If you like to go to Ascarate Lake and feed the ducks and swans, you shouldn't feed them bread. It something that we have all done, but it turns out that bread can be fatal to the birds.

Experts say that bread can cause a condition called Angel Wing, which sounds pretty but it actually makes feathers grow too quickly. That quick growth puts a strain on the muscles of the duck. All that strain can keep ducks from being able to fly, which puts them at greater risk to predators.

If you feed ducks and swans, they can also become dependent on humans for food and not learn how to forage for foods in their natural diet. Bread is also like candy to ducks and swans. They can't get enough of it, and just like too many carbs are bad for humans, they are bad for the birds, too. Swans fare even worse than ducks when it comes to bread. They can suffer from fatal heart and gut disease when they eat bread.

Experts say another reason to avoid feeding bread to birds in the wild is because when it rots, it pollutes the water by encouraging bacteria and algal bloom, which gets into the lungs of ducks and swans and is fatal. The leftover bread also draws rats to the water.

If you are heading to Ascarate to feed the ducks and swans, feed them lettuce, peas, and sweet corn, instead. Those are their natural foods and much healthier for them.

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