Raising Ducklings and Goslings


raising ducks and geese

Lost Duck - Found!


You very kindly gave me advice over the phone a couple weeks ago when I called about a Buff duck a neighbor had picked up stray in a parking lot near our house in suburban New Orleans and had given my husband and me for "fostering" while the owner was sought. The neighbor chose us because we have a flock of 24 Muscovys we keep in a fenced yard and barn-let on our property. From the Buff's "follow us around the house," imprinted-on-humans behavior, we were quite sure he was someone's pet.

The story had a happy ending! After having him in the house for a number of days over New Years (all terrazzo floors), we were trying out the Buff in our barn-let, sequestered from our Muscovys but able to see them through a screen door, since we were afraid our larger, more macho males might harm him. But he looked so forlorn!--and had zero interest in even glancing at the Muscovys. A couple Fridays ago-just the day after I talked to you-my husband and I came home from work and decided to bring the Buff back into the house at least for the evening, since we rather missed his personable and goofy plopping around the kitchen at our heels. Then I noticed the light blinking on our answer machine. I retrieved the message, and it was a woman saying she thought we had her duck! She'd seen the "Found: pet duck" sign I'd put up in a copying/mailing store near where he was found. Oh, joy! Within the hour he was re-united with his human family.

The mom is a science teacher at a school up the road, and the Buff had been the sole duck that had hatched successfully and survived, in an incubator-and-eggs project she'd done with her students last Spring. She'd taken the duck home as a pet after a number of weeks and was keeping him in a large cage the family had built and put in their garage. She said they'd let him out whenever they were in the yard gardening, etc., and the day our neighbor found him, he'd wandered off.

The family had two daughters that we met-one 13, one somewhat older. The mom showed us the Buff's baby pictures that were taken when he hatched and then when he was an adorable fluffy duckling. The scene of my husband and me talking to the mom and the daughters with the Buff happily waddling around at our feet and having his first supper back home was beyond sweet.

So-thanks for listening to my story, and thanks for your advice. By the way, I gave the family the name and website of Metzer Farms, in case they want to get their duck a companion (which I said might be a nice idea).

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