally poor food may reduce their ability to survive harsh conditions or when feeding stops. Naturalists and biologists generally discourage or prohibit any feeding of wildlife beyond backyard bird feeders.

J. Elliott


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