Why Feeding Bread to Ducks is BAD

Many birders were first introduced to the joys of wildlife by feeding ducks bread at a local park or pond. While we may have thought this was an environmentally responsible and cute way to dispose of old or stale bread, offering bread to ducks is actually unhealthy and potentially dangerous for the birds.
What Bread Is to Ducks
Bread and similar products such as crackers, chips, crisps, donuts, cereal and popcorn are great sources of carbohydrates but they offer little nutritional value for ducks, geese, swans and other birds.
In fact, bread is the equivalent to junk food for birds. Like humans would suffer from a diet of nothing but candy, too much bread can lead ducks to excessive weight and malnutrition as well as many other problems.
Offered in extreme moderation, bread is not immediately harmful to ducks or birds, but that moderation is hard to judge. While one family may only feed the ducks once every few months, there may be many other families and individuals who are feeding the ducks bread far more frequently. This can lead to a diet based almost solely on unhealthy bread products. Environmentally conscious birders will refrain from offering any bread or bread-like products to ducks to avoid nutritional problems and other issues caused by a carbohydrate-rich diet.
Why Bread is Bad for Ducks
Not only can bread be fattening to ducks and make it harder for them to fly and otherwise evade predators, feeding ducks bread can also lead to other serious problems.
Duckling Malnutrition: Ducklings require a varied diet and plenty of natural plants and insect proteins to mature properly. If ducks are regularly fed bread, ducklings will not receive adequate nutrition for proper growth and development. Furthermore, because ducks will eagerly seek out an easy food source such as human handouts, ducklings will not learn to forage for natural foods as easily.
Overcrowding: Where an easy food source is abundant, ducks and other waterfowl will lay more eggs and the pond or lake will become overcrowded. This makes it more difficult for the birds to seek out healthier food sources and increases the likelihood of territorial aggression. In overcrowded areas, predators can also thrive and will impact other bird populations, and diseases can quickly spread through large flocks as well.
Pollution: When too much bread is offered to ducks, not all of it will be eaten. Soggy, uneaten bread is unsightly and rotting bread can create noxious odors as well as lead to greater algae growth that can clog waterways and crowd out more desirable plants. This concentrates the pollution and can eventually eradicate fish, amphibians, crustaceans and other life in the vicinity, making good food sources even scarcer.
Diseases: Feeding ducks bread can increase the spread of diseases in two ways. First, a carbohydrate-rich diet leads to greater defecation, and bird feces easily harbor bacteria responsible for numerous diseases, including avian botulism. Second, moldy bread can cause aspergillosis, a fatal lung infection that can decimate entire duck and waterfowl flocks.
Pest Attraction: Rotting food leftover from sated ducks will attract other unwelcome pests such as rats, mice and insects. These pests can also harbor additional diseases that can be dangerous to humans and threatening to other wildlife.
Loss of Natural Behavior: When birds become accustomed to handouts, they lose their natural fear of humans and may become aggressive in order to get more food. Their loss of fear can also cause other dangers, such as a willingness to cross busy roads in order to reach picnickers and other likely sources of food.
What to Feed Ducks Instead of Bread
Wild ducks and waterfowl can live longer, healthier lives by relying on natural food sources such as aquatic plants, seeds, grasses and insects rather than taking handouts from well-meaning humans. If you still want to feed the ducks – and doing so can be an enchanting experience – there are many healthier alternatives to offer instead of bread.
Great foods to feed ducks include:
• Grapes (cut in half to prevent choking)
• Cracked corn, barley, oats, birdseed or other grains
• Frozen peas or corn kernels (defrosted first, but no need to cook)
• Duck feed pellets available from farm supply stores
Don’t Waste Bread
For many people, feeding ducks bread is not only a way to interact with wildlife, but it is also a handy way to dispose of old, stale bread. There are many other useful ways to dispose of unwanted bread, however, including…
• Adding bread to a compost pile to create mulch and fertilizer for bird-friendly landscaping
• Trying stale bread recipes such as bread pudding or homemade dressing and stuffing
• Toasting stale bread for homemade croutons, bread crumbs or garlic toast
Of course, the best way to use up stale bread without feeding it to ducks is to avoid having any leftover bread in the first place. Bread can be easily frozen until needed, or birders can monitor their menus and shopping to ensure there are no leftover products that would be tempting to feed to ducks.

