Blue Ribbon Photo Contest!
What? Still haven't entered our
Blue Ribbon Photo Contest?
Enter now for your chance to win!
Each of our two lucky winners will
receive a GORGEOUS metallic blue and silver, 4 tier, rosette
ribbon with three 30 