Go to any park with a lake in Lubbock lately and you'll see a massive influx of beautiful geese. It's majestic and fun to see the wild birds.

Growing up, it was common for families to take ducks and geese loads of old bread. The thrift bread store even had a special section of very cheap bread to take to parks. I always found feeding waterfowl to be mildly terrifying and, therefore, thrilling. I realized that at any point if they collectively decided to eat a six-year-old Renee, that it would be pretty easy for them to overpower me.

But growing and getting better happens when we allow for new information to educate us and change our minds. There is now tons of easily accessible, scientific information about how harmful feeding bread, or refined carbs of any kind, are to wild waterfowl.

According to thespruce.com, feeding waterfowl bread leads to duckling malnutrition (which causes duckling deformities), spread of disease through a massive influx of E. Coli, pest attraction, overcrowding and many more issues. Simply put, feeding waterfowl bread, crackers, popcorn, etc., causes a lot of them to die.

So what can you feed wild water fowl, if anything? First, remember to make it a very special occasion. Birds need to rely on natural food sources to live longer, healthier lives. But if you would like to feed them, some nutritious foods include: grapes, cut in half to prevent choking (that would be rather traumatic for a child to see); cracked corn; barley; oats; birdseed; or thawed (but uncooked) frozen peas or corn. Of course, store-bought duck pellets are great, too.

Enjoy the outdoors, and please take care of it!

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