No more feeding the Ducks? What the Duck?

Photo by: WikiCommons

Feeding the ducks is a traditional British pastime, walk around a lake on any given Sunday and you will be tripping over people feeding them stale bread from little plastic bags. But is this more dangerous than we think?

A survey recently revealed that ducks consumed six million loaves of bread in 2014. However, conservationists have recently said that we should stop feeding the ducks. But why? Not only can it be damaging to the duck, but it can also be detrimental to the environment. Conservationists have always maintained that a diet laden with bread (particularly white bread) can cause ducks to fall ill. The lack of nutritional value can cause these animals to develop conditions such as ‘angel wing’ that causes deformities that can affect their abilities to fly.  However, we are now being warned that undigested bread sinking to the floor and rotting can be detrimental to the environment. It encourages bacteria and algae that can be poisonous to other species. Not only this, but mouldy bread can also cause aspergillosis, a fatal lung infection that can kill ducks.

However, charities are up for a hard task by trying to encourage people to stop feeding the ducks. Not everyone is going to want to give up an activity so popular with families and young children. This is why The Canal & River Trust has launched a new, major campaign urging people to change years of tradition and change the food we feed ducks as opposed to stop feeding them altogether. They suggest that we feed ducks frozen peas, lettuce and grapes instead of the old favourite, bread. Can this be considered healthy eating gone mad? The Canal & River Trust are advising people to try to vary what we feed ducks and swap starchy foods for healthier treats that are more natural like oats, corn, or defrosted frozen peas. And, most importantly, they stress the importance of exercising portion control! Much like people, ducks are now subject to healthy lifestyle changes, with healthy alternatives being encouraged over non-nutritious white bread.

What do these changes mean to Britain as a whole? What will we do with our stale bread now? Will we now be the proud owners of a nation of svelte ducks? These are the questions that have yet to be answered in regards to the changes proposed. However, one thing is clear, our ducks will be healthier and happier, and that is what life is all about really.

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