This National Geographic article describes how feeding bread to ducks is harmful. Among the items listed as safe to feed to ducks it lists corn. Does this mean that cornbread is an acceptable alternative to regular bread?

  • Interesting as corn is the primary food of Canadian Geese in the mid-west US in the winter. They spend much of the day gleaning fields where corn was grown and harvested. They probably get a few soybeans also. – blacksmith37 Aug 31 '19 at 2:58
  • I misunderstood the question: I guess my kids killed many ducks as they loved feeding regular bread to ducks. Occasionally we would buy loaves at the "day old" bakery to have duck food. But there was/is a serious villain that dumps bushels of bread in the Cook Co, IL forest preserve for ducks and other wild life. – blacksmith37 Aug 31 '19 at 3:07
  • I am not a fan of feeding wild ducks as such. It makes them dependant on human handouts, instead of foraging for themselves in the wild. We have parks in our area where wild birds both ducks and geese no longer migrate be cause of such kind hearted people. – Ken Graham Aug 31 '19 at 9:59

Cornbread may contain wheat flour as well as corn meal. Both are processed cereals and so should not be given to wild creatures.

In addition cornbread probably contains some of these ingredients:

  • Butter

  • Sugar

  • Honey

  • Molasses

  • Salt

  • Baking powder

  • Preservatives

  • Colouring

  • Egg OMG!!!

Tempting as it might be to feed wild creatures, they should only be fed food they would normally eat. In addition, once you start feeding them the habitat will be able to host more creatures than it would support naturally. So if you stop feeding them, many will die.

In a park there may be many random people feeding the ducks, who come and go, and so the duck population may stabilise.

But when feeding wild birds in your garden in winter you must continue as they will be relying on you.

  • Good answer. The only thing I would add is I’ve never seen a cornbread recipe that didn’t have a majority or close to it of these other ingredients. – T. M. Sep 1 '19 at 13:43
  • I would go as far as saying tha wild animals should never be fed. – Brill Pappin Mar 12 at 20:29

It is generally considered a bad idea to feed wild animals, both for the animals themselves and for humans.

  • Animals can become dependent on the handout,and unable to fend for themselves, or take natural paths to food sources at certain times of year.
  • Humans generally don't have food that wildlife would eat, and human food may not be healthy for them.
  • feeding them can cause them to bunch up in ways that are not normal, spreading disease, and/or polluting water or landscape with an overabundance of feces.
  • Animals expecting to be fed may cause damage to habitat that would not otherwise occur.
  • habitualizing animals to human presence, like houses, vehicles or roads can cause them to come in conflict with those things (i.e. get run over on the road), and cause injury to the animal as well as damage to property.
  • Feeding one kind of animal will often attract another type (e.g. feeding the squirrel might attract a bear)
  • animals that you are ok with with not be ok with other humans they come across, resulting on conflict.
  • Threat responses can be triggered around food, and cause conflicts with humans or other animals.
  • Cause the animals normal behavior to be altered, making it appear diseased, and ultimately destroyed.

Here are some references:

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