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Home > Bird Feeding Blog > “Leave the bread at home and not at the duck pond, please.” - Bill Oddie

“Leave the bread at home and not at the duck pond, please.” - Bill Oddie

Monday, 14th March 2016

“Leave the bread at home and not at the duck pond, please.” - Bill Oddie. Here's why we should feed them the right food.
One of the most frequently asked questions Bill Oddie hears whilst out and about is, “I often take my little girl to feed the ducks. We throw in pieces of bread. They seem to love it but is bread bad for them?”


Fortunately, whilst filming Ask Bill Oddie, the right moment to answer this question presented itself and Bill’s answer is plain and simple: “leave the loaf at home – not at the duck pond, please.” However, Bill recognizes that feeding the ducks is a great way to introduce children to nature...

“Well, for a start it won’t be just the ducks that go for the bread: Swans, Canada Geese, probably Coot and – most squabbly and screechy of all - Black Headed Gulls. All that flapping and quacking and honking can be a little bit alarming for a small child, but most of them get to love it and it’s a great way to start some basic birdwatching.”

“As for is bread bad for them? The answer is that it won’t do them any good. Scoffing too much of it can be harmful, especially white bread. Bread and water. Starvation rations for humans and certainly not a treat for birds. Brown bread is a bit less useless, especially if it has seeds on it, but it still isn’t nutritious to a duck or a goose no matter how eager they are to grab it.”


“Feeding the birds at the duck pond is much the same as feeding the birds in your garden. Ask yourself: what do these birds eat in the wild? What is their natural food? Insects, worms, caterpillars, seeds, berries, aquatic plants. That’s what they need. The real thing. If they can’t find enough, then we can help enormously by providing equivalents, substitutes, and supplements, but the ingredients must be natural. Bird food specialists like Haith’s - the bird food masterchefs, if you will – can sometimes even improve on nature with special mixes - like Duck & Goose, dried mealworms and blends, but nothing is artificial or faked, and everything provides birds with good health and energy. Food for survival.”

Have fun at the park, but leave the bread in the bread bin is Bill Oddie’s message.


Bill Oddie's blog can be found at

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  • Comments

"Mr" by
06 Nov 2016

Having recently moved to Devon from London I am amazed that we still have over 20 Goldfinches scoffing the sunflower hearts eagerly all day every day and mostly ignoring the Niger seed. What seeds/feeds would you recommend to help them through the winter as they are clearly here for the duration. we also have greenfinch, sparrows, tits, thrushes blackbirds- a good food for them all is needed, especially when it gets really cold.

"Thank You And Thrushes" by
30 Aug 2016

Thank you so much for sending me the spare window sucker, a little while ago. Lovely surprise! All up and going now - the birds love it.
Have not had any thrushes in the garden for a few years now....what has happened to them? Used to be regular visitors, but not anymore! Thank you again! Cheers...

Haith's customer services:

That's excellent news!

Regarding the thrushes, we have researched that they are currently in decline. However have you tried feeding them with our Huskfree and Suet range, or you could also try one of our best sellers which would be the Premium Quality Sunflower Hearts to try and bring them back to your garden! Also they do enjoy our live food range which provide essential protein and moisture for garden birds to feed themselves and their young.

Hope this helps to bring back the thrushes back into your garden.

Kind Regards


Also we do se

"Tp Mr Bill Oddie" by
21 Mar 2016

I have one of those lovely window bird feeds which we have been enjoying very much, but sadly a winged elephant (wood pigeon) landed on the top of it one morning and it fell to the ground. It did not break but lost one of the suckers that keep it attached to the glass. Please where can I get some spare ones. I searched for the lost one but it could not be found. Hope you can help me.
I always enjoyed your programmes Bill when you were birding, and also when you were younger (playing the fool). Bless you!
(big fan)....A X

Haith's customer services:

Dear Audrey

Many thanks for your kind words. I'm sorry to hear that you have lost one of the suckers to your window feeder. We will gladly send you a replacement through the post.

Many thanks

Haith's Customer Services

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