1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Feeding Ducks bread... Anyone else confused on this?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Beckey, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. Beckey

    Beckey New Egg

    2
    0
    7
    Mar 18, 2013
    HI everyone!
    I have actually been a member of this forum for some time, but for some reason I could no longer log in and also for some reason was not getting the reset password emails .. only solution after a week of trying was create a new account.. [​IMG]

    We have 5 ducks.. Yoshi, Quackers, Olive, Sniffles, and Squeeker. I believe they are all female (except maybe Quackers.. ), but waiting to be positive is not an issue for us. They are around 4 weeks old. They are all Rouen except for Olive. She is a Khaki Campbell. She was given to us by mistake with our other ducks, and as the place we ordered from said they would get along just fine we kept her.

    Our real dilemma is this.. EVERYWHERE online, on this forum, in the HIGHLY recommended second edition Storey's guide to raising ducks by Dave Holderread - There are conflicting recommendations on weather or not you can safely feed your ducks bread, crackers, ect.

    On this forum under the Ultimate list of Duck treats it says DO NOT feed these items as it will shorten your ducks life.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/242460/the-ultimate-list-of-duck-treats-and-supplements

    In Storey's guide to raising ducks, it actually states that one of the positive reasons for having ducks is they are a " Garbage Disposal" and he specifically lists stale baked goods, outdated dairy products, and curdled milk (among other things), as things you can feed your duck. He does in fact write "The rule of thumb is this: If humans can eat it, ducks most likely will also - as long as its in a form they can swallow." and then goes on to write about a group of ducks fed exclusively on school leftovers for 9 months will no ill effects other than fewer eggs.

    Baked goods (IMO) is bread, and other items of the like. It can also entail cookies, cake, and other sugar laden foods which I wouldn't feed them as I do not even feed them to my children except very special occasions. But this is where I am getting confused. Because "Baked Goods" can entail so many things, so what exactly is Dave Holderread saying we can feed them.. And if this book is the "go to guide for raising ducks" as I have been told by many, then wouldn't he know if these items would affect the life expectancy of the duck? I read this book from cover to cover, and he at no time stated that feeding these items would or would not shorten their life.

    So I am completely confused. Can I give my ducks "baked good" items as treats or not? My kids always loved giving day old bread to the ducks at the park every few weekends, and now they are worried we have hurt them. And are a little sad we cannot give it to our ducks. We feed our ducks as healthy as possible, and "treats" are greens that they love (chard, kale, peas, other veggies)
    But if they can occasionally have bread too, then that is something we would like to know. Especially as it would relieve our minds on if the feeding we have done to the "pond" ducks in the past has actually harmed them in the long run.
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    22,956
    1,918
    471
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    This is one of those things that we don't all agree on.

    There are some reports that a diet of baked goods and bread cause health problems. And that makes sense. Baked goods do not have all the nutrients and components of a healthy diet, so a duck fed on these things is malnourished.

    If one's purpose is to simply fatten up some ducks for eating, maybe that's not a big deal. But even then, some would probably say that there's an ethical problem there. And why wouldn't you want very healthy meat ducks?

    I think if a duck gets a very occasional cracker or piece of bread, it isn't going to be terrible. High blood sugar isn't good for any of us, though.

    Sometimes I have given ducks bread with medicine in it, but they are not that thrilled with bread in the first place. So I mash medicine into their peas.

    That works.
     
  3. Beckey

    Beckey New Egg

    2
    0
    7
    Mar 18, 2013
    I would not be feeding my ducks these items as a staple, nor to "fatten them up". They wouldn't, in fact, even get it every day, or every other day. If we fed our ducks these types of food it would be as an occasional "treat" only.

    What my question is is weather they can have it as a treat and it would cause harm. THAT is where I am confused. Half of everyone is saying that even as a treat this will harm the ducks. However everyone I have been in contact with told me to read this book. Storey's guide to raising ducks, so I did that and it actually did not answer that one question. It did answer many more. But on this issue it actually confused me more as lots of people here (and on other forums) state to NEVER feed a duck bread. But he actually states you can feed them bread (baked goods..), cheese and other items of the like as a staple (which we would not be doing). So this is a very confusing subject for me.

    My ducks get a very very healthy diet of their duck crumbles, and veggies every day. We also add the niacin to one of their drinking water containers to make sure they get that. Feeding something like bread, or other items, would be as a snack or incentive for training purposes only. We do have healthy "snacks" for them already. We feed them all kinds of greens like kale, chard and mustard greens. They also seem to love squash and peas. I just do not want to be worried about the occasional piece of bread making it into their tummy when a neighbor child comes over and feeds them before I know it. Or one of my children sneaking them bread thinking its not a big deal.

    I guess its something we will just have to take day by day and hope that its not an issue. But I do wish things like this were not so confusing and conflicting.
     
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    22,956
    1,918
    471
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    [​IMG]
    There are a few things about raising ducks that are like this, not many, I don't think.

    I believe it's because we just don't have loads of data to go on. Ducks are catching on as a great domestic animal for non-farmers, and so some of our questions go unanswered and we go with our best guesses.

    Storey's Guide is very very good, and I also like The Ultimate Pet Duck Guidebook by Kim Link.

    As far as feeding pond ducks, you gave them food out of the kindness of your heart. Maybe in the future you can bring them something more nutritious now that you know it's at least questionable to feed them bread.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by