Bread Breeding Deformities in Ducks

SACRAMENTO—

On any given Saturday, dozens of people are lined up to feed the birds at McKinley Park in Sacramento.

But what we’re feeding them could be causing wing deformities, according to bird advocate Judy McClaver.

She first noticed it about a year ago, when several birds in the park had wings that stuck straight out from their bodies.

“I did some research, and found out it’s caused by us, from the human food that we feed them,” McClaver told FOX40.

She brought her research to the city of Sacramento.

“Their results were the same,” McClaver says – birds cannot eat human food.

McClaver has posted signs to the benches, instructing park visitors to feed the birds seeds and nothing else. She’s hoping the city will put up official signs instructing visitors on what they can feed the birds.

In the meantime, she returns several times a week to make sure no one is tossing human food into the pond.

7 comments

  • animalandpeoplelover

    What claptrap. An *advocate* makes her own deduction from research she did (and her credentials are what?) and decides people are harming ducks by feeding them bread. How asinine is this? Could be a dozen different things in the duck environment causing problems. Ever heard of the basis of valid scientific studies by controlling variables before making a *sound scientific* conclusion? Didn't think so.

  • Starling

    By the way "animalandpeoplelover" I experienced this same exact result when the ducks in the lake across from my house grew up to be unable to fly because their wings had grown too fast and become deformed due to human feeding of bread / junk food. I believe it had something to do with an excess of protein.. An audobon specialist from the local Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary had to come take them to the sanctuary for the rest of their lives because they could not survive on their own as ducks should. You might want to re-consider knee-jerk dismissal of a more informed individual on a subject you clearly know nothing about yourself…

  • myesh

    Google Angel Wing and you'll learn all about it for yourself, 'Animalandpeoplelover.' The protein in the bread is too high for the ducklings and other water fowl. It makes the feathers on their wings grow too fast and their wings become permanently extended. They're never able to fly as adults. They're vulnerable to predators and unable to migrate with the flock.

    Is everything *you* don't know automatically claptrap? Best that you stay in school. Remember: Google is your friend.

  • Starling

    It isn't claptrap, the I was told the same thing by an audobon specialist at the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary. Ecxess protein caused the bones of the wings to grow faster than they shold and the birds could never fly anymore, had to spend their lives at the sanctuary. She took 4 little ducks from our lake and told us exactly why it had happened. Might want to look into things a bit before being so dismissive. Other people might actually know more than you.

  • In2Caps

    It absolutely isn't claptrap. Bread is awful for ducks–particularly while bread. Wild bird food is okay (but I'd be surprised if most ducks would eat much of the seeds). Better are veggies (greens, peas, carrots, corn–thaw out some cheap mixed vegetables you can get for about a buck a bag), some fruits (chopped up grapes, not whole; or even watermelon, which is not full of nutritional value but isn't bad for them). If you feed the ducks frequently spend the $10 or so it costs to buy 50 pounds of waterfowl food. It will lead to healthier birds AND healthier duck poop for the environment.

  • Truleyb

    If the city is really concerned, how about installing vending machines with healthy food? People love to feed the ducks and I know I would buy food for them. I've bought food for the animals at various theme parks and zoos. The machines could pay for themselves, we would have healthy ducks and the city could look like good guys for a change. Signs saying "Don't feed the ducks" just aren't enough.

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