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Duck Feeding

Please find below a letter that has recently been issued by City of York Council:-



City of York Council

West Offices

Station Rise








Our Ref:

Date 25/07/17





Dear resident


We are writing to you as you live within near to Rawcliffe Lake.


Recently there have been complaints about the amount of bread left floating in the lake and lying around the edges. The enclosed information sheet provides some details on what food should be given to ducks and geese and why bread is not good for them.


We were also made aware of an incident earlier this year where a local resident’s dog became seriously ill from eating bread left behind for the ducks. We also want to make people more aware about the dangerous of mouldy bread for dogs. 


We would be grateful if you would take the time to read this if you visit the Lake, and help to share the information around. 


We will also be putting notices around the site and sending this information to the local schools.


Yours sincerely




Jenny Cairns



Wildfowl Feeding Information


Ideal food for ducks and geese is

·         Sweetcorn (canned, frozen or fresh)

·         Duck pellets (sold online and at pet stores)

·         Lettuce, other greens (torn into small pieces)

·         Frozen peas (defrosted)

·         Oats (rolled or instant)

·         Seeds (including birdseed or other varieties)


Please do not feed ducks and geese bread. Bread is effectively the junk food of their diet. It has no nutritional value and by providing bread ducklings are unlikely to learn how to forage for healthier food themselves.


A high-carbohydrate, high - protein diet is associated with a wing deformity known as “angel wing” or “airplane wing” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angel_wing. Angel wing is a condition where the wing is distorted and causes the end feathers to stick out sideways instead of lying flat against the body. This prevents the bird from flying.


Uneaten bread will attract predators, and, when left to rot in the water introduces additional nutrients encouraging algal blooms, some of which can be toxic. Mouldy bread contains lots of different toxins and, if eaten by dogs, may make dogs dangerously ill. http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/poison/mycotoxin



If you do see anyone feeding bread to the ducks please ask them to stop when the ducks and geese are no longer eating it. Whilst it isn’t good for the ducks at least this will prevent problems with water quality and remove the risk to dogs.