Is It Ok To Feed Wild Birds Bread?
Whilst bread isn’t bad for birds, it isn’t the best food to feed wild birds, there are much better options when it comes to helping your feathery garden friends.
Is Bread Bad For Birds?
Bread isn’t ‘bad’ for birds, but it isn’t good either. Bread doesn’t really have much nutritional value for a bird, being low in both essential proteins and fats. Elements that are key to a nutritious diet for wild birds.
So, although you can feed bread to birds in your garden, you probably shouldn’t do it regularly.
However, if you have a couple of leftover slices which would only go in the bin, it won’t harm birds to put these out. The key to feeding birds with bread is to only provide it infrequently. Bread is a ‘filler’ meaning birds will eat it until they are full, then leave other foods and create a nutrient deficiency.
Only feed bread in small quantities and remove the bread at the end of the day to reduce the risk of harming birds with contaminated bread or attracting rodents.
Alternative Wild Bird Feeds
The good news for wildlife lovers is that there are many alternatives to feeding bread to birds, all of which are much more nutritional and will increase the chances of you seeing a greater variety of birds in your garden.
Popular and nutritious bird foods include:
- Sunflower seeds and hearts
- Nyjer seeds
- Red and White Millet
Wild birds need a varied diet which is why bird food is normally made up of different mixes to provide birds with plenty of choices and not fill them up on one type of food.
Ready-mixed bird seed is ideal as it saves you from having to buy induvial foods – you can fill your feeders or bird table straight up from the bag.
If you like to make your own bird feed (to attract specific birds, for example) then there is a wide choice of bird food available to buy online. Sunflower seeds are a really popular choice because they attract a wide variety of birds and are available in several varieties. Peanuts are a great choice too.
Although mixes are great for feeding all year round, remember bird foods containing more fat are good in late winter and early spring when the weather is really cold. Suet for birds is ideal as it is both an attractive food and provides plenty of essential fats needed to stay warm.
Can You Feed Ducks Bread?
Whilst we’re talking about feeding bread to birds, we thought it was worth mentioning the topic of using bread to feed wild ducks.
This has been debated a lot in recent years, even though the practice is possibly hundreds of years old.
Ducks, like garden birds, aren’t harmed by bread but it fills them up with food that doesn’t have a lot of nutritional value.
However, many ducks have become reliant on humans feeding them, so some argue feeding them bread is better than suddenly not feeding them anything.
Even the experts can’t agree if feeding bread is right or wrong. All agree bread isn’t bad for ducks or birds but it can be hard to monitor moderation if everyone is feeding bread.
If you can, it’s much healthier and kinder to feed ducks with better foods than bread. They particularly enjoy sweetcorn, lettuce, and rice.
You can also feed ducks with regular bird food mixes, like what you would feed in your garden. Ducks are not picky eaters! Try mixing bird food with rolled oats for a balanced and tasty treat.