Duck living on cow feed?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by BCBunnies, Jun 14, 2011.

  1. BCBunnies

    BCBunnies Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 6, 2011
    So I have a family friend that I've known for the last 15 years or so, she currently works rescuing Boxers and helping them find new forever homes. Well a few days ago she let me know about a duck that had been taken in to her vet's office. It once belonged to an owner that kept it with a pit bull puppy where it apparently had come to no visible harm but nevertheless attracted attention from someone thinking it needed a better home. So this lady (not my family friend) "rescues" this little duck and brings it home thinking she has done the duck a favor.

    At home her toy poodle attacks the duck and removes most of the feathers from it's back. So she thinks there is no future left for the little girl and takes it to the vet to have it put down. The vet offers to take care of the duck and rehab it thinking she has a pretty good chance of growing the feathers back. It has been several weeks since the duck has been there and she is well recovered. When I called in yesterday the vet tech sounded excited that they were going to have a home for their little duck.

    I headed up today and got into the office just after 10:30 I spoke with one of the techs and we went to see the little duck. Cute beautiful little girl with all white feathers and she's outside in a pen with a calf. Well I figure at least it's better than being cooped up in a dog cage like she previously was right... So I ask the tech if we might be able to take the little girl home and she has had a request from the vet to speak with me before I take her home.

    Only problem he's not due back til 1pm. So I tell her alright I'll just take the kiddo out for lunch and he can play at the park for a little bit while we wait for vet to return. I call in after one to check and see if the vet has returned only to find out he "should" be back sometime after 1:15 but might not show up til his surgical appointment which is later at 1:30-1:45. So I decide to take a chance that he will return shortly and make the drive back over to wait for him to get in.

    We don't wait too long til the vet shows up and both my son and I are very pleased that we will be taking home our new little family member shortly. We talk about the little duck and I explain what sort of area I have ready for a little duck and I also tell him I am prepared to obtain another duck so it will have some company of it's own kind to socialize with but that in the meantime I will be putting it with my 3 month old chickens. I ask about what feed it is on so I can make sure I buy that and he tells me she is eating the cow feed. Calf pellets with sweet feed mixed in.... I'm thinking wait so he's a vet and isn't feeding it duck food but I keep my mouth shut.

    Well the vet goes on after laying this shocker on me that he intends to keep the little duck as a friend for the calf. I'm a little peeved that:
    1 the vet isn't even using duck food or providing any clean water for the duck
    2 that if he didn't want to get rid of it why didn't he tell his techs this so they wouldn't promise the duck to us and
    3 why he could sit there and tell a 5 year old that he wanted to keep it for his calf

    I have to say I'm proud of my son for taking it like a big kid. He didn't cry and he told me that he's glad the duckie has a friend in the calf. I'm sorry for the rant I just feel dissapointed that he would change his mind and not want to even seem to care about providing proper care for the little duck. So I'm thinking about finding a couple of ducks elsewhere for our family.
  2. the duck whisperer

    the duck whisperer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 22, 2011
    It is very unresponsible to feed a duck food that is meant for something that isnt a duck. That can make her sick. Thats my opinion but she should not be eating cow food a vet should know that.shame
  3. BCBunnies

    BCBunnies Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 6, 2011
    If anyone can think of something I may be able to do to get this little girl a better home where someone is able to feed and house her appropriately even if it is not at my home I would appreciate the advice.
  4. they'reHISchickens

    they'reHISchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 31, 2008
    How do you know that the calf feed isn't adequate for the duck? Are you a nutritionist? Do you know what is in calf feed? I am certain that many many tame and wild ducks have lived on farms where they eat what they can scavenge from the feed cattle bunk and other places that you probably don't want to know about.
    I really don't want to upset you, but in real life, calf feed is ground up grain. My parents and many old farmers raised poultry, hogs, and cattle on the same rations of ground grain - various amounts to various species.
    There is nothing mysterious in packaged duck food. The vet knows this and the duck and calf will get along just fine. The species have mixed for centuries.

    Yes, the vet should have told his staff that he planned to keep the duck. On the other hand, the duck has been there for many weeks already. perhaps he figured it was obvious.
  5. Two Creeks Farm

    Two Creeks Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 23, 2011
    Hedgesville, WV
    Cant keep the wild ducks out of the calf feed here....nor the goats, or birds....its like barnyard crack LOL!
  6. BCBunnies

    BCBunnies Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 6, 2011
    I'm sorry to ruffle your feathers HIS, but I want to make sure this little duck is taken care of I care about it's well-being even if it means it won't be coming to my home although I am more than willing to give her a permanent home. And yes I do know what is in calf feed but also know the amount of sweet feed being put into the feed pan is like candy for both animals. So I am asking politely if you want to argue about this I would ask that you please take it to a different place what I would like help with is if there can be anything done to provide better conditions for this little duck thank you very much for your cooperation.
  7. BrattishTaz

    BrattishTaz Roo Magnet

    Jan 8, 2011
    Tampa Area, Florida
    I really don't think there is anything you can do. The duck belongs to someone...a vet at is his right to care for it the way he sees fit. I know that is not what you want to hear but I assume you want honest responses. [​IMG]

    I do think it was wrong for the office staff to keep you waiting though.
  8. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    The duck will be fine.. its not your concern at all.
    I'm pretty SURE the vet will take care of it just fine. Hes taken care of it this far, hasnt he?
    Its eating..its has a decent place to live....
    Dont be bitter because the vet didnt want you to have it. Thats not right.
    My advice is to mind your business and get yourself your own duckies! [​IMG]
  9. duckluck

    duckluck Dulcimyrh Ducks

    Oct 22, 2009
    I'd tell the vet flat out what I am thinking about the food situation AND what the office staff said/promised. I've met my share of vets that aren't the sharpest crayons in the box, and since the OP doesn't mention what sort of vet this is, I'm going to go on a wild hair guess here and go with the notion that they don't know a whole lot about ducks. Food production animal vets are in short supply in this country compared to other vets. And, if they are a vet, I think they can afford proper food geared for ducks. We talk a lot on here about how ducks should be fed, raised and socialized and I hardly think a vet should be held to a lesser standard.
  10. aduckstolemyheart

    aduckstolemyheart Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2010
    Quote:Agreed. I have met my share of vets who, although good intentioned, and good owners, know very little about ducks. Does that mean he's a bad vet? No. It does however mean that if he acquires an animal and decides to keep it, that he, just like ANY good owner should research the animals needs, and provide them. MOST calf feed is not going to be the best option nutritionally for a duck. Can they eat it? Sure. They can also eat bread and cereal and live. Is it the best for them, is a better question.

    If this were anyone other than a vet, we'd all be in here advising against calf feed as a steady duck diet. His position does not make him immune to error.

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