Raising an Easter Duckling In Ohio
The story I have to tell is about a stray duck that we raised until old enough to be on his own.
We came home from church on the Sunday after Easter and saw the group of ducks and geese carrying on over by the pond. ( it is a community pond) So, the kids went to investigate what was going on. They found a baby duck being picked on by the old ducks and geese. So, of course they had to rescue it. It had been dropped off. Evidently this happens every year after Easter. People give them to their children and grandchildren not realizing how much work they will be. I didn't know the first thing about taking care of a duck, but we put him in an old box with a bowl of water and fed him bread. He was so young, still had his yellow fuzz. The next morning, I called the vet and asked him what I needed to do. Then I headed out to the feed store and got some baby duck feed. My son took care of "Lucky" and cleaned up after him.
Lucky was so cute. He would follow us around the yard. He was right there with us. If we stopped suddenly, he would run into us. My son and his friends would play with him in the yard. He couldn't wait to get home from school. One of his friends and her sister got two ducks for Easter. They would bring them up to our house in a wagon and they would all three play together and chirp with each other. Lucky would be so sad when they left. One day, the kids found another stray duck. It had its adult feathers, but was very small and the old ducks were picking on it. So, after we moved Lucky to a pen in the yard, we took care of this duck, Hershey. (we thought it was a chocolate, but turned out not to be) Lucky and Hershey got along great. Lucky didn't seem as lonely. They all liked playing with the neighbor girls ducks, Sonny and Cher.
One night, Hershey got out of the pen on his own. So, we thought it was time to release Lucky too. He had his feathers. They seemed to do OK. We told the neighbor girls that we had released "our" ducks, so they came up (with the whole girl scout troop) and released their ducks too. Since I live right across from the pond I reassured the little girls that I would keep an eye on them. Which I did and was disappointed to see our Lucky was picking on Sonny and Cher. So, my son and I caught all four ducks and put them in our pen for the night. This seemed to work because they are still friends and staying together in a group.
There have been a few more ducks released on the pond, but they have been old enough to make it on their own and were accepted by the others. One, the kids named Happy because it was so friendly. It would come up to you and rub against you like a cat and let you pet it. It would follow us around the yard and even jumped up the step into my house.
Lucky and Happy are white ducks and there are three other white ducks on the pond, so it is hard now to tell them apart. For a while, we could. I knew all of their names and the neighbors were teasing me and calling me the duck lady. Now they are all on their own they only come around if we have food for them.
It was a great learning experience for my son and me.