- Publish Date
- Thursday, 17 November 2016, 3:18PM
A Christchurch river-care group is calling on the local council to do more to stop people feeding the city's ducks.
It has been a treasured family pastime for years: taking leftover, stale bread down to the pond to feed the ducks.
But now it turns out we shouldn't be doing it.
People need to leave the bread at home – and ideally not feed them anything.
Apparently bread constitutes as harmful “junk food” for ducks - and the soggy remnants of the millions of loaves thrown into ponds each year encourage rats, disease and algae.
Bread causes bulky bowel movements, and duck faecal matter is already a leading cause of ecoli in local rivers.
Ducklings that are fed on bread will also end up malnourished and fail to learn how to forage for food.
If you do feel the need to feed them then here are some suggested “healthy alternatives” for birds...
Grapes should be cut in half and lettuce chopped up, while frozen peas should be defrosted - but not cooked.
Oats, barley, rice and vegetable trimmings also make acceptable replacements for the leftover crusts.