The Majestic Monthly


Issue 10: October 2005

In This Issue...


Pet Rock Festival 2005


One Year Anniversary


Our Webmaster


Kentucky Rescue


Your Medicine Cabinet


Hardware Disease


Our Wish List


Duck Characteristics


Get to know your predators: Norway or Brown rat


The Month in Photos!


Recommended Reading:
Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks


Reader Poll #10

Have you seen our Wish List?

Our Wish List contains items we regularly need such as feed, hay, cement, wood, fencing materials, hoses, and heavy duty equipment.

Stop by Our Wish List for a "look see." If you can help with any items on the list, please contact us!

Duck Characteristics

We have new icons on our adoption page to help potential adopters get to know the ducks and geese in need of homes. To see the new descriptors, view the Adoption Profiles.

From L-R: Shy, Nervous, and Vocal

Get to Know Your Predators: Norway or Brown Rat

If you see one, there are probably a few dozen more hiding in the shadows . . .

Brown Rats weigh in at about eleven ounces. In prime conditions, where there is plenty of food, rats will multiply very rapidly. They can have up to fourteen young every twenty days, and they are able to reproduce within two months of being born. They can fit through an opening the size of a quarter, leap up to three feet in the air and climb walls.

Rats eat eggs, can kill small ducklings, harass larger ducks and spread diseases. Despite all this, it is nearly impossible to build a rat-proof enclosure. They will literally burrow under and around enclosures and barns and chew their way through and into buildings to get at stored grain. They will literally tear down the barn around your ducks in order to get inside (which can create passages for other predators). Every effort should be made to exterminate them the instant they are found on the premises. 

Discourage rats by storing your duck grain in metal containers. Metal flashing can be mounted over base boards to keep rats from chewing through them, but ultimately, the aid of a few good cats is your best deterrent. 

Carbon monoxide scented & tinted-smoke bombs placed into burrows that are then sealed closed (from all entry points) are an excellent means to wiping out an entire colony. Continue with this tactic until no more holes are found and the telltale signs of the rodents are completely gone.

The Month in Photos!

In the pond with Matt & Jeff!

The new pond is FULL!

Winston jumps up!

Recommended Reading*

| Ordering information |

Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks
By Dave Holderread

* For our full recommended reading list, click here. If you order from by way of our web site, Majestic receives a portion of the proceeds!

Book Description

This book includes information on selection, housing, space requirements, breeding and hatching techniques, feeding, behavior, and health concerns and remedies for illness. The authors were chosen not only for their expertise but also for their ability to explain the ins and outs of animal husbandry in an inviting and authoritative manner.

Whether readers are ready to start an entire flock or are considering purchasing their first animal, Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks is an indispensable reference and is jam-packed with information available nowhere else.

Note: This book contains sections on butchering as well as duck recipes. 

Reader Poll #10

Question: Which book on waterfowl do you most often use/refer to?

Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks by Dave Holderread
The Book of Geese by Dave Holderread
Raising the Home Duck Flock by Dave Holderread
Domestic Geese by Chris Ashton
Barnyard in Your Backyard by Gail Damerow

Voting Has Closed.
Please see next issue for results.

Results of Reader Poll #9

What brand of feed do you give your waterfowl?

Purina  33%
Mazuri 33%
Blue Seal  17%
Other 17%

Contact Us

Majestic Waterfowl Sanctuary
17 Barker Road
Lebanon, CT 06249

Our Newsletter

The Majestic Monthly is published 12 times per year. Back issues can be obtained online from our Newsletter Archives.

Pet Rock Festival 2005

We dare say Majestic and our ducks were the hit of Pet Rock! We entered Elijah in the adoptable pet parade and pulled him along in a red Radio Flyer wagon.

We distributed informational brochures, sold all of our plush Majestic ducks, and gave away paper crowns to the kids. Our royal subjects were everywhere!

People were surprised to learn that domestic ducks and geese do not fly and cannot escape the ponds they are abandoned to. Getting that message out to a few thousand visitors is one of the best ways to help our endeavor to prevent waterfowl drop offs.

Young Matthew and Elijah slept all the way home, but immediately quacked up a storm upon being reunited with their flock. We could hear them telling their flock mates about their adventures as we closed the barn door after tucking them in for the night.

We would like to sincerely thank Karen of Cathy’s Rottweiler Rescue and Paula and Tom of the House Rabbit Connection for volunteering their assistance at our booth when the crowd was at its peak.

One Year Anniversary!

As we reflect on our first year anniversary, we review the goals we had set for ourselves and set our new goals for the coming year.

With the help from our volunteers, Lew and Bill, we became incorporated in May of 2005 and were approved for tax exemption in September. With our tax exemption approved, we plan to seek out corporate funding to expand our sanctuary and build even more enclosures for ducks and geese in need of shelter.

We poured the cement walls and pond basin for our new sanctuary and have raised enough funds to order our fence supplies and put up our perimeter fencing. We will continue to raise funds to purchase an aviary netting to complete the new sanctuary. When the sanctuary is complete, we are looking forward to our Grand Opening!

We have assembled a respectable waterfowl Vet Finder on our site. The New England states are complete and we plan to expand this listing westward over the course of the next year.

We were surprised to discover how many families were in need of advice and information on how to care for their waterfowl over the past 12 months. For this reason, we plan to increase our role as educators over the next year by completing a guidebook with the answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding waterfowl care. We also plan to continue to appear at pet stores and pet events to make ourselves available to the public.

