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Feeding the Ducks

September 3, 2010

The moment you have children you suddenly become an expert on all the best duck hangouts. There isn’t a patch of water within a five mile radius of your house that hasn’t been evaluated according to the quantity and quality of its ducks.

There are several important factors to consider when choosing your ‘local’.

How busy is it? You don’t want to rock up to a place teeming with other people’s kids. Everyone knows that children unknown to you are horrible. Obviously your kids are perfect and your friends’ kids are pretty cool too but everyone else’s’ kids?  Ugly. Lacking in discipline. Noisy. Boisterous. Best avoided.

Quantity of ducks: You need a good number of ducks to attract the attention of your child who’d probably rather be playing their DS anyway. Too few ducks and you’ve got no hope.

Quality of ducks: Now I never knew that I could suffer from duck snobbery, but let’s face it, Mallards are such old hat. Any decent suburban pond will have a whole collection of beautiful ducks that don’t belong here and are probably wreaking havoc with the local ecosystem.  Much better than boring old mallards.

Depth of pond: Yes I know that little Johnny has ‘an affinity with water’ and has been swimming underwater since birth. And Yes I *have* seen the pictures. Twice. But even so, the risk assessment expert which is lurking in every mum of a child of crawling age or over would be much happier with a pond that is approximately knee deep to a grasshopper.

How hungry the ducks are: Yes, it would seem that ducks can be overfed.  Who’d have thought it?  The first time we took Lyra to feed the ducks we were bitterly disappointed that they turned their noses up at our home baked ciabatta.  Now either they’d have preferred granary rolls, or they were overfed.  Either way, at a few weeks old, Lyra was none too bothered and in all honesty the trip was more a rite of passage for us as parents than it was for her.

I’m very lucky to have a beautiful, not too deep pond full of plentiful hungry foreign ducks just up the road.  Lyra and I visit whenever I can muster the energy to walk a mile uphill (let’s just say it’s not a frequent treat).  When we get there she shows her delight by waving at the ducks excitedly – then eating all the bread.  I’m pretty sure that when she can speak I’ll realise the little tike is just getting their attention so she can taunt them.

That’s my girl!


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  1. mummyandkatie permalink

    ah one of katies favourite pass times- watching mummy feed ducks whilst she eats bread. Fresh, beautiful top quality bread as I know that is exactly what happens. She eats better then than at any mealtime 😛

    • isn’t that just typical! You must have the best fed ducks for miles around. dead posh tastes they’ll have!

  2. seeingasiam permalink

    Oh brilliant. We live near a river and within cycling distance of one of the best country parks in the UK (as seen in The Times…or was it The Guardian?)

    Anyway…there are ducks, seagulls, swans, coots, grebe, moorhens and heron…so no cool foreigners but plenty to see and they’re always hungry…especially the cute white ones who like to show off – see here !

  3. So funny, had me proper giggling!! Duck snobbery, and taunting the poor things – she’s growing up well!! As she gets older you’ll have to teach her the value of a good aim – aim at the head and watch the duck duck. Or aim into an empty patch of water and watch the fight that ensues!

  4. SuzyPink permalink

    Baby Pink is still at the eating the bread stage – I do feed her – honest! Master Pink however gets very enthusiastic, and feeds all the ducks indivdually by hand as far as he can stretch, and on warm days has been known to paddle in to give them the last crumbs!
    We have a lovely spot on the banks of the RiverStour where we feed the ducks, and if feeling indulgent or if the Ducks really couldn’t eat another crumb we pop over the road to the local restaurant that can provide ice creams and cow watching!

  5. My elder daughter absolutely hilarious the first time we fed the ducks! I’m not sure whether the ducks ate more than she did tho!

    A funny post – great stuff!

    • Lyra is only now really getting interested in them. She even made a ‘duh’ sound this time which as an over enthusiastic mother I’m going to take as read was ‘Duck’

  6. Verity permalink

    The ducks up the road from us are often overfed it’s a question of timing; mid Sunday afternoon is a bad time as they’ve been fed all weekend. The other week there were whole slices of bread abandoned floating in the water. I don’t even jave a child I shouldn’t know this

    • I think you must have a secret lovechild none of us know about. There’s no way a civilian would have this level of knowledge verity!

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