We’re seeing evidence that there’s a lot less bread being fed to ducks both in backyards and local parks and gardens around New Zealand. This is great news!
Ducks eat a specific and naturally diverse diet of plants, seeds and insect protein. Any additional feed should replicate their specific and diverse natural diet.
Topflite’s Lucky Duck is locally grown and formulated to meet a number of key nutritional requirements that a healthy duck needs. We crafted this blend to works as a maintenance diet for both wild ducks and backyard ducks. It contains nutritious oats and barley, kibbled maize and sorghum as well as vegetable additions for those essential vitamins.
It’s the first duck-specific feed formulation in New Zealand and we’re proud to supply it to both retailers and some of the country’s forward-thinking councils. It’s important that everyone continues to ‘bin the bread’ – a once-popular duck feeding staple.
Yes, bread won’t kill ducks straight away. But it’s the same as feeding takeaway ‘junk food’ to humans. This high-calorie, low-nutrition food lacks the vitamins and minerals essential to good health. When bread is fed consistently to ducks it actually causes malnourishment and incurable conditions related to vitamin deficiency.
Bread is also responsible for destroying duck habitats, where an increase of organic matter in the water can lower oxygen concentrations and increase the presence of harmful toxins like botulism.
The problem is that there is no way an individual can generally know what a duck’s daily diet consists of.
Parents can make an informed decision when to feed their children treats because they know what these children have eaten each day. However when someone turns up at a park with bread to feed ducks ‘as a treat’ they have no idea if anyone else will arrive with the same motivation soon after they leave.
Uneaten bread rots in the water, particularly in still bodies of water like ponds, creating a fertile ground for the bacteria Clostridium botulinum. This can result in a deadly neurotoxin in ducks, paralysing the bird from the neck down. An infected duck will drown if unable to lift its head out of the water or if paralysed on land, may die of dehydration.
Two summers ago this resulted in a number of avian botulism cases in Auckland. Another hot summer in 2019 will increase the risk once more.
Thankfully New Zealand seems to be getting the news. We’re noticing it with increased orders for Lucky Duck and more and more signs warning of bread-feeding dangers in parks and gardens around the country. With clearer public messaging and access to a nourishing alternative to bread, New Zealanders can enjoy safer waterways with healthier, happier ducks.Check out our Lucky Duck here.