Feed ducks frozen peas instead of stale bread, charity asks

People in England and Wales feed ducks an estimated of six million loaves of bread a year

Roisin O'Connor
Monday 16 March 2015 15:23 GMT

It may be a favourite family pastime, but apparently going to your local park to throw stale bread at ducks is completely wrong.

The Canal and River Trust is launching a campaign this week which urges people to feed ducks with frozen peas and sweetcorn instead. Ducks are also reportedly partial to grapes, which should be cut into quarters to make them easier to eat.

People in England and Wales feed an estimated of six million loaves of bread a year to ducks, which can cause damage to birds’ health and pollute waterways.

Ducklings that are fed on bread end up being malnourished, while birds that get used to hand-outs can lose their natural fear of humans and may become “aggressive”.

The charity warns families that bread is essentially “junk food” for ducks, and the remnants left behind encourage rats, disease and algae. Oats, barley, rice and vegetable trimmings are also acceptable replacements for leftover crusts, it advises.

A spokesperson for the Canal and River Trust 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."

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