Thursday, 28 February 2013

A Nation of Fat Ducks

Toby Benham

Feeding bread to ducks is the equivalent of giving them junk food. Scientists have warned that one of Britain’s favourite pastimes is making ducks fat. Feeding bread to ducks is a source of carbohydrate with little other nutritional value. Although this is ok in moderation, ducks can face copious amounts of bread thrown at them at certain times of year. They tend to seek out this easy food source meaning that ducklings lose the training to forage for food. This leaves them hungry when they are not hand fed. Other problems include becoming more susceptible to predation as too much starch leads to the animal becoming bloated and lethargic – a prime target. They can also suffer from diseases originating from mouldy bread or the increase in faeces associated with over eating. Suggestions on what ducks should instead be fed include: corn, barley, grain and duck feed pellets. So, next time you decide to go to feed the ducks, leave the stale bread at home and grab a handful of grain instead!