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Ducks Continue Getting Bumble Foot at the Stewart Park Duck Pond

4:28 AM · Dec 4, 2019

We have been seeing more cases of Bumble foot at the Duck Pond in Stewart Park. Bumble foot is a bacterial infection (often caused by Staph) and inflammatory reaction on the feet of birds, rodents and rabbits. Ducks at the Duck Pond can get it by constantly walking on rough or sharp surfaces and getting a cut on their feet. These cuts are then exposed to bacteria in the soiled mud and water at the duck pond. To treat bumble foot, the pus filled sores on the bottom of the duck need to be sliced open, the pus drained out and then treated with antibiotics before sealing the foot back up. Left untreated, Bumble Foot can eventually infect the bones of the bird and lead to a slow and painful death. Factors likely contributing to the increased cases of Bumble Foot Too many birds, ducks and pigeons at the Duck Pond - The more people feed the birds at the Duck Pond, the more birds come and remain in the small pond and surrounding area. It creates a very unhealthy environment with much higher levels of bacteria than these birds would normally see in the wild. Rocky/sharp ground that can cause cuts - The birds are often lured up onto shore and spend a significant amount of time walking on the rocky shore line and parking lot as they compete for food from humans. Feces in the mud - more ducks, pigeons and other birds means more feces. Poor Diet - The birds are given an enormous amount of bread at the Duck Pond. The bread is not good for the birds. There is no nutritional value in white bread. The ducks often fill up on bread and then do not eat more nutritional. Young ducks that eat too much bread can develop something called “angel wing”, which is a wing deformity and will prevent the duck from flying the rest of it’s life. How our community can help The easiest thing we can do to help would be to stop feeding the birds at the Duck Pond. This will eventually reduce the number of birds that stay at the pond which will create a more healthy, natural environment. Getting people to totally stop feeding the is going to be a very difficult task. So a step in the right direction would be feeding the birds food that is more healthy for them. Frozen peas, grapes and lettuce are all much better than bread. Bread is like fast food for ducks. They love it, but it’s bad for them. I know feeding the birds is a really fun activity for people to do with kids, but we need to face the reality that it’s likely hurting them more than it is helping. This is especially true when such a large amount of feeding takes place in one location, like the Stewart Park Duck Pond.

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