These new Rouen ducklings showed up at the pond. Hopefully they will grow to be full grown ducks.
The domesticated birds do not belong in the wild. Despite their down coats, domesticated fowl often cannot survive a winter. They are at the mercy of people for food, and they can’t fly away when their pond freezes over. Even those that are able to fly don’t know where to go or what environment to seek because they are accustomed to quarters with food, shelter and water.
The birds often become targets for roving dogs, snapping turtles, hawks, even each other. A lone newcomer to an established flock of fowl can get pecked to death by the welcoming committee.
Then there is the danger of traffic and the unhealthy diet of bread and other junk food that people try to feed these ducks.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not against ducks at the pond. I am against improper management of the domesticated ducks that end up at ponds here in Denton, Tx.
Domesticated ducks have been bred to depend on humans for food and shelter. Domesticated ducks have shelter to stay in at night that protects them from predators, fresh water and daily food.
What can be done?
I like seeing the ducks at the pond and make it a point to carry a bag of Purina Flock Raiser in my car to feed them. We have had discussions on nextdoor about putting up signs “Do Not Feed Ducks Bread” and feed dispensers.
A bigger and more immediate threat comes from predators, traffic and unpaired Drakes (male ducks that do not have a mate.
Protecting from predators
Domestic ducks do not survive too long at the UNT pond. Predators exist both on land and in the water (snapping turtles).