The Majestic Monthly

WATERFOWL NEWS FLOWN IN FRESH OFF THE PRESS

Issue 16: April 2006

In This Issue...

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Broody Ducks and Naughty Drakes

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Testing an Urban Legend

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The Month in Photos!

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Get to Know Your Predators: Northern Goshawk

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Recommended Reading:
Quackadack Duck

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Reader Poll #16
 

Get to Know Your Predators: Northern Goshawk

The Northern Goshawk weighs anywhere between 1˝ to 3 pounds, and they are ferocious killers.

While most hawks hunt over open areas, goshawks tend to hunt within forests, flying beneath the canopy in pursuit of prey. 

Reader Poll #16

Question: Which Pekin is your favorite?

Donald Duck
Daisy Duck
Aflac
Joey's Duck on Friends
Howard the Duck
Scrooge McDuck
Jemima Puddle Duck
Huey, Dewey and Louie

Voting Has Closed.
Please see next issue for results.

Results of Reader Poll #15

What are some of your favorite movies that feature ducks, geese, or swans in lead, supporting, or cameo roles?
 

Fly Away Home 66%
Winged Migration 17%
Babe 17%
 

Recommended Reading*


Quackadack Duck
By
Allen Morgan

| Ordering information |

Description:

Troll doesn't care for being nice. All he wants is to be left alone to count his precious pennies. But while out walking, Troll meets a newly-hatched duck who thinks Troll is his mother and follows him home. "Quack quack quack. Quackadack quack," says the baby duck. Taking pity, Troll eventually agrees to give him a home.

One evening Troll slips out to steal some more pennies and Quackadack Duck follows behind. The young duck is quickly snatched and locked up by an opportunistic store owner. Troll tries to free his friend from the cage, but the only way is to buy him back. Not keen to part with his pennies, Troll returns home alone.

After a troubled night Troll resolves to spend his money and liberate his friend. But the cage is empty -- Quackadack is gone! In a state of despair, his heartstrings tugged, Troll donates his pennies to a little girl wishing to free another duck from the store. On returning to his hole, who should Troll meet but Quackadack Duck! His friend learned the art of escape by watching Troll.

In this comical and heart-rending tale Allen Morgan creates characters that children identify with and scenes they find hilarious.

* For our full recommended viewing/reading list, click here. If you order from Amazon.com by way of our web site, Majestic receives a portion of the proceeds!
 

Contact Us

Majestic Waterfowl Sanctuary
17 Barker Road
Lebanon, CT 06249
director@majesticwaterfowl.org

Our Newsletter

The Majestic Monthly is published 12 times per year. Back issues can be obtained online from our Newsletter Archives.

Broody Ducks and Naughty Drakes

Spring is here! And most of our incoming questions are concerned with broody hens and misbehaving drakes. Here are a few tips to ease you through the season

Hens

If your hen is broody and wanting to sit on eggs that you don’t want her to hatch out, then we have a few recommendations.

  1. Remove her daily egg. She may get angry or upset, but, she will soon move onto other activities. This is the tactic we use here at Majestic and the hens here are all very happy. They never get broody or attached to their eggs and they continue with their normal routine. We highly recommend this strategy.
     
  2. If you haven’t the heart to take away her eggs and you have drakes on the premises, remove her first egg, use a marker to write the date on the egg, then, addle the egg (shake the egg vigorously) and place it back in the nest beneath her.

    After laying her second egg, mark the date on it and shake it vigorously and return it to the nest as well and then re-shake the first egg again. Continue to do this routine until she stops laying additional eggs or until you think her nest is full enough.

    Although addling the egg should prevent an embryo from developing (even in a fertilized egg), we highly suggest following up this tactic with a visual inspect. Candle the eggs (hold them up to a flash light in an otherwise dark room) and be sure you don’t see any red veins forming on the inner side of she shell, or any small dark and moving areas forming inside of the egg. If you see this, immediately remove the egg from the nest and place it in your freezer for 24 hours and then discard it.

  1. Laying hens should have a free choice source of oyster shells available at your local grain store. Some stores carry a calcium chip in lieu of oyster shells; this is fine too.
     
  2. Laying hens should also be fed a ration of non-medicated laying feed mixed in with their regular food. A 25%-50% mix is recommended as needed. Try to keep non-layers and drakes from eating laying formulas.

Drakes

Drakes tend to begin misbehaving in February, when their hormones are on the rise. Drakes are less apt to fight with one another when hens are not present, although spats will still break out. Separations may become necessary, and don’t be afraid to put up a fence between your drakes when necessary. Feather plucking or raw areas behind the neck are good signs that separations are in order. Drakes may need to be separated from hens if they get too rambunctious.

Fighting tends to decrease with the onset of summer heat, although it can continue all the way through until September, when hormone levels begin to decrease again. As drakes age, fighting tends to decrease between them.

Egg Binding

If you see your hen’s tail pumping up and down for a long period of time, open bill panting, or if you see her walking or standing in an odd penguin-like stance, she may be having trouble laying her egg.

If your hen is having difficulties passing her egg put her in a lukewarm and private bath and call your vet immediately. Your vet will administer a shot to help her contractions along and they will also lubricate your duck’s oviduct to help her get the egg out.

If this happens, you want to re-examine your feeding rations. If the egg is rough, misshapen or soft, you need to increase the ration of laying formula. If the egg is normal, you may need to decrease your ration of laying formula.

Many families have found that hard boiling and chopping up their ducks healthy eggs and feeding it back to them has cleared up their hen’s calcium deficiencies. If your hen is having troubles laying, try this strategy.

Some hens are more genetically prone to this than others and you may need vet intervention for a long term solution. Hormone shots are often utilized, but be sure you understand all of the risks and side effects. This should be reserved for the most extreme cases and after all other options have been tried.


The Myth: A Duck's Quack Does Not Echo

Many duck-lovers missed the episode of Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters in which Jamie and Adam borrowed two Pekin ducks to see if there is any truth to the myth that a duck’s quack doesn’t echo.

Their first hurdle was to get their duck to quack. When working with only one duck they were frustrated that the duck was so silent. Upon introducing a second duck, they went right to quacking. Apparently, they just needed someone to talk to.

Working outside, the team was not able to pick up an echo with their equipment. They began to think the myth was true. They decided to move the test to an anechoic chamber in a warehouse. This time they were indeed able to detect a duck quack’s echo, disproving the myth.

A duck’s quack does echo, but because the quack and the echo are so close in sound, the echo just sounds like a continuation of the quack and is practically indistinguishable. They declared the myth officially BUSTED! A duck’s quack DOES echo!

The Mythbusters may have busted the echo myth, but sadly, they did not realize that a more detrimental duck myth was at hand. Adam and Jamie “rewarded” the two Pekins who performed in the quacking tests by setting them “free” on a river. The release perpetuated the myth that domestic ducks belong and are happy in the wild.


       Majestic Waterfowl Sanctuary makes no representation, warranty, or guarantee in connection with any guidance provided on this website. Majestic Waterfowl Sanctuary expressly disclaims any liability or responsibility for loss or damage resulting from its use or for the violation of any federal, state or municipal law or regulation with which such guidance may conflict. Any guidance is general in nature. In addition, the assistance of a qualified professional should be enlisted to address any specific circumstances.
 

© Majestic Waterfowl Sanctuary 2006