Educational / School Research Projects
We receive quite a few requests asking us to participate in
educational projects regarding our sanctuary as a business operation. Before
contacting us with your interview questions please read the below
information of frequently asked questions. If you have any questions not
covered here, please feel free to Contact Us.
Students are permitted to use this information for
their educational projects/presentations provided they credit Majestic Waterfowl
Sanctuary with the use of this material.
We began rescuing ducks & geese in the Fall of 2004. We
became an official non-profit organization a year later in September of
We opened our sanctuary upon discovering that waterfowl
abandonment was a real issue not only in our area, but nationwide. While we always knew we wanted to
help animals, the decision to assist domestic waterfowl hinged upon there
being so few available options for these former pets. The lack of shelters
for ducks and geese was a major factor in our decision to open a shelter
that specializes in the care of waterfowl.
Our Mission Statement:
Our mission at Majestic Waterfowl
Sanctuary is to stop the vicious cycle of waterfowl
Through rescue, rehabilitation,
placement and education, we do everything we can to
prevent the inhumane physical and emotional
traumatization and death of these former pets--first at
a local level here in Connecticut, and ultimately at a
We humanely capture abandoned domestic
ducks and geese and bring them into our sanctuary for
care and medical treatment. Once physically and
emotionally healthy, we do everything we can to find
them safe, loving and permanent new homes.
In 2004 our sanctuary held
approximately a dozen ducks. Today (2011) we have a
capacity of 32 ducks and 8 geese. We never overcrowd our
pens because it can lead to disease, depression and
internal fighting. Plans are on the horizon to
eventually add more enclosures, but first we must secure
Our enclosures are constructed with the goal of
providing safe and peaceful habitats for our rescued ducks and geese to help
them relax and recover from any prior trauma they may have experienced. To learn more about our enclosures please
Click Here. To learn more about safe pen
building Click Here.
Day-to-day operations vary week to week, month to month and season to
season. Here are some of the things we do at Majestic:
Rescuing Ducks & Geese
Rescuing is a MAJOR part of our work. Deciding who to rescue based on
urgency also plays a vital role. These are some of the most difficult
decisions we have to make.
Our busiest time of year is September -
November. This is when we receive the most emails for help. Things usually
wane down from December - February.
For more information on Rescuing
We also advise others how to rescue abandoned ducks and geese
in their area when the birds in jeopardy are outside of our reach. For this information
Helping Other Shelters
We are interested in the health and well-being of ALL ducks & geese,
which includes those at other shelters. We will often defer potential
adopters to their local shelters when we know of birds residing
there. We also help other shelters who are not equipped to handle waterfowl,
or who are overfull, by transferring their animals here.
We also work with local Animal Control Officers to ensure that their
rescues have a safe place to go.
Managing Owner Surrenders
On the whole we take in very few owner surrenders. Our philosophy is to
always help those ducks & geese without advocates first--and ducks and geese
who already have owners have an advocate. We usually limit owner surrenders
to female birds or very friendly birds. For more information click on
Meeting The Dietary Needs of our Rescues:
Diets are closely managed to ensure everyone is healthy and eating properly. We pay
special attention to our laying hens and examine their eggs daily to ensure
they are not soft shelled, odd-shaped or oddly-textured. These vital
indicators tell us when laying diets need to be adjusted. For more on dietary
information Click Here.
Pens, houses and barns are cleaned daily. In some case, only a fresh
sprinkle of hay is needed; in other cases, hay needs to be pitched and new
hay needs to be laid down. Food dishes and water buckets also require
Pens are inspected regularly to ensure their safety and predator proof
nature. Any repairs need to be attended to immediately.
In addition to daily tasks there are seasonal tasks that need to be
Spring: Thorough barn cleaning, rake pens, turn over soil
in pens, seed grass in pens, muck out ponds, ensure functionality of piped
water system to all pens and ponds.
Summer: Prune trees bi-weekly, weed Abby's Goose Run.
Fall: Rake leaves, weed Abby's Goose Run.
Winter: Manually change out water in all heated buckets
daily, shovel snow, sand pens, clear aviary nets during storms, keep
electric fence clear of snow and ice.
Vet trips are commonplace. We often have at least one duck or goose
requiring some sort of medical attention. This can include sick or injured
birds, special needs birds who require ongoing care or aging birds who
require intermittent check-ups.
Maintaining Detailed Medical Records:
Every bird who comes to us has their own hardcopy medical file, which
includes specific details about their gender, breed, history and overall
health as well as including relevant photographs. These records are
maintained in Microsoft Excel and then printed out for their hardcopy file.
Copies are available to adopters free upon request.
Screening New Homes & Adoption
Our peak adoption season usually runs March - May. During this time we
read through submitted online adoption applications, review photos of pens,
conduct phone interviews and make sure we are finding the right family for
the right duck or goose. To learn more about adoptions
We offer potential adopters many things that other shelters do not. For
more information about this Click Here.
Our sanctuary runs on a budget of approximately $10-12K a year. This
averages out to approximately $300 per bird. This includes vet costs, hay,
feed, electricity (pond pump, minimal lighting and heated water buckets in
winter), basic supplies (buckets, hoses, kiddie pools, tools, gear) and a
few basic office supplies. We do NOT draw any kind of salaries at Majestic.
All work is done on a strict voluntary basis.