Thank you for the information https://www.thespruce.com/is-feeding-ducks-bread-bad-386564

AGM 8th November 2017 – Report



Minutes of the 52nd Annual General meeting at the Ex-servicemen’s Club on Wednesday 8th November 2017.


The Chairman opened the meeting at 7.30pm.


Mr Paul Bowen (Abergavenny)


The minutes of the last Annual General Meeting held on 8 November 2016 were read and accepted.

    • A Rees reported that although there had been mentions of the introduction of car parking charges on a number of occasions by the body managing Cyfarthfa Park no concrete proposals have been made.
    • With regard to minute 3.3 of the last AGM in respect of who to contact to report poaching incidents it was confirmed that it should be to National Resources Wales bailiffs on their hotline number 03000 653000. NRW cards bearing the number were available in this meeting for members to keep.
    • The Chairman reported that a fruitful meeting had taken place with the local Police but since then there had been no contact from them because, we believe, due to staff changes by them
    • Mr A. Rees reported that the formation of a new company was now progressing quickly and a favourable outcome is anticipated.
    • There has been no model boat activity on Cyfarthfa Lake for several months due to the ill health of their organizer. Also there were several arising from their activities such as going out of bounds and on one occasion damage an underwater gabion basket placed in the lake by us.
    • The Association has continued to oppose open access by canoeists to inland waters, but the final outcome of any decisions by the Welsh Assembly appears as far away as ever.
    • The Chairman circulated details of salmon catches on our waters from 1984 to date, which showed a fairly level line on a graph, although a decline in numbers caught this year meant a reduction in the value of the Association by £50K. Also a large reduction in the number of salmon entering the River Taff has been seen by NRW.



In accordance with the previously agreed policy of improving the natural quality of Brown Trout fishing on our River Taff system the number of farm reared fish was reduced to 250 10” – 12” trout this year.  Since the reduction of farmed trout being stocked a significant improvement in the size and quantity of fish has been noted.  From 2018, for a period of 3 years no farmed fish will be introduced.  Cantref received a stocking of 600 rainbow trout.

Our coarse lakes and ponds were stocked with 375lbs of mixed silver fish from Redhill Farm plus 500 Bream, 250 Perch, 280 Gudgeon plus Roach and Rudd were shared between New Pond Penywern and Cyfarthfa Lake.  Also 100 small Crucian carp were placed into the small ponds at the rear of the Castle to bring on for possible transfer to other ponds when larger and more mature.  No coarse fish are contemplated for Fish Pond Penywern due to uncertainty of the works proposed for the A465 duelling


The pollution problems of the Taf Fechan above Cefn Bridge is now close to being resolved.  It has been found that 13 properties in Lakeside Gardens have connected waste producing appliances to the surface water drains instead of the soil system.  Also a location in Prince Charles Hospital has similarly been misconnected.  To rectify the situation the Local Authority has issued statutory notices to put matters right.

An oil leak occurred at the Llwyn Onn treatment works which lead to contamination of the River Taf Fawr.  Initially Welsh Water who own the plant denied the leak was from their plant but later admitted liability.  The leak was on-going for several weeks before being rectified although it is not thought to have caused lasting damage.

There were a number of reports of large amounts of discoloured water entering the river opposite Caedraw Flats over several weeks.  Investigations by our members and Natural Resources Wales pinpointed the source to be the development at Trago Mills and action was taken to stop the problem successfully.

Another form of pollution has been the spread of alien species the American Signal Crayfish which was initially only in Cyfarthfa Lake but is also now being seen in both Penywern Ponds

Litter is also a major polluter of our waters with large amounts being regularly cleared from Penywern Ponds which can be mostly attributed to anglers.  There has also been numerous incidents of dumping along the river from Blue Pool down through Cefn Lido, the Fire Station, Effi Astics, Troedyrhiw and Aberfan.  Culprits have included Merthyr Council workmen who cut up a fallen tree and dumped it into the Taf Fechan above Cefn Bridge.  Discarded line left by an angler in Cyfarthfa Lake lead to a cygnet having to be captured after having swallowing a hook and becoming entangled in the line.  This is not the first time this sort of thing has happened and members should be a lot more careful when in the vicinity of wild life.


