Soddy-Daisy gets new duck food

Bread kills waterfowl.

That is the message the city of Soddy-Daisy wants to get across to residents as it installs protein pellet dispensers at local parks for people to use to feed the city’s ducks and geese around Soddy Lake.

Todd Howard visited the City Commission March 6 to propose the installation of two to three pellet dispensing machines at Kids Park and Holly Park. He said when people throw bread to ducks, it does not immediately kill them, but it is harmful to their bodies.

“The floating protein pellets are good for everything that’s in the water,” he said. “You don’t have [the ducks] hang around the banks all day because they’re not starving.”

Howard said his company will install the machines for free and split the profits with the city 50-50.

If the city is not satisfied with the machines, he said he will remove them for free and there is no contract for the city to sign. Howard said he has installed pellet dispensers in 150 communities from here to Florida and has never had anyone express dissatisfaction.

The machines can reduce waterfowl feces in the parks by up to 60 percent, he added.

“We tried to get rid of them in the past,” Mayor Janice Cagle said of the city’s waterfowl. “I think they are permanent residents.”

Cagle asked Howard if he’d had any problems with vandalism of the machines in other communities, to which he responded that he had not.

Howard said that in addition to installing the machines, he would put up signs to educate the public that bread kills waterfowl.

“Within a month, you see a whole different attitude with the ducks,” he said.