Over 90% of our proceeds come from private donors who usually find us via
the internet and become supporters of our cause.
We run an annual Blue Ribbon Photo
Contest and we offer a Sponsorship Program to
help assist us in meeting our sanctuary's funding needs. We will also
occasionally run supply fundraisers to have particular items
donated. A good example of this was our Donate A
Duck House Fundraiser that successfully provided a dozen new duck houses
to our sanctuary!
Website, E-list & Newsletters:
A good amount of our time is spent updating our website and putting
together monthly newsletters. We understand the frustration of the lack of
resources out there for pet duck and goose owners, so we do everything we
can to share our knowledge (especially newly gained information) with
families. When we learn breaking new medical information we always share it with
the public free of charge. This is how we help EVERY duck and goose who
needs it--because they all matter to us!
Website updates also include the profile management of every duck and
goose in our sanctuary. There are few things more frustrating to adopters
than falling in love with the photo of an animal at a shelter only to discover that the
animal is no longer there. We understand this issue and make sure that it NEVER
happens here. Profiles are managed closely--any bird listed on our website
as "Adoptable" is here and waiting for their new family. Pending
adoptions are also clearly marked.
We receive about a dozen emailed inquiries/concerns daily that range from
simple Yes and No questions to replies that require detailed information
along with links to various pages of our website. We do not use form
responses of any kind during our correspondences, but give every email the attention
it deserves. Not only does this directly help families with pet ducks and
geese feel special, but it also helps us make new friends and find new
Media, Educational & Awareness Programs
We occasionally agree to television, magazine or newspaper articles. We
also speak at schools, educational events and pet functions. We use these
venues to educate people about the plight of abandoned domestic waterfowl.
Our main messages are:
1) Don't purchase ducklings without doing your research first. This
includes building a safe pen and finding a qualified waterfowl veterinarian.
2) When properly cared for most ducks have life spans of 8-12 years with
a lucky few making it to 15 years. Muscovy ducks can live 15-20 years. Geese
normally live 20-25 years.
3) Don't abandon pet ducks & geese in public locations, ponds or
waterways where they tend to succumb to traumatization, injury, frostbite,
malnutrition, starvation, acts of human cruelty and often death within their
first year of life.
4) Most domestic ducks and geese can NOT fly. A few can get lift and
raise themselves a few feet off of the ground or water, but their bodies are
too heavy in relation to their wing-size to attain actual flight.
Red-faced Muscovy ducks and tiny Call ducks can fly, but do NOT know how
to migrate because they have never been taught by their parents. Owners of
these breeds of ducks need to keep them in enclosures that prevent flight
5) Speak up against hatching programs taking place in your local
school--especially those that don't have a proper home arranged for the
We have strict stipulations that must be met in order for us to take in
ducklings hatched in classrooms. Follow the link to learn more about our
policy regarding School Hatching Programs.
6) When visiting the park, don't feed ducks and geese bread or junk food
(which can lead to botulism outbreaks in water and also leads to
malnutrition). Instead, feed them small amounts of round, floating, plain
formula cat kibble--which has the protein they require in their diet.
7) Pet ducks and geese need to be maintained on specialized
Waterfowl Feed specifically designed for their
health and longevity.
Research is another vital part of sanctuary life. This means keeping on
top of the latest news regarding waterfowl care. We work with our vets to
learn breaking new procedures, medicinal options and care techniques.
We also communicate with hundreds of duck and goose owners and acquire
knowledge from both their successes and failures. We learn as we go and we
share what we learn.
One of our most difficult challenges is space. We can only help so many
animals, so we have to help the most desperate and most likely to succumb to
injury or death first.
The most common request for help we receive is to take in male ducks
(drakes). Because drakes tend to fight among themselves, we can usually only
house one male in each or our enclosure's individual sections in order to
prevent fighting. This means we are often full to capacity when it comes to
boys. In these cases, we try to find other solutions for abandoned
drakes--either other shelter possibilities or finding a family to place them
with immediately upon their rescue.
Another challenge we face is with potential adopters. We frequently
receive emails of complaint from families who want to adopt birds from us,
but who allow their current flock to wander around free range. These
families will insist that they have no predators in their area (which is
never true) and that we should adopt birds to them. Our policy is to NEVER
adopt our rescues to free range homes, which doesn't go over well with these
individuals. Sadly, we often hear back from these same exact families within
a year of their original correspondence only to learn that one or more of
their birds has been lost to predators. At this time we can only offer our
emotional support and teach them how to better protect their remaining flock
Dealing with negligent owners who want to relinquish their pet ducks or
geese to us can also be extremely challenging. It's vital under these
circumstances that we remain calm and agreeable to ensure the animals make
it safely into our care. Once pets are officially relinquished we offer
carefully delivered information in the hopes of preventing repeat acts of
negligence. It's important that prior owners walk away feeling they've done
the right thing for their pets and also that they speak positively of our
sanctuary to others. It's not always easy being kind and patient in these
situations, but it's the most effective way to help the animals involved.
While new friendships (both feathered and human) are one of the best
rewards of our waterfowl rescue endeavor, there is no greater reward than
watching a sick or injured bird make a full recovery and then go on to find
their new loving and devoted home.
If you require printable materials for your project/presentation you can click on
Brochure or browse through past issues of our
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
Waterfowl Sanctuary 2005