Bear and I are lucky enough to have a pond that is home to over 30 ducks less than a 30 minute walk from our house. Ducks (or quack quacks) are Bear’s second favourite animal after his cats.
We love watching them and Bear thinks they are hilarious when they flap their wings, splish splosh splash or come within 2 feet of his buggy. I have often thought about taking some food so he can feed them but read that bread is in fact bad for them and have heard a couple of tales that it can make them sink or even worse, explode!
As I’ve never seen any exploding quack quacks or heard about a mass disappearing of ducks for them only to be found at the bottom of ponds filled with bread I decided to research this and found out the following:
There was no information from reliable sources that bread actually makes ducks sink or explode. Phew!
The canal and river trust however provided the following information:
- White bread doesn’t have much nutritional value and fills them up so they don’t forage for foods they would naturally eat.
- Uneaten bread can in time spread disease and encourages rats.
- Birds love bread like I love sushi and will flock to areas where it is given regularly creating overcrowding of bird populations.
- Overcrowding of bird populations can cause stress to the birds and damage to their habitats.
What can we actually feed the ducks?
It is best to feed ducks in quieter areas where they aren’t fed by lots of people. It is also a good idea to only feed ducks occasionally and to vary the locations you feed them.
I am told that ducks enjoy the following.
- Porridge oats
- Rice (cooked or uncooked)
- Bird seed
- Frozen peas or sweetcorn (defrosted but not cooked)
- Chopped lettuce
- Chopped vegetable peel
- Grapes (cut in half)
Bear and I put together a Quack Quack Snack Pack and took some treats to the ducks on our local canal. I have to say our special duck mix was a hit and to Bear’s delight the ducks were queuing up for him to feed them.
If you want more information about ducks and other waterway birds and fun activities for kids check out this free downloadable guide from the Canal and River Trust