Most importantly, we have listed nearly 40 ducks on our site for adoption and placed 27 of them into wonderful and loving new homes. We have also helped find homes for a handful of ducks and geese that were residing at Nevins Farm Sanctuary in Massachusetts. We have said hello and good-bye to many birds over the course of the last year, farewells that were both bitter and sweet. We look forward to another year of rescuing and finding homes for even more of these abandoned animals. It has been an added blessing to make so many new friends through our endeavor, and we thank all of you for your kindness and support. You are all an inspiration, and we look forward to another wonderful year together.

Our Webmaster

As we come upon our first year anniversary, we begin to reflect on the near 40 ducks that we've helped find homes for in the last 12 months. We have made some very good friends along the way and would like to thank all of them. We especially want to take a minute and stop to thank our Webmaster, Abby Garcia.

Abby volunteered to build our website a year ago when we first began our rescuing endeavor and felt we were in way over our heads. She stuck by us and helped guide us through some difficult and trying decisions. She has proved to be an invaluable member of our team and a true resource of information. We simply could not have done so much and helped so many without her involvement in this project.

Although we reside on opposite coasts, Abby keeps in contact with us on a near daily basis. She tirelessly updates and keeps our website current. She puts together all of our articles and photos and arranges them into our monthly newsletters along with a few articles of her own. She maintains our e-list and formats and forwards our messages out to the group, so that everyone is up-to-date regarding our progress. In addition to a myriad of unbelievable tasks, including web site design (and our beautiful banner!) and maintenance, she created all of the forms on the site, compiled most of the links, and helped us put together a gorgeous brochure.

Abby is an amazing and generous person, and she makes sure important and helpful information is available to everyone who visits our site. She is our invisible partner who helps you ask us questions and get responses by ensuring that the site is functioning properly.

Thank you, Abby, for being on our team and doing so much for the ducks and geese out there who need our help! Thank you also for everything you have done for us, through such a trying year -- you are so appreciated! We look forward to many more wonderful years of rescuing together!

Kentucky Rescue

A journey to Kentucky to visit Jonah, Joseph and Fiona in their new home with Qwaka was more than just a social visit. It was wonderful to see these ducks enjoying one another’s company in their gorgeous predator-proof enclosure, and escorted swims to their pond. Visits are not only about ducks adopted, but also about ducks in need of rescue.

We would like to thank the Huffmans for their assistance in rescuing three hens abandoned to a local Kentucky pond, dangerously close to an intersection. The three girls have joined the Huffman flock and the Huffman’s have decided to join our volunteer flock. Their photo and bios have been added to our staff listing.

A Well-Stocked Medicine Cabinet

In addition to having a pet carrier on hand and a vet on call, be sure to stock your medicine cabinet with these invaluable emergency items:

bullet A blood coagulant in case of a toenail break.
bullet Bandages and gauze tape in case of a foot, leg or wing injury.
bullet A towel and clothes pin to blanket your duck's eyes and calm them during emergency procedures.
bullet Needle nose pliers for plucking a broken blood feather.
bullet An antiseptic or wound wash.
bullet Disposable rubber gloves
bullet Oral syringes for administering medication, liquids or food.
bullet Bacitraycin Antibiotic ointment
bullet Vetropolycin antibiotic eye ointment
bullet Baytril (22.7 mg antibiotic pills) for weekend/after hour emergencies.
bullet A Saline Solution for Sensitive Eyes to flush out eye injuries.
bullet Poultry powder for the treatment of lice and mites.
bullet A bottle of hydrogen peroxide.
bullet A spray bottle to put the prepared hydrogen peroxide/water solution into for misting and washing out any boo-boos to help stave off infection (10% H.P. to 90% water).

Always consult your vet immediately in the case of an emergency or accident!

Hardware Disease 

Ducks and geese are highly prone to Hardware Disease. It is one of the number one killers of pet waterfowl. Shiny objects appeal to ducks and geese and invite investigation. They ingest these tid-bits completely unaware that they may have just sealed their fate.

Screws, nuts, bolts, nails, staples, bits of wire, hooks, coins, pins, shreds of aluminum foil, jewelry--these are just some examples of items that can end up inside your pet's body, seeping into their bloodstream. This poisoning is known as Hardware Disease.

Although there are symptoms, but the time they appear, it tends to be too late to help your duck.

  • Some symptoms include

  • Difficulty standing or walking

  • Fatigue

  • Decreased appetite

  • Seizures

  • Watery green droppings

If your duck displays any of these symptoms, take them to the vet immediately for an x-ray and blood test to check for traces of metal.

Although Hardware Disease is extremely difficult to treat, it is entirely preventable. Make weekly inspections of your waterfowl enclosures, barns and pools. Search for and remove any small metal objects that can be picked up by your ducks.

In addition to visual inspections, we highly recommend that grounds be periodically swept with a metal detector. This is especially relevant when any building or maintenance projects are underway or have been completed. Sweep any area your ducks have access to as well as any outer-lying property (to avoid objects being tracked or washed in). Avoid visitors entering your your duck pens with jewelry--earrings and pendants can be deadly if dropped.

Do not run lawn mowers, weed-wackers or chainsaws in the vicinity of your ducks. These power tools can toss metal bits and objects right through your fencing and into your pens.

       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