Do not feed waterfowl bread or crackers! Here's why

Photo submitted by Marcy Inman Phillips

Feeding ducks and geese may be a fun afternoon activity, but feeding them the wrong things can actually put them in great danger.

Angel Wing Syndrome is a condition that affects the wings of waterfowl, mainly ducks and geese.

It's caused by a nutritional deficiency in vitamins and minerals combined with a high level of carbohydrates and sugars. While a number of factors are involved, human-fed bread is one of the probable causes.

According to, the condition causes flight feathers at the end of the bird's wings to twist upwards.

Indicators of the condition may be drooping wings and damaged primary feathers.

Affected birds might demonstrate a reduced range of motion of the wing although it tends to affect the left wing more than the right.

According to, damage in fully mature birds is irreversible and likely fatal, due to the inability to fly to food sources and rejection from their flocks.

If the bird is young and the diet is changed dramatically, the damage could be reversed.

An alternative to bread and crackers would be corn, lettuce, frozen peas, oats or seeds - and always in moderation!

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