Feeding wild life: 2 really good reasons you should never do this

June 16, 2019

Have you ever looked out the window in the winter, during a snowstorm, with subzero temperatures and think “awww, the poor wildlife? I wonder how they’re doing in this.” I love animals and, yes, I have too.

I remember reading a story of a minister’s wife seeing some birds outside on a cold winter day and thinking of the verse in the Bible that God cares for even the smallest sparrow, and feeling that maybe he wasn’t doing such a good job, she ended up throwing some bread out for them.

I’m sure we’re all guilty, but recently I was reading an article about “angel wing syndrome” in ducks and geese caused by concentrated feeding, and it made me rethink how I look at feeding wildlife.

Most people think Angel wing syndrome is caused by feeding too much white bread, but it’s actually caused by a high carb diet of bread, crackers etc... fed to the geese, because young birds, especially, get fat. A high carb diet is not good for birds because it lacks nutrients and since they don’t have to work hard or exercise to get it, their feathers grow too quick for the soft bones to support the extra weight.

Sometimes it’s so severe they can’t fly... yes we’ve just created a nice fat package for any predator; how kind is that? Then we see the poor deer at the window, again eating twigs on the barren wasteland, I’ll just throw out some corn or hay for them...

The problem is the deers stomachs change to browsing mode in the winter, and the bacteria in the stomach is designed to break down; you guessed it, twigs and other woody stemmy plants. But it can’t digest hay and grain; not in the winter! There are reports of deer found starving to death with bellies full of hay.

Not only are we not feeding them what they were designed for, we’re creating conditions that will cause their harm. Too many birds in one area is just a recipe for an outbreak of disease, and deer will see humans as a source of food and lose their fear of men, making them easy targets for hunters. So before we play God and re-think his strategies, let’s really think things through and research before we open the door and throw some bread out... just a thought.

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