Earlier this week the Wichita Falls With Kids Facebook page posted a photo of the ducks and geese at the frozen snow covered Lucy Park duck pond with the caption, "The poor Ducks are so hungry at Lucy Park, they followed my car when we drove of after feeding them."

I'm no bird expert, but I imagine all of the snow, ice and frigid temperatures we have had here in Wichita Falls recently have made it difficult for our web-footed friends to forage for food. Since my daughter loves to feed the ducks at Lucy Park, my wife and I decided to take her out Saturday afternoon to see just how hungry these birds really are.

As soon as we stepped out of our car at the pond the ducks started making their way toward us. That's a first. Usually they wait for us to come to them. My curious 5-year-old daughter immediately ran toward the frozen pond, and after chasing her down to stop her from attempting to walk out onto the ice, I started the video you see above.

By the time we had emptied the bag of feed we brought, almost every duck at the pond had made their way over to us for a chance to fill their bellies. Like my daughter says, we should have bought a bigger bag.

If you get the chance, I highly recommend getting out and interacting with our local waterfowl in the near future and give them a quick meal.

If you do go out and feed the ducks, leave the bread at home.

Unbeknownst to many, feeding ducks bread is actually unhealthy and potentially dangerous for the birds. Bread offers little to no nutritional value for ducks. In fact, bread is the equivalent to junk food for the birds, and too much bread can lead to excessive weight gain and malnutrition as well as many other problems. Duckling malnutrition, overcrowding, water pollution, and diseases are all problems that can be caused by feeding ducks too much bread. Click here to read more about why too much bread is not good for ducks.

So what should you feed the ducks then?

Here are some healthy alternatives to feed ducks instead of bread:

  • Grapes cut in half
  • Cracked corn, barley, oats, birdseed or other grains
  • Frozen peas that have been defrosted
  • Duck feed pellets available from farm supply stores
You can pick up a bag of duck feed that contains corn, birdseed, and other nutritional ingredients at any of our local pet supply stores.