The Majestic Monthly

WATERFOWL NEWS FLOWN IN FRESH OFF THE PRESS

Issue 3: March 2005

In This Issue...

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Majestic & HRC at Petco

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Animal Matters

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Lucy and Elijah

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Sanctuary Progress

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Volunteers Needed

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Joseph's Dreamcoat

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Majestic Ducks

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Pet Ducks and Geese

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Reader Poll #3
 

Majestic Ducks

Just in time for Easter, we are selling Majestic Ducks -- complete with jeweled regal crowns! All proceeds from the sale of these Majestic Ducks go directly towards the sanctuary and care of the waterfowl.

These little Majestic Ducks fit right into the palm of your hand! They make wonderful gifts and are a delightful addition to a child's Easter basket.

These 3-1/2” tall ducks are very reasonably priced at $10.00 per box of six. Each box contains six ducks in six cheery colors:
Ruby Red, Champagne, Sea Green, Royal Blue, Bubble Gum, and Grape

These little Majestic ducks will be available for purchase all year round as well as at our live demonstrations and fundraisers.

Ducks in Diapers?!

By her own admission Nancy Townsend is hard to insult. This is not at all surprising considering she calls herself Mother Goose and walks diaper-wearing ducks and geese on a leash. Dressed as the fairy-tale character, with her duck and goose sporting coordinated fabric diaper holders, she's one of the more well-known free spirits in Arizona.

Nancy didn't set out to become famous for inventing the world's only known fowl diaper harness. All she wanted to do was bring her pet duck inside to live with the family, a circumstance that would require some kind of diapering system. After many hits and misses, if you get the drift, she applied for a patent on a comfortable harness that not only allows a ten second diaper change but also provides a convenient leash attachment.

Nancy has made it possible to keep ducks and geese as house pets, a passion shared by an amazing number of like-minded people.

According to Mother Goose, ducks are environmentally sound pets, eating bad bugs and leaving the good ones to do their jobs. They'll do your yard work by killing weeds, fertilizing, and keeping your grass and plants healthy. They don't need shelter, never complain about the weather, are free of disease, provide 20% of their own food and can even provide some of yours. (We're talking duck eggs, here, not the ducks.)

On top of all that, ducks are smart, learning skills and routines in just two to three days. Training requires no discipline, no commands, no orders, and no rewards. Highly social and affectionate, they just want to please. When reared from birth, they imprint on humans and, according to Nancy, 'expect to wear clothes and sit on chairs like everyone else. Treat them like well behaved children from a foreign country who do not speak the language', she says, 'and they'll be quite happy.'

Cricket the Duck and Maggie and Mimi Goose are Nancy's constant companions, becoming concerned if she's away for more than four hours. Her incredibly tolerant husband, Alan, joins her for their public appearances dressed as - who else? - Father Goose. They all have quite a wardrobe, dressing appropriately for the season and holidays.

Partial article reprinted from Eccentric America: Your guide to all that's weird and wacky in the USA.

For More Information...

If you are interested in learning about keeping a duck or goose as a house pet, you can find more information at the following websites:

Nancy Townsend has written a book entitled, "Duck! There's a Goose in the House!" This book describes the personalities of ducks and geese, how to diaper them, basic care, the various breeds, etc. It is an absolute must for someone interested in having a duck or a goose as a house pet.

Reader Poll #3
Question: Do you think ducks and geese make good house pets?
Yes
No
Unsure

Voting Has Closed.
Please see next issue for results.

Results of Reader Poll#2:
Should ducklings be hatched out in schools for educational purposes?
 
Yes ......................0%
No ....................100%
Unsure .................0%
 
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.
Majestic Waterfowl Sanctuary & House Rabbit Connection Team Up at PETCO

In an effort to educate the public about responsible pet ownership at Easter time, we combined efforts with House Rabbit Connection (HRC) and appeared together at PETCO for two February events.

A couple of HRC’s house rabbits along with our Pekin drake, Young Matthew, were tremendously successful in drawing folks over to say hello, chat with us, and learn a few things about responsible pet ownership.

Young Matthew has been a member of our family since his duckling days. He is very calm, friendly, and personable, so he was the perfect choice for the occasion. We decided it was not a good idea to bring a rescued duck to the event because their lives need to be kept as calm and routine as possible.

Matthew truly rose to the occasion of greeting our guests. He softened the hearts of all who came with his happiness and willingness to hug everyone. He is quite a flirt when it comes to the ladies! He also proved to enjoy his star status, and anytime there was a break in guests, he raised his head up high and quacked for more company. Matthew’s eagerness to hug visitors and appraise their jewelry was rewarded with plenty of lettuce.

