Why is it bad to feed Bread - especially white bread - to Water Birds?
Bread can cause illness and diseases to birds and is difficult to digest. Bread swells in the their stomachs causing poorly tummies at the very least but also they feel full and are less likely to look for their natural food, which has the correct nutrients.
Bread lacks nutrients, minerals and vitamins and it prevents healthy bones/ blood/ organs etc from forming. Birds can also get respiratory infections from mouldy bread and if left uneaten, the rotting bread pollutes the water, creating surface algae which in turn makes fish and smaller invertebrates ill from diseases, potentially killing them as well making the water look and smell horrible. No mouldy rolls please!
Here are some alternative healthy foods for water birds instead of bread:
Seeds; Grains; specifically made up bird food - fat balls, Duck Pellets, Bird Seed, Goose Food Mix etc which can all be found at places like The Kiosk and garden centres and pet shops.
If you want to grab something from home - defrost bags of peas and sweetcorn; half cut seedless grapes; diced watermelon, chopped up lettuce, grated carrots, cooked rice, sliced tomatoes, various green veggies, oats. Any of these are great - a varied diet is important so pick a different one each time of you can.
Diseases linked to Bread consumption in Water Birds:
Crooked Angel Wing
A disease caused by eating too much bread and not having a varied diet. It affects their growth to to lack of growth in nutrients and makes their wings grow deformed and so they cannot fly. It makes them more vulnerable to predators as they cannot fly. It prevents them from reaching natural foods as they are "trapped" in the area and cannot fly away.
Botulism in Ducks
A cruel and likely fatal disease caused by bread sinking in the water and removing trhe oxygen as it breaks down, then creating bacteria which infects the ducks, causing a slow death - it paralyses them, unable to swim or fly and eventually breathe.
Build up of excess bird and bird poo that has decayed in the water causing respiratory infections to any wildlife that encounters it, turning the water green and smelly.