Birds, already affected by a whole series of plagues (pesticides, the disappearance of insects, urbanization and others), need our help more than ever in winter. Offer them shelter, water, food…that sort of thing. Be careful not to do anything though, good intentions can sometimes lead to disaster. An example: bread. This product, seemingly banal and harmless, is not at all suitable for the body of birds and should not be given to them. Explanations.
Giving bread to a bird is probably THE fake good idea par excellence. Adrien Corsi, trainer at LPO Auvergne, recently recalled this by insisting on three essential points in an interview given to France 3.
1. Bread does not help the birds
“Bread is very low in nutrition, so it really makes no sense. We’re going to stuff the bird without really giving it any interesting elements to fight the cold.”
2. Bread contains too much salt for birds
“The bread often contains a lot of salt, so if they eat it every day, it will affect the kidneys. We mammals remove salt in the urine. Except the birds won’t eliminate excess sodium in their urine. When they make excrement, everything is mixed together: feces and urine. They absolutely want to keep everything. After a while, for weaker individuals who already have health problems, the kidneys may no longer function. The bird will not necessarily die immediately, but we will accelerate its aging.“
3. The crumb can cause occlusions
“What is even more dangerous is the breadcrumbs. If the bird has to pick up a lot of crumbs, it fills its stomach with it. If he goes and drinks behind, with the water, it can swell and he can have a very tense stomach indeed. Rarely to tear, but there is still a risk. In the less serious cases, the bird does not feel well at all, like us, when we have had too heavy a meal. In the wild, when a bird is lethargic, its chances of survival are lower if it has to escape from a predator. There can also be more serious cases, cases of occlusion. The crumb will stick to the walls of the stomach or intestines and will no longer be able to be evacuated.“
On its website, the LPO adds that the presence of gluten in bread can cause liver disease in birds, and that consuming bread can also lead to malformation of the wings, which prevents them from flying. Two more good reasons not to feed the birds.