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Issue 28: April 2007

In This Issue:

  What's that "Thing?"
  Elijah: Livin' Large at Majestic
  Helpful Crows
  Thank You Stamp Donors!
  Get to Know Your Predators:
Peregrine Falcon / Duck Hawk
  Recommended Reading:
Fowl Weather by Bob Tarte
  Reader Poll #28
  Results of Reader Poll #27

Thank you stamp donors!

Thank you to everyone listed below who sent us stamps (and donations towards stamps) to assist us in spreading the word to our CT shelters.

Abby, Debbie, Joan, Melinda, Barb, Donna, Kathleen, Michelle, Cathy, Irene, Lew, Paula, Damiana, Jamie, Mary & Shirley!

Get to Know Your Predators: Peregrine Falcon/Duck Hawk

The Duck Hawk weighs in between 1 and 2 pounds. This falcon is a brutal bird killer, making prey of birds as large as Mallards.

The duck hawk can easily overtake a fast flying bird. If its prey is not too heavy, it will actually seize it mid-air and fly away with it. They strike their prey with such power that it either kills them on impact or sends them tumbling to the ground.  

Recommended Reading*

Ordering information |

Fowl Weather
By Bob Tarte
April, 2007

Tarte serves up another helping of his always interesting life surrounded by animals. In Bob Tarte's home, pandemonium is the order of the day, and animals literally rule the roost -- thirty-nine of them at last count. Whether it's the knot-tying African grey parrot, or the overweight cat who's trained Bob to hold her water bowl just above the floor, or the nightmarish duck who challenges him to a shoving match, this menagerie, along with his endlessly optimistic wife, Linda, provides daily lessons on the chaos inherent in our lives.

But not until this modern-day Noah's Ark hits stormy weather -- and Bob's world spins out of control -- does he realize that this exuberant gaggle of animals provides his spiritual anchor. It is their alien presence, their sense of humor, and their impulsive behavior that both drive Bob crazy and paradoxically return him to sanity.

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

Reader Poll #28

Question: Now that Wolfgang Puck has gone cruelty-free and banned foie gras, will you purchase his products and eat at his restaurants?


Voting Has Closed.
Please see next issue for results.

Results of Reader Poll #27

Question 1: Are you going to read Bob Tarte's new book Fowl Weather?

Yes 70%
No 10%
Undecided 20%

Question 2: Have you read Bob Tarte's first book Enslaved by Ducks?

Yes 75%
No 25%


Contact Us

Majestic Waterfowl Sanctuary
17 Barker Road
Lebanon, CT 06249

Our Newsletter

The Majestic Monthly is published 12 times per year. Previous issues are available in our Archives.

What's that "Thing?"

This question has come up since our inception and it continues to make its rounds. The corkscrew shaped body organ dangling from your drake is not his entrails falling out, but rather, quite normally, his penis.

It is not unusual to see this appendage outside of your drake’s body (especially after mating rituals) unless it does not return all the way back inside again soon after making its appearance. If you see the tip of your drake’s penis continually exposed over the course of a few hours or more, something is most likely wrong.

An exposed penis (called "penis paralysis," "phallus prostration," or "protracted penis") most frequently occurs when a drake is not given ample access to clean swimming water. If one of your flock members exhibits this trait, serious considerations to the availability of swimming water in his living environment should be taken -- now and going forward. If you are certain that lack of water is not the issue, over exertion during the mating season, infection, genetic tendency and old age can also be factors.

In any case, you will want to make it immediately possible for your drake to have ready access to clean swimming water -- a kiddie pool is perfectly acceptable. You will also want to give him a break from any courting hens in case over exertion is part of the problem. You may want to separate your drake from all of your ducks to prevent any pecking, especially if it appears to be attracting unwanted attention.

The more time he spends relaxing on clean water, the more likely the situation will remedy itself quickly. Some families have had additional success by adding a small swimming basin to their drake’s nighttime barn/shed as well, to promote evening swimming -- at least until the condition remedies itself. Take caution during colder months that small water sources cannot freeze up while your duck is sitting in them.

