Hungry ducks at city park!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Baymule, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. Baymule

    Baymule Songster

    Jul 1, 2010
    Northeast Texas
    Texas is in the grip of a terrible drought. The local city park has a scenic lake that has dropped about 3 feet. I took our 4 year old granddaughter to the park Sat in spite of the heat, for something to do. The ducks came right up to us, which they almost never do, begging with their eyes and quacking. They were so hungry. We went back Sunday with layer pellets and hen scratch and fed them until their crops nearly dragged the ground. Several people showed up and threw bread, like feeding a toddler Micky-D's french fries for life and wondering why they are such a unhealthy adult. [​IMG]

    We counted 37-40 ducks, total and 2 Chinese geese. That is a lot of birds on a small lake with no visible means of supporting the population. Also, we counted 11 mallard type drakes and at least 1 pekin drake in the bunch. That seems like an awful lot of drakes and some of the ducks look beat up. There is 1 lonely looking Muscovie brown and white female that seemed happy to nestle down next to the tire on DH's truck where she could watch him at the picnic table. [​IMG] It sure was tempting to put her in the truck. We sat there for over 2 hours enjoying the ducks doing what ducks do.

    We went to the feed store today and bought layer pellets and fed the ducks again. I guess we will be self appointed duck feeders until this drought breaks and there are insects and grass for them to graze again. The sad part is that good intenders show up with bread and we even found a pile of cocoa puffs cereal. [​IMG] The Muscovie came back to my DH and nestled down again and took a nap. There is a mix of pekins, mallard types, a possible welsh harlequin female, a couple of black-cayuga mix maybe? at least 2 with top knots and the splotchy brown/white mixes.

    The best part is my DH just became a duck fan! I have wanted ducks but we are not set up for ducks, so am waiting until we get moved out on our land. (having it logged now and getting it ready to build-SLOW PROCESS) DH loved the ducks and commented that he had no idea how relaxing it was to watch the ducks. And he is all on board for feeding the ducks this summer so they don't go hungry. [​IMG] And he even likes the Muscovie, a good thing cause she sure has taken up with him. Now he wants a duck pond of our very own.
  2. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    Oct 2, 2008
    You guys are awesome.
  3. animalpro24

    animalpro24 Songster

    May 13, 2011
    Quote:100% True!! Hope the drought gets better.
  4. NYRIR

    NYRIR Songster

    May 13, 2010
    Quote:x 2
  5. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Oh, what a wonderful thing you are doing!!!!
  6. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Songster

    Aug 4, 2010
    San Diego
    I think it's great that you're doing this! We have the same situation at a couple of the lakes I go to. The only difference is that there is a great deal of natural food most of the year, plus there are small lawns/fields that are watered regularly at one of the lakes. However, there is no one appointed to care for the non-flyers and domestic animals. There has been at least one instance where I think someone was intentionally trying to harm the animals with something in their food. And, at this one lake, they totally discourage feeding at all, but people come there with a whole loaf of bread. They had a regular guy feeding them, but they told him to stop. He goes to another lake where there is almost no natural food and the staff actually likes that he's there. The only problem is that some of the stores or someone drops off a ton of stale bread and pastries and people feed them to the birds. But, also, there is another store that drops off fresh vegetables for them, too.

    If you have room for any ducks, talk to the city or park manager about possibly taking some of the domestic ducks and geese home with you.
  7. Baymule

    Baymule Songster

    Jul 1, 2010
    Northeast Texas
    My DH went after work today and fed the ducks again. What a wonderful guy [​IMG] I am so lucky. I knew he was tired and offered to feed them after I went to our land and fed the horses, but he said no, he would. He said they were hungry and he poured out a lot of pellets for them. What a sweetheart.
  8. Luvmyducks

    Luvmyducks In the Brooder

    Jun 1, 2011
    If only there were more people like you in the world. [​IMG]

    My mother in law drives around with a bag of dog food in the trunk of her car even though she no longer has a dog. It is an emergency stash just in case she finds a stray that is hungry! [​IMG]
  9. Baymule

    Baymule Songster

    Jul 1, 2010
    Northeast Texas
    We wondered if the ducks sleep on the island where they could be safer from predators or if they slept on the banks. We were out Friday night and decided to drive by and check on them. There was a ballgame going on and the park was lit up. Were the ducks asleep like good little ducks???? NOOO! They were running about like it was a party. When they heard DH's truck, they waddled their ducky butts over to say hello. We poured out the pellets for them and they happily scarfed them down. No NITE-NITE for these ducks! When we fed the ducks Sunday, there was a new baby, maybe 2 weeks old, still fuzzy. The poor thing didn't come up to eat with the others, guess it just didn't know what to do. DUCK DUMPERS! [​IMG]
  10. Duckville denizen

    Duckville denizen In the Brooder

    May 17, 2011
    Texas Hill Country
    This scene is so familiar! I live right on the banks of a creek in a public park. We can always expect to get ducks dumped off about two months after Easter each year. This year, we had a bumper crop: six were dropped off in one bunch, eight in another, and then, two adult Chinese geese were dropped off. People are on the creek at all hours, feeding them. They have even been throwing pieces of bread up into our yard. (We have two young ducks, but we try to feed them a balanced diet - no bread!) There was one entire family, including kids in strollers, out there at 10:30 last night. And what do they feed them? White bread by the loaf, Cheerios, French fries, whatever they have on hand. My husband and I have floating fish food we take, and some shelled corn, but there are so many now we can hardly give them a bite each. And, of course, there is no way to see that there are not too many drakes. Each year during breeding season, we lose some of our hens to over-zealous males drowning them, and this year, we had three drakes literally pick another drake to pieces!!!! At this time last year, we had two drakes and two hens at our end of the creek. They were peaceful, paired off, raised babies, and came up to our back yard each day for treats. As of our last count, we have 30 ducks and two geese in the same area. I don't know the answer: everybody thinks they own the ducks, and all they really care about is how much fun it is to throw bread at them and watch them fight over it![​IMG]

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