A signboard appeared in the Pavilion Gardens in Buxton, Derbyshire which motivated people to feed bread to the ducks. The poster urged people to do so saying that they are 'dying of starvation'. The management of the park, however, claimed that they were not responsible for this particular signboard as reported by foreign media. A mother shared the picture of the official-looking sign on her Facebook account but had to delete it later on after facing backlash from angry netizens asking her to take the post down. Her Facebook post was shared thousands of times before it was deleted and it initiated a discussion on the internet about bread being healthy or harmful for the ducks.
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds spoke to media saying that it was alright to feed small portions of bread to ducks but people should also consider feeding them sweetcorn, porridge, oats, peas, and bird seeds. They further said that just like humans, these birds also need a variation in their diet to remain healthy. The RSPB added that even though ducks and swans can digest different types of bread, giving it in excess can actually harm them as they will feel full without taking other nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, etc which they require. They advised that it is alright to give small amounts of bread to them as they are not harmful.
There have been mixed reactions on the internet on feeding bread to ducks and swans since the poster emerged online. A Twitter user said that even though the picture says that it is ok to feed the birds bread, they urged people not to do so as bread is harmful to ducks. Another user tweeted his confusion on whether he is allowed to feed bread to ducks or not. A user asked how are people supposed to know what to do and what not as there are different guidelines all over. Another Twitter user wrote that one should not feed the duck bread the way one shouldn't feed themselves McDonald's but they do.
"You shouldn't feed ducks bread"— Naome ♕ (@naomenai) October 18, 2019
You shouldn't feed yourself McDonald's but you do.
There's a picture online saying it's ok to feed ducks bread.— Apola Pets (@ApolaPets) October 17, 2019
Please don't do that, bread is terribly bad for ducks.
How are we meant to know which guidance to follow?— Michelle 🇪🇺 (@MJMoore77) October 17, 2019
(With inputs from agencies)