The Does & Don’ts | Domestics in the Wild
Let’s just get one thing out there:
Domestic animals including ducks DO NOT belong in the wild.
Well just like a dog or even a child, you wouldn’t put them in the woods without any training or survival skills, after all they weren’t meant to survive in the wild. Right?
Well domestic ducks are the same way.
You see most domestic ducks cannot fly more then 10-20 ft off the ground, which means they cannot migrate, which means they have to take any weather that comes their way. And guess what, when predators come, domestic ducks have to rely on water to get away from them, and even then many predators when hungry enough will go in the water.
What about food?
When you are a pet or a child you rely on your owners or parents to feed you. When they don’t, you don’t eat unless you know how to feed yourself, which requires education.
Dumped pet ducks rarely know how to find food on their own and when they do they cannot find enough to sustain the needed calories and body weight when colder temps come and snow covers all their food. Which means they starve to death unless people go out of their way to feed them.
And then they get fed bread.
Which like any food is better then no food.
But bread is like candy to waterfowl.
It gives them very bad nutrition causing wing deformities and death.
You see bread swells in their stomach, making them feel full and so they don’t eat enough and eventually starve to death. And it also gives them a common wing deformity caused ‘Angel Wing’.
What other dangers are there to dumping?
Water disappearing. Public ponds often get cleaned and drained, leaving the ducks stranded, vulnerable and thirsty.
Another one is Public City Ordinances.
If an area gets too overpopulated with domestic ducks, or if someone has a concern or complaint about their well-being, and the city is called, wildlife officials then get called. Here in Utah it’s called APHIS USDA or DWR.
When they get called, they take action, and tell the public (only if asked) that they are ‘removing’ them. “Removing” is a term used to cover up “culling”. Also known as killing. Unfortunately the city doesn’t have the resources to humanely remove, care for and find homes for waterfowl and that’s where our public service Wasatch Domestic Waterfowl Resource comes into play.
So what should you feed domestic ducks?
Waterfowl or chicken feed (you can get this at any country store and even Walmart) , pease, cracked corn, grapes cut in half, bird seed, lettuce, oats and even old food storage grains.
So long story short, please don’t dump your pets because they are not equipped to survive without you.
And if you see dumped domestic waterfowl, feed them, they are hungry. Just don’t feed them bread!
Have questions? Just ask us!