A very sad issue we deal with here at the Sanctuary is the repercussions of animals being "used" in the classroom. Even in this day and age ducklings are frequently hatched in small incubators to show children the "miracle of life". But when the school project is over there is a scramble to get rid of the babies. What does this disregard for life teach our children?? Many of the Pekin ducks at Hope Haven are from classroom experiments while most of the other ducks are unwanted pets purchased for a few dollars around Easter. Domesticated ducks are sweet and enjoy human companionship. They are bred to be big since historically they were raised for their meat. Because of their heavy bodies they are unable to fly and do not have the instinct to migrate. Sadly all-too-many owners are not educated on this fact and leave unwanted ducks at ponds or lakes thinking they will be happy being "free". These unfortunate individuals are quickly killed by predators or perish without human care when the cold winter approaches.
Luckily our webbed ensemble live happy and safe lives here at the Sanctuary. We have quite a wonderful mix of Pekins, Khaki Campbells, Rouens, Cayugas, Muscovy, Orpingtons, and Puffs. There are also Embden, Chinese, and Pilgrim geese that share the yard. Waterfowl can often be seen gamboling around the farm, mingling in the pond, or traipsing about the fields. The ducks usually travel in single file which won a group of Pekins their military names: Captain Applesauce, Commander Candy Corn, General Lima Bean, Lieutenant Sweet Potato, and Officer Pancake.
There's nothing as happy as a duck preening it's feathers in the sunshine!