During this time, it is vital that swimming water and grounds are kept exceptionally clean to avoid an infection of the penis. Change out water frequently and hose down yards a couple of times a day in addition to laying down fresh bedding frequently.

Be wary of misinformation and avoid "home remedies" that include tactics like tying-off the penis. Not only is this information unreliable, but it is also dangerous, cruel and painful for the bird. Seek out qualified veterinary assistance!

Vets have varying opinions on this matter, but a round of antibiotics at a minimum is required (Baytril 22 mg, once daily for at least 7 days) to rule out any possible infection. We highly recommend this general antibiotic treatment since it is not harmful to the duck and can help your drake toward a quick recovery.

If your drake is exhibiting a visible infection (redness, irritation, necrotic tissue, etc.) he should be brought to the vet for immediate examination and treatment. In most cases, if attended to immediately, the penis will not become infected and it will retreat back into the drake’s body within a couple of days. It is not unheard of, however, for the penis to remain exposed for months before returning inside the body. Some drakes exhibit the trait for the remainder of their life. In this case, it is possible that the tip of the penis might begin to dry up and fall off, leaving the remaining portion functional. If this begins to happen, bring your feathered friend to the vet for follow up visits to monitor progress.

Vet’s can surgically remove the tip of the penis, but this is not recommended unless there is an infection that requires medical intervention. An exposed penis is very rarely fatal when properly attended to.

Elijah: Livin' Large at Majestic

Elijah asked if we would run a little article in our newsletter this month. He said he wished to explicitly thank all of his supporters for their kindness and generosity, and he wanted to let you know how he’s doing these days. What Elijah wants, Elijah gets!

This big fluff-o-nutter is enjoying his retirement at Majestic to the fullest! At night, Elijah shares a large cozy kennel with his true love, a Silver Appleyard hen, named Jezebel. She is a real beauty, and Elijah’s favorite girl. During walks around the yard Elijah never walks far without Jezebel. He is a true "gentleduck" and stops and waits for his lady to catch up. It is exceptionally cute to watch him stop in doorways to allow her to enter first -- so romantic!

Every morning, we walk Elijah and Jezebel to the Courtyard along with a handful of other hens. Elijah and his ladies spend every other day on our large Courtyard pond. On days when it is not his turn for a swim, he still stays in the Courtyard, but he spends his day in a large pen that neighbors the water. His injured legs have grown very strong from all his swimming, and he gets around very well. In order to avoid over-exerting himself too much, he periodically, and quite comically, plops down to the ground and watches his ladies meander around him.

Elijah is a happy guy, always smiling and the first to quack happily when he spots us walking down the hillside towards the enclosures -- his hoarse quack easily distinguishable from all of the others.

Elijah sustained a raccoon bite very close to his left eye before coming to us. Because of this, his eyelids no longer seal perfectly on that side (nothing noticeable, mind you… he is still very handsome). This means “Squints” needs continual assistance in fending off tear duct infections. Although he receives treatment to his left eye on a near daily basis, we’re going to venture and say he doesn’t mind it too much because each time we administer his medicine, he gives us a big, feathery hug.

On behalf of our dear Elijah, we want to thank all of his dedicated and caring Sponsors who help make his life here at Majestic so wonderful. A special thanks to all of our other Sponsors as well, who help take care of Elijah’s good friends -- the many other ducks and geese residing at our sanctuary.

And speaking of Sponsors . . . We have added a new gift to our Sponsorship Package! Visit our Sponsorship Page for more information on how to sponsor a Majestic duck or goose.

Helpful Crows

Crows can be a great asset in keeping hawks and other flying predators clear of your duck pen. Simply putting out some leftover duck food or cracked corn in the morning for your crows will usually draw in a family (be sure to pick up any leftovers at night to avoid drawing in nocturnal predators).

A crow family is a tight-knit group and vigilant when it comes to protecting their young and their territory. They are relentless and will drive away many flying predators all for the price of some corn. Crows will also sound alarm calls that can assist you in knowing when there is trouble about.

       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 2007