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Strange question: bird food volumes

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Old Friday 31st August 2018, 19:53   #1
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Strange question: bird food volumes

Hello all, first time posting to this forum, I must admit I am not heavily into birds and am here trying to tap into the collective knowledge of other forum members...

How much food do birds need in a 24 hour period?

A friend and I have recently taken on a lease of a small lake for fishing purposes, it's around 4 acres in size with depths ranging from 1 to 4 feet, and is home to an adult pair of Swans (who have 6 cygnets) and approx 20 tufties, mallards and coots.

The birds were quite skittish at first (I assume due to the lake being unused for several years they were fearful of the new humans on the scene) but are now confidently feeding on the baits we put out for the fish, which causes us problems when fishing and also occasionally one of the ducks or coots will pick up the hookbait and get hooked (interestingly the swans don't seem to get hooked, but do clear out a baited spot).

We've had some success in avoiding this by 'feeding them off' by depositing a torn up loaf of bread at the other end of the lake before we start fishing (typically 4-6pm) which keeps the birds off us for the evening, but by 5-6am they're hungry again and are straight onto the bait!

While I'm sure we could have greater success (from our fishing perspective) by simply putting more bread in at the start of the evening I don't want to impact the health of the birds by feeding them too much of something that isn't the best thing for them. I recall seeing a sign by a park lake that large quantities of bread can cause ducks problems...

So, if anyone can please advise:

What sort of food, and what quantity, would keep the bird life content and a safe distance from our fishing baits? (for a 18-24 hr period)

Last edited by carpangler : Friday 31st August 2018 at 19:57.
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Old Friday 31st August 2018, 20:22   #2
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No straightforward answer I'm afraid. Wildfowl trusts feed grain in winter to herds of swans, and ducks etc wiĺl all be attracted to the feed. Also, they won't stay feeding in one area for the time your fishing. They'll naturally wander about and see what you're up to, preen, rest up and then start again.
It's also expensive to feed grain.
Also, they'll work out that you're feeding them so they will link you to food and visit you and your swim more often.
As a past angler, I don't have a solution I'm afraid.
It's a compromise, tight lines.

Last edited by PYRTLE : Friday 31st August 2018 at 20:25.
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Old Friday 31st August 2018, 23:40   #3
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There is no nutrition in bread and it really shouldn't be fed to birds. Something to bear in mind that the lake is their habitat and home.

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Old Thursday 13th September 2018, 12:12   #4
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Bread at times are just toys to some birds. There no substitute to bird food as it has all the nutrients a bird needs.
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