A diet rich in bread will likely lead to a condition called “angel wing” where feathers grow away from the body and joints do not form properly.
Feeding the waterfowl at our local parks is a popular activity for many families. On any given day you can see people feeding our geese, ducks and other waterfowl from bags filled with bread and cereal. It makes people, especially children, happy to interact with these wild creatures.
However, feeding these wild animals creates many problems for them and the environment.
Birds who learn to rely on food offered by park visitors do not learn to forage for their own food. A normal foraged diet will provide all the proper nutrition these birds need to grow and stay healthy.
Bread and cereal do not provide the nutrition these birds need, even if they are labeled as organic or made from whole wheat. A diet rich in bread will likely lead to a condition called “angel wing” where feathers grow away from the body and joints do not form properly. This condition leaves the bird unable to fly and at the mercy of predators. Other physical ailments also occur.
Uneaten bread and cereal will sink to the bottom of the pond where it rots. Rotting bread can cause algae to develop which is harmful to the fish that live in the pond, depriving them of oxygen.
By providing free meals to the many inhabitants in our parks the population can exceed safe limits for their healthy survival. This can lead to unsanitary water and a large amount of feces on the shores. Unclean environments can lead to deadly bacterial outbreaks.
Feeding wildlife is unlawful in city parks located in the City of Las Vegas, such as Lorenzi Park and Floyd Lamb Park. Elsewhere in Clark County officials strongly advise that you do not feed the birds for their safety and yours.
If you decide you want to feed the wildlife, please offer them a more nutritious diet. Waterfowl will happily eat vegetables such as peas and corn. They also enjoy chopped greens and seedless grapes. Duck feed pellets can be found in some local feed stores or on-line. When feeding the waterfowl you should do so on land as uneaten foods will sink to the bottom of the pond. Brands of duck feed pellets labeled as floating can safely be fed to birds in the water.