This year saw the 50th Anniversary of the Association and to celebrate this an event was held in the function room of Merthyr Tydfil Football Club.   More than 100 members and guests attended including our new President Sir Roger Jones OBE and the Mayor of Merthyr Tydfil.  Entertainment was provided by the Tenovus Choir an excellent buffet was served.  Steve Charleston did a collection on the night for Tenovus and over £380 was raised.  The highlight of the night was the honouring of Malcolm Williams, Brian Walkley, Gary Davies, Tony Rees and Graham Davies who were made life members of the Association, the 5 have been members of the Committee for the whole of the 50 years of the clubs existence and also were members of Merthyr and District and St Tydfil Angling Association, before the amalgamated to form Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association.  The committee are grateful to Rhys Evans and Nigel Morgan for organizing the event.


Poaching and illegal fishing of Association waters continue to be a major problem with bailiffs dealing with numerous incidents.  Particular problem areas are Penywern Ponds, and the River Taff at Weir Pool in town, Troedyrhiw, Merthyr Vale and Aberfan, discussions have taken place with NRW bailiffs.  Also Welsh Water bailiffs ejected 4 poachers from Cantref.


The Committee continues towards the formation of a new holding company to protect its assets but it is a very complex issue and consequently taking a long time to progress.


The committee have been in discussions to become involved with the development of a coarse fishery as part of a land reclamation scheme near Hirwaun.  It is a large site which already has several ponds which could become an excellent facility but will need significant investment.  These discussions are at an early stage.

Earlier in the year the Committee agreed that in future juniors of 9 years and under could fish our waters free of charge when accompanied by our adult members.

Merthyr Council have agreed to a model boat club having use of an area of the Park Lake, which was agreed by ourselves.  Subsequently they did make some use of the water but caused several problems like going out of bounds and in one instance caused damage to one of our gabion baskets.  Currently the situation of their status on the Lake is unknown.

Also in the Park, the Association has been making a lot of use of the new extension to the model railway building particularly in tutorial sessions with both younger and older anglers.  On one occasion we were grateful to members of the Welsh Fly Fishing Teams who came along to pass on their expert knowledge.  The building is proving an excellent base for our coaches who continue to work tirelessly to help the development of angling in our area and beyond.

Work has been undertaken to try to rectify the long standing problem of water leakage from the Park Lake.  Unfortunately the efforts made have proved unsuccessful.

In the last AGM the Chairman mentioned that the Welsh Assembly Government had agreed to include a footbridge o link both ponds at Penywern.  This can now be seen on a video showing the new road from Dowlias Top to Hirwaun (and back) also briefly shown are images of both ponds.  It can be seen by entering “A465 section 5” on Facebook and scrolling down to the appropriate items.  The work is currently scheduled to start in late 2019 and Tony Rees has been liaising with the consultants managing the scheme for several months, although things are still very much up in the air as to programme and exact route near Fish Pond.

Welsh Water have introduced a catch and release rule for Talybont and members are requested to abide by this.

Natural Resources Wales are still consulting on the proposed introduction of catch and release for migratory fish in Wales.  The Association will continue its opposition to these until all factors of why here has been a decline in salmon stocks has been considered, for example the greater control of fish eating birds such as cormorants and goosanders.


In 2017 we again sold the same number of Permits but our turnover was down slightly as we increased our sales to Senior Citizens and I was slightly disappointed as quite a few new senior members did not re-join:

The proposal is for all permits to remain at the 2016 prices: at £60 for all seniors £35 for Senior Citizens and leaving the Juniors, whose membership was a very marginal increase on 2016, at last year’s prices of over 12 £20 and 9-12 years £15. Under nine will be free as long as A Senior member or Senior Citizen is a member.

During 2017 we have again received a Sports Council Grant of £1,500. This will be used to fund a new Level 1 Coach as well as pay for the use of the new Railway building on Cyfarthfa Lake that we are using for coaching. We ran Coaching /demonstration classes in the Spring and Autumn and they could have been better attended. My thanks go out to the coaches for supporting these events.

We are still in discussion with Merthyr Council regarding our lease. Currently they are carrying out a survey of the waters they own.

In 2017 I again kept our funds in three banks NatWest, Hodge Bank Cardiff and Hampshire bank. NatWest interest is abysmal but as we spend through the year from that account we need to keep it.

On Grant Funding as well as Sport Wales we have been lucky to secure a Coaching Grant of £4.5k from Natural Resources Wales and one of £4.5k, from them as well, for fishery improvements.

I would like to thank Keith Jones, Malcolm Williams, John Coombs, who have been generous with their time in turning out to help us keep our waters litter free and sympathize with them on the continual need to have to do this when much of the litter is angler related. I must mention the help that our two youngest committee members our Secretary Rhys Evans and Tom Payne together with a newest addition, he is also having one himself Jonny Walker. They have been helping the oldest on the committee to improve both our lake in the park and Top Pond.

