Heading off to the park and feeding the dusks is a much favoured activity for young children (and some older ones too) but actually, feeding bread to them is not the ideal choice. The bread quickly breaks down in the water so a lot sinks to the bottom uneaten and can cause problems in the water including algal blooms (where the water can in effect, become poisonous) and increases the risk of avian flu spreading. Also, any uneaten bread left on the bank attracts vermin such as rats which can carry some rather nasty diseases.
Bread is also bad for ducks and they will eat bread at the expense of a better, more varied, natural diet. It seems too much starch is as bad for duck waistlines as it is for our own.
However, this doesn't mean you can't go and feed the ducks, you just need to alter what you feed them. Here are some alternatives that the ducks will love and won't cause as many problems as bread.
- Sweetcorn - tinned, defrosted or fresh
- Defrosted frozen peas (no need to cook them)
- Seeds - either ones sold for bird food or any seeds form your local supermarket
- Cooked rice - a great way to use up any leftovers from a meal, just make sure it doesn't contain any meat.
- Chopped up lettuce - especially those outer leaves you usually throw away
- Halved grapes
- Duck food
As for what to do with that stale bread, look out for a future post on things you can do with is rather than feeding the ducks or chucking it in the bin.
Do you feed the ducks - do you know any other titbits they like? And here is blog I wrote about how else to use stale bread and how to stop it going stale in the first place.