NHS Animal Control has advice for you and your domesticated duck

By on December 13, 2016

Tractor Supply and other smaller farm-feed-and-grain-type stores get animals periodically throughout the year. Bunnies can be found there for sale around Easter. Ducks and chicks can be found there around that same time. People buy them because they’re cute, raise them until they are too messy or too loud or neighbors complain about a smell, then the animals have to go somewhere.

Lately, the Nebraska Humane Society and Wildlife Rehab have been doing a number of duck rescues. These are domesticated ducks that have been released at any old pond or lake, have trouble finding food, and experience much difficulty adjusting to “the wild.”

The Nebraska Humane Society’s Animal control division has some advice for duck owners. If you have a domesticated duck, please don’t release him or her at an area pond or lake. Once domesticated, these animals rely on their owners for food, and releasing ducks, especially in the winter months, when waters freeze over leaves these birds with no resources. Without people to feed them, they can easily starve.

A case in point is Ferdinand. Ferdinand is an Indian Runner Duck who appeared at Benson Lake with no flock, likely dropped there by his owner. It took Animal Control officers some trial and error to work out a system to catch him. They used a remote controlled car, to carry a rope
across the ice, then “herded” Ferdinand to one side using the rope as a kind of “fence.” Once he was off the ice they were able to complete the capture. Ferd is currently in a quiet kennel at the Nebraska Humane Society with a full bowl of food. He is thin, but pretty social and seems to
appreciate being warm. He would like a duck friendly farm or home of his own.
Inquiries can call 402-444-7800 ext 2212.
Again, if you’ve got to release your domesticated duckie, find a duck-friendly farm, a home where he or she can be with other domesticated ducks, or utilize community resources like animal control for guidance. Ducks are cute and chicks are fun for kids at Easter, but remember, they get big, dirty, and smelly. If you’ve got to release them, be responsible and make its new home one it can thrive in.

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