In 2017 we were again awarded the Green flag for our work on Top Pond Penywern. We thank Keith Jones and the team who help when Keith is away for helping us to get this award. I can also inform you that we have been short listed for a Keep Wales Tidy Award for the way we keep Penywern.

I have three tickets so I have asked Keith and Malcolm to come to the Award ceremony in Cardiff on the 20th November.

On the Newsletter side my only wish is that more members would send in more information to John Coombs and myself and that more members would register with Rhys the Secretary to receive the newsletter we only have 343 on the list.  This is one of our best means of contact. I have asked that we look at the Facebook page to see if we can do better as it looks as though it has stagnated.

Licence applications are already coming in for 2018 both by post and requests on Email.

During the year I was asked to meet with a person from a Group called Sported. There are quite a few organisations like this looking to help organisations like ours. I was asked as the person who approached was interested and keen on the work she has seen us doing at Cyfarthfa Lake with Children. It has not cost anything but I will wait to see how it goes they have accepted us and asked for another meeting. I will invite another to come with me.

Balance sheets are available if you send me and email: tonyreesuk@googlemail.com

Tony Rees Treasurer

If you wish to see a copy of the Association Accounts for the current financial year please contact Tony Rees on 01685 723520 or tonyreesuk@googlemail.com


President Sir Roger Jones OBE Sir Roger Jones OBE
Vice Presidents Ron Gover

Geoff Pritchard

Mark Jones

Gareth Harvey

Phil Williams

Ron Gover

Geoff Pritchard

Mark Jones

Gareth Harvey

Dawn Bowen AM

Gerald Jones MP

Chairman Gary Davies Gary Davies
Vice Chairman Keith Jones Keith Jones
Secretary Rhys Evans Rhys Evans
Treasurer Tony Rees Tony Rees
Minutes Secretary Graham Davies Graham Davies
Membership Secretary Malcolm Williams Malcolm Williams
Comp Sec – Coarse Doug Hawkins Doug Hawkins
Comp Sec – Trout Gavin Jehu Gavin Jehu
Ladies Comp Sec Catherine Brown Catherine Brown
IT Officer John Coombs John Coombs
Press Officer Daniel Popp John Coombs
Child Protection Officer Doug Hawkins Doug Hawkins
Child Protection Officer Tony Rees MBE Tony Rees MBE
Child Protection Officer Mark Sweeney Mark Sweeney
Assistant  Junior Sec Mark Sweeney Mark Sweeney
Head Bailiff Steve Charleston Steve Charleston
Pollution Officer Ron Jones Ron Jones
Committee Nigel Morgan

Brian Walkley

David Matthews

John Kinsey

Hywel Jones

Alan Power

Simon Collier

Tom Payne

Jason Payne#

Mark Williams


Nigel Morgan

Brian Walkley

David Matthews

John Kinsey

Hywel Jones

Alan Power

Simon Collier



Mark Williams

Co- Opted Later John Walker

Tom Jehu

John Walker

Tom Jehu

  1. PERMIT FEES 2018

The committee propose that there will be no increase in membership fees or day charges for 2018


There have been no requests from Members in accordance with the 28 day rule nor are there any recommendations from the committee to alter or supplement any rules and regulation this year.

    • Peter Williams pointed out a perceived shortage of small trout in the river. In reply Ron Jones stated that this year it was his experience that there was in fact an increase in the number of small trout showing and a good mix of sizes apparent.

There being no further business the meeting closed at 8.45pm


Top Pond – 17th Nov 2017

Dae Couzens fished Top Pond on Friday 17th Nov 17 and waited patiently for 3 bites and landed 3 lovely bream all around 3lbs.  He road tested his new hat as well, it passed!!



Please find ABOVE a petition asking Welsh Government to apply a holistic and truly sustainable approach to stimulating improved and sustained stocks of Salmon and Sea -trout in Welsh Rivers.
This limits risk to our fishing clubs and thus our wonderful pursuit of FISHING.
It is my hope, that if we collectively reach out to all fishermen; fishing clubs and representative organisations; parts of our local economies that could suffer due to draconian fishiery policies, and to the wider community who recognise the adaption that is required in the present environmental management system:
Please sign this petition if you concurr with the measures listed.
Please share this petition with as many contacts (IN WALES AND BEYOND) as you feel able to, to allow fishermen to shape a sustainable future for fishing