It is truly Duck Season. All the ducks are looking for mates; even me. My life is different though.
My name is Ducky. I was brought to Fallen Feathers after I was taken from my nest. People thought that my parents abandoned me and then keep me for a few days because I was a cute little duckling. They handled me and played with me and they imprinted me. This means that I no longer associate with my fellow ducks/ducklings. I have lost my fear of humans and I know to rely on them for food rather than providing for myself.
Every year Fallen Feathers get lots of ducks that have legitimately lost their parents. The other big problem that the people at Fallen Feathers see is people buying ducklings (especially for Easter) and then wanting the babies released back to the wild or just because they change their mind. This isn’t practical and it’s not fair to us ducks (ducklings).
Please, DO NOT BUY A DUCK FOR A PET JUST BECAUSE IT IS CUTE OR IT IS A HOLIDAY.
DO NOT BUY A DUCK unless you have plenty of land (and a pond would be nice) and a place to keep your ducks safe.
Ducks cannot be Potty Trained. I also don’t like diapers and I’m very clever about getting them off.
DO NOT BUY A DUCK unless you know what it’s like to own ducks or are ready for a full 15-20 year commitment. Ducks live longer than your average pet, if kept safe and healthy.
If you still want a duck, call Fallen Feathers. We may be able to help.
I know all this because I have lived it. The people at Fallen Feathers tried to integrate me with other ducks (both my size and smaller) but I didn’t get along with them. I didn’t understand the other ducks. The ducklings my size picked on me. When I was put in with the smaller ducklings, I was scared and stayed in the corner. It didn’t take long before the volunteers figured out that I was imprinted.
Jody then had to figure out what to do with me. I am not a migratory bird. In fact, I can’t even really fly. I am a Rouen. I am the breed that is typically eaten for food. I needed a home as park life was not going to be for me. One family that volunteers at Fallen Feathers offered to take me. They have become my flock.
The family that adopted me are very good to me. Ducks stay awake nearly 20 hours a day so I have to entertain myself sometimes. We have a daily routine. We play nightly. I take baths regularly (I prefer warm water). I love to eat with the family, except bread. I don’t like bread and it’s actually not good for ducks. I really like vegetables – nearly anything green, but my absolute favorite is peas.
When the weather is nice, we go for walks. It stops the traffic in the neighborhood. I help with homework, cooking, sweeping the floors, taking care of the other pets food, and I make my own messes.
Obviously, my life is not like the other ducks. My family sacrifices a lot to have me as part of their life. If you aren’t ready to do the same, resist the urge to buy a Duckling in the next few months.
Ducky, the Rouen
P.S. I still love to sit on shoulders.
I don’t want to jinx anything, but it’s been a little quiet around Fallen Feathers these days. The last of the baby doves and pigeons are grown. Most of the intakes now are injured birds. It’s time to get projects done. Volunteers have been building new aviaries and taking down old structures that no longer fit our needs. We are “cleaning house”.
For two of us, it’s also our very lucky day. Today is the day that I get released. I’m Charles, the Coot. I’m also called a mud hen. I’m a water fowl that has a chicken like beak but webbed feet. I was rescued by the Brophy College Preparatory Rowing Team at Tempe Town Lake and brought all the way up to Fallen Feathers. Mac, the coach checks on me regularly, makes me feel very special.
Charles, the Coot and Mel, the Mallard
Charles, the Coot was very excited to be released and quickly joined up with fellow coots in the pond. Meanwhile, Mel, the Mallard, casually surveyed the area before joining the flock.
For more information about Fallen Feathers, please visit our website at www.fallenfeathers.org