How to feed wild ducks responsibly?
Here’s a short summary of common advice and sense to help you feed wild ducks responsibly.
Stay safe around water
Where there’s water, there’s danger, so it’s important to remember to stay a safe distance from the water’s edge and keep young duck feeders under supervision at all times.
Feed only where it’s permitted
Take a good look around for any signs about the ducks or other wildfowl and follow what they say. You’re most likely to find signs asking you to not feed bread to the ducks, but you weren’t going to do that anyway….or at least, not anymore!
Feed the right foods – never bread!
Bread, chips, crisps, confectionery and other such junk food is bad for ducks. Instead try peas, lettuce, porridge oats, garden bird seed or specially formulated wild duck food such as Quack Snacks >
Click here for more information about the best food for wild ducks, including natural history presenter Mike Dilger testing them on the BBC’s Inside Out programme >
If there are already lots of people feeding the ducks in a particular spot, move on to find a spot where there are other ducks. You might think that having a big crowd of ducks squabbling over food to be good fun, but it’s unlikely to be much fun for them.
Don’t overfeed – think “Quack Snacks” not feathered feast!
Offer small portions so that you don’t overfeed the ducks – what they don’t eat can pollute the water and you don’t want to ruin their appetite for natural foraging. Also, bear in mind that at popular duck feeding spots, they could be offered lots of food throughout the day.
So just offer a small quack snack – and if you want to keep feeding the ducks, just move on and find some more ducks.
Scatter food over the water
Some suggest that it’s not good to encourage ducks to get out of the water to feed on land, as it could put them at risk of predators or over inquisitive dogs. They do of course often end on up dry land of their own accord!
However, if you scatter your quack snacks over the water, they may find it easier to pick off your offering from the surface of the water than off the ground. Plus, it may at least discourage boisterous swans and geese from getting out of the water and trying to help themselves direct from your quack snacks bag! Well, hopefully so.
Dispose of your litter carefully
Please, please, please use any bins or take your litter home with you – ideally for recycling.