We gave out free gold crowns to visiting children and sold plush Majestic Ducks to raise funds for the sanctuary. Our informational flyers and brochures were made available along with a poster depicting a life-sized two day-old duckling side-by-side with a life-sized two month-old adult duck. The poster’s caption, "Do I fit into your life?" sums up the dilemma that too many ducks and geese face within a month or two of being acquired.


Majestic to Appear on Animal Matters

Majestic’s Kim and Anthony Link will be appearing on local cable show, “Animal Matters," [website] a public access television show that discusses animal rights and humane education issues. The goal of this episode will be to educate viewers about waterfowl abandonment and school hatching programs as well as to reach out for much-needed local volunteers.


Lucy Chooses a Companion

In January, we received an email from our friend Bob Tarte (author of Enslaved by Ducks). Bob had received an email from a woman named Gini who had a few matchmaking questions regarding her Pekin hen "Lucy." Bob, thinking quickly, directed her our way. After chatting via email and phone, Gini and her husband David decided to bring Lucy to us so she could personally choose her drake. Now that’s one spoiled duck!

We first introduced Lucy to our drake Viggo, who made it clear he only had eyes for his beloved Liv. However, Lucy hit it off with Jonah and Elijah equally well so the burden of choosing Lucy's mate fell on her owners. After talking things over and sitting with each drake multiple times, they chose Elijah.

We have heard that Elijah is doing very well in his new home and that both he and Lucy are getting along fabulously.


Progress Report: Our New Sanctuary

January and February have been very busy months for us here at the Sanctuary. In addition to our pre-Easter educational efforts, rescues and adoptions, we have been making great strides towards breaking ground on the new sanctuary.

The land has been cleared of trees and brush, and the new enclosure will measure approximately 35 x 72 feet. It will be entirely fenced in, including underneath, keeping digging predators at bay. The ceiling will be comprised of a high-impact, weather and snow resistant aviary net. Best of all, we will be digging out a stream-fed pond inside of the enclosure. The pond will measure approximately 25 x 25 feet and will have a cement basin. We have received initial approval from the DEP and are currently filing for an Inland Water Permit through the town of Lebanon.

Once we have our permit, we are hoping to locate someone willing to donate their time and equipment to do the actual bulldozing/back-hoeing. If you have equipment that can handle wet ground conditions and you are willing to excavate a small pond and level the sanctuary ground, please contact us at director@majesticwaterfowl.org.


Volunteers Needed!

Equipment is urgently needed to excavate the pond for the new sanctuary, so that more ducks and geese can come into our care. We need this sanctuary built before the seasonal drop-offs begin. With an early Easter this year, we believe we will begin to see drop-offs on ponds as early as Memorial Day weekend.

Pro-bono legal assistance and bookkeeping assistance are also needed to both answer tax questions and to file forms for our non-profit, 501 (C) 3 status.


Joseph's Dreamcoat

Caroline, a waterfowl rescuer, contacted us because she had a Pekin drake in her care in desperate need of sanctuary. The drake had been dropped off in a pond before a blizzard and was found wet, shivering, sick, and starving. We told Caroline that we would gladly take him into our care.

Upon seeing the drake, our hearts immediately went out to him. He was underweight, had damaged feathers that had lost their waterproof effectiveness, a terrible limp, and worst of all, someone had cut off most of his primary wing feathers—right down to the pinfeathers.

We immediately named the drake after the biblical Joseph, who lost his dream coat, but whose dreams came true in the end. We gave him a day to rest and get accustomed to his new surroundings and then we brought him inside for a warm bath.

Joseph was so emaciated that he had trouble staying afloat in water, so we had to drain the tub enough for him to be able to put his feet down. After two refills of the tub, he cleaned himself up and was looking much better. We drained the tub, put towels down for him and then used a blow drier to help him get dry. Over the course of the next two weeks Joseph took three more baths.

Over time, his feather quality improved so much that he looked like a completely different duck. He has gone through a partial molt and is re-growing new wing feathers by the minute! Overall improvement in his feather condition will not come until he completes a full molt, but that will be coming soon. In the meantime, he is eating plenty of Mazuri food, drinking fresh water, and enjoying a generous daily handful of spring lettuce—which he loves!

Joseph is now able to stand up for long lengths of time, has become quite vocal with us, and is allowing us to pet him. As if that weren’t enough, he is also beginning to take small steps around his enclosure—a true indication that his strength is returning.

We look forward to watching Joseph continue his recovery in our care over the coming months. The true reward will come when we are able to release him into his loving new home where he will be spoiled and adored for the rest of his life. The Huffmans of Kentucky have graciously agreed to adopt Joseph when he is ready. He will join their two Pekin hens, Qwaka and Fiona (featured in our February 2005 newsletter) this June.


       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 2005