It’s quackers to feed bread to ducks, according to the Canal and River Trust.
Throwing bread for the ducks may have been a favourite family pastime down the generations but the slice ain’t white for your feathered friends.
The trust, a charity which looks after the waterways in England and Wales, has launched a campaign to bin the bread – and feed ducks (thawed) frozen peas, sliced grapes or porridge oats instead!
Now the trust has launched a comedy video showing a stuffed toy duck being pursued by a snarling white slice.
Across the country well-meaning families feed an estimated six million loaves a year to ducks which can damage birds’ health and pollute waterways.
Ducklings fed on bread end up malnourished and birds which rely on ‘hand outs’ lose their fear of humans and may become ‘aggressive.’
The charity has branded bread “junk food” for ducks and warn that what’s left behind encourages rats, disease and algae. They want to make waterways a ‘no dough’ area.
Other foodstuffs good for ducks include sweetcorn, barley, rice and vegetable trimmings.
A trust spokesman said: “The charity is asking the public to make a few simple changes. Bread isn’t great for a duck’s health as it’s nothing like their natural diet so don’t over feed them with large quantities of it.
“Try to vary what you give them and swap it for healthier more natural treats like oats, corn or defrosted frozen peas. And exercise portion control.”
Here’s six duck snacks:
Corn – ducks are quite partial to a sweetcorn. Tinned, frozen or fresh.
Lettuce – as a nation we’re guilty of throwing away a vast amount of lettuce, especially the bagged variety. Instead of consigning it to the bin, rip it into pieces and treat your local ducks.
Frozen peas and sweetcorn – no need to cook them but make sure you defrost them first.
Oats – flapjacks, rolled oats and even instant porridge oats will be a huge hit with ducks.
Seeds – whether you buy bird seed or seeds from the healthy aisle in the supermarket the ducks will be very grateful for these nutritious nibbles.
Rice – wild ducks will appreciate a handful of leftover rice from your Saturday night takeaway. Just remember to keep the crispy duck all to yourself!