Are you ready to abandon your Easter ducklings yet?

Are you ready to abandon your Easter ducklings yet? thumbnail
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Do NOT get Easter ducklings unless you’re fully prepared to take good care of your ducks (which can live for over 10 years). If you already have Easter ducklings that you can no longer care for, here are some tips to help you find them a good, safe permanent home. 

Impulse-buying Easter ducklings: a practice that needs to end 

Did you get adorable little Easter ducklings for your kids? If so, you’ve probably since realized that these fluffy little balls of cuteness aren’t actually toys, they’re living creatures that require lots of attention and care – including unique nutritional needs.

They also poop. A lot.

How can something this small and cute poop and eat so much? Easter ducklings / welsh harlequin ducklings

How can something this small and cute poop and eat so much?

After a few days, your kids quickly lost interest in their Easter ducklings, and now it’s up to you to feed and clean up behind your ducklings, which are more than doubling in size every single week, eating more and pooping in quantities that now seem downright elephantine.

Then after stepping in one too many piles of duck poo while your kids are busy playing video games, the stark reality dawns on you: “Oh [insert expletive], I’ve made a terrible mistake. I’ve got to find somewhere to take these ducks.”

If this sounds like you, yes, you have indeed made a terrible mistake by buying animals you weren’t prepared to take care of. However, we’re not here to chastise you, we’re here to help you figure out what you should do next to ensure that the next stop on your unwanted pets’ journey is a good one…

What should you do with your unwanted Easter ducklings (or ducks)?

Since we’re crazy duck people and we write about ducks quite a bit here on our blog, people often email us with duck questions.

An adorable picture (just because) of Jackson, one of our Welsh Harlequin ducks, warming her ducklings on a cool day. Eater ducklings / welsh harlequin ducklings with mom

An adorable picture (just because) of Jackson, one of our Welsh Harlequin ducks, warming her ducklings on a cool day.

Recently, someone reached out to us to try to figure out what to do with her Easter ducklings who had grown into adult ducks. We promised to anonymize her name/info, but what follows below is a close-to-verbatim copy and paste of our email exchange. We wanted to share this conversation with you just in case you’re in the same predicament with tens of thousands of other people across the country: you need to find a new home for your ducks.

Email from Jane Doe: 

I purchased two pekin ducks for my daughter for Easter. Admittedly it was an impulse purchase. I am not able to have animals where I live – so they have been in hiding in the back yard in a small pen. I can’t stand the thought of someone taking them to eat and I will not put them out in the wild because they can’t fly. They are beautiful ducks that hang together and love our company. I’m sick to my stomach. I found your farm. I’d drive the 10 hours to get to your farm if you will take them. We live in [city]. I will even donate to support them.

Thank you for your consideration and advice.

Our response: 

Yours is a very familiar story and we really wish people/companies would stop selling ducks at Easter time because many (perhaps most?) suffer a terrible death as a result. Unlike you, most people don’t care enough to try to re-home their ducks, and instead opt to dump them at a nearby pond. Since domesticated ducks are basically defenseless, flightless, and clueless about how to survive/eat in the wild, almost all of these released birds will be dead in 1-7 days due to predation, starvation, or injury.

Ok, now to your needs: we’re actually not a farm, we’re an urban “homestead” (I don’t really care for that word). We currently have seven ducks and that’s all we can manage on our property. However, we don’t want to leave you or your ducks in a bad position…

We’d like to ask you for the following: let us help you re-home your ducks and share this whole experience (we’d make you anonymous) on our blog. Hopefully, your story can help be a precautionary example of why people should avoid buying ducks (or other animals) unless they fully understand what’s involved and have the ability to give them a good life. We can tell you from years of personal experience that ducks are intelligent, social, emotional creatures and the idea of them suffering is quite upsetting to us.

Let’s start here: Majestic Waterfowl provides a list of all bird sanctuaries in the US. 

See which of those is closest to you, give them a call, and see if they’ll take your ducks. I’d be surprised if you don’t find a taker with one of these groups. If somebody gets sanctimonious or disparaging with you, don’t take it personally – you made a mistake and you’re doing the right thing to try to fix it. Also, please consider giving them a financial donation when you drop off your ducklings/ducks. 

Please do me a favor and let me know how this first step goes? If you don’t have luck, we’ll figure out a Plan B. Again, we’d really like to share your experiences on our blog anonymously if that’s ok.

Thanks for reaching out and caring about your ducks!

Happy Easter duckling ending…

Easter ducklings: How long can a domesticated, flightless duck survive in the wild on a pond? Probably about the same amount of time you could survive if you were dropped into the middle of a forest and forced to fend for yourself.

How long can a domesticated, flightless duck survive in the wild on a pond? Probably about the same amount of time you could survive if you were dropped into the middle of a forest and forced to fend for yourself.

Thankfully, Jane Doe was able to find a great new home for her Easter ducklings. We really appreciate her concern and compassion, which fueled her desire to do the right thing and find her ducks a new home rather than simply dumping them in a nearby pond to suffer and die. If you’re in the same situation, we hope you’ve found this information helpful!

IF you go through the steps above and are still unable to find a sanctuary for your ducks, also consider finding local backyard duck enthusiasts (via facebook or other online sources) who are already prepared to raise ducks and are interested in having more. 

Want to know how to raise ducklings? 

If it’s not yet Easter and you’re considering getting Easter ducklings for yourself or your kids, please take time to read all about how to raise them. These articles will help: 

Please share this article to keep more people from impulse buying ducklings or other animals at Easter (or any time) AND to help anyone who needs to re-home their ducks find a good alternative.

Quack, quack,

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  • Reply
    December 15, 2022 at 8:29 am

    I have a fat pekin drake I am going to have to find a new home for. He is duck aggressive. He doesn’t care if his victims are male or female. He likes older kids to chase and be chased by. He’d make someone a fun pet. He is just too much of a jerk to other ducks. He will go after other ducks unprovoked and if other ducks are getting attention. His name is “Chicken Little”.

  • Reply
    Alan Goldberg
    August 14, 2021 at 10:30 am

    I rescued two Muscovy ducks. I have had them for 3 years. we are moving and will not be able to take them to our new home. there is not yard and we are moving into a condo. If anyone has ideas on adopting out the Muscovy couple. They are well behaved, friendly, get along with other pets, actually come when you call their names. They were abandoned once and I need to find them a home.. Any advice will help… Stuck in Venice.. my contact is 3120-823-5058

    • Reply
      Aaron von Frank
      August 14, 2021 at 1:59 pm

      Oh no! Sorry to hear this Alan. Wish there was something we could do personally. You may want to call local animal rescues and see what advice they have. Another thing you could do is see if there are any local facebook groups for backyard chicken/duck/waterfowl enthusiasts and see if you can find anyone willing to adopt there. Best of luck!

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