I’m not a whole-hearted fan of feeding wildlife, including ducks, but if done the right way, it won’t impact heavily on our native fauna. Activities like feeding ducks creates an important bond between a child and the natural world that stays with them long after the activity is over.
Watching the poor little birds at our local park being fed copious amounts of bread makes me cringe. Even though it’s a great experience for children, it’s making the those ducks sick. They can’t receive all their nutritional needs from bread alone and in parks, where that’s their main source of food, it can cause abnormalities and shorter lifespans. In addition to this, ducklings growing up in this environment won’t learn to forage for food naturally, and their growth and development can suffer dramatically.
After trying to feed the ducks healthy alternatives like grapes or chopped apple, I found they just weren’t interested. They had developed an addiction to bits of ripped white bread that floated delicately on top the water.
So, I set out to develop a nutritious alternative to bread that wild ducks would eat!
Healthy Duck Food Recipe
- 1 cup Brown Rice
- Greens (I used broccoli, carrot and apple)
- 2 hard-boiled eggs (with shells)
- 2 tablespoons of wholemeal flour
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.
- Cook the rice, either in a rice cooker or as per the instructions on the back of the packet.
- Finely chop the broccoli.
- Grate carrot and apple.
- Smash eggs and ensure they are crushed and/or chopped well. The egg shells need to be very small.
- Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
- Roll the mixture into small marble-sized balls and place onto an oven proof tray.
- Cook in the oven for 10-13 minutes.
The mixture should come out soft and a little crumbly but still hold its shape.
It’s important to never overfeed ducks. Your meal should be given in small portions. Read more about the positives and negatives of feeding wildlife.
This recipe makes enough for three visits to feed the ducks. A nutritional snack containing carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, calcium and protein. All the things a growing native duck needs. It looks good enough to eat, doesn’t it?!
No, don’t include BBQ sauce. It was just for the photo!
Here are the results!
Don’t have enough time? You can still try peas, grated carrot or apple. Sometimes they do like it. Help spread the word about feeding ducks bread.