Feeding the ducks

Quack Snacks Floating Duck Food Pellets : Tested by Dave & Doug

On a wonderful sunny spring day, team Quack Snacks found a couple of willing vounteers for one of our regular product testing sessions! Doug and Dave clearly seemed to be enjoying their Quack Snacks Floating Duck Food!

They were less impressed when we moved off shortly afterwards, but we believe that it’s important to not offer too much to each group of ducks. In popular duck feeding spots in particular, there’s likely to be other people along to offer further food, so if everyone just offers a little, there’s less chance of uneaten food being left in the water – and the ducks can carry on foraging naturally inbetween times.

You can read more about feeding wild ducks responsibly here > , or learn about the best things to feed ducks here >

Quack Snacks on location in Buxton with BBC Inside Out

Quack Snacks with BBC Inside OUt

We’ve been testing alternatives to bread for ducks with Mike Dilger in Buxton.

Did the ducks prefer porridge oats, peas, lettuce, bird seed or Quack Snacks?

Find out on BBC Inside Out across the Midlands in the New Year!

Update 09/03/20: BBC Inside Out – 9th March 2020

“These pellets, undoubtedly the winner….the birds are loving them”

Best food for ducks – conclusion
Best food for ducks – full test

Further reading:

You can feed ducks bread?!

According to parts of the internet, the earth is flat, Elvis is still alive and actually it’s okay to feed ducks with bread.

Yes, we’ve seen that poster too – the one that says that you should feed bread to ducks, because although it’s not the healthiest, it’s better than nothing.

It has become an instant battle flag for the people who have always regarded to advice to not feed bread to ducks as being baloney invented by do-gooders and those who just want to sell you an alternative (as if it’s only okay for a bread baker to sell you things for ducks?!).

So, if you’ve stopped feeding bread to ducks and are now wondering who is right, here are the facts in brief from the bird and wildfowl professionals:

  1. If you alone made a one-off visit to some ducks and gave them a small amount of bread, it wouldn’t do them lasting harm – but it isn’t doing them any good either. See the RSPB advice on bread for birds >
  2. The “problem” with bread is that it isn’t very nutritious, so if a duck eats lots of bread, it feels full and less inclined to eat more nutritious foods. Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust research showed that “a bread-heavy diet could make birds physically weaker”. See the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust’s research >

So, a very small amount of bread isn’t a problem – but is only doing “no harm” rather than “doing something good” – and lots of bread and lots of people offering bread actually is a problem.

Since you can’t control what everyone else might be offering the ducks, the Wildfowl and Wetlands trust offer this advice:

“WWT recommends that ducks, swans and geese be fed with vegetables, grain or specialist food where possible. That way, you can be as sure as possible that you are helping the birds rather than inadvertently causing any problems for them. “

There are better alternatives to bread at every price point – so there is no rational reason we can see at all to feed ducks with bread.

We should however add that in our opinion, too much of a good thing can also be bad. Feeding wild ducks responsibly isn’t just about offering the right kind of food, it’s about not overfeeding them too.

So whether you choose peas or porridge oats, garden bird seed or specialist duck food, don’t shovel it into the water. Offer them a little so you get to enjoy interacting with them – and then move along to find some more ducks. That way, you’re leaving them to get on with their own natural feeding habits too and there is much less danger of you polluting the water with food they can’t or don’t eat.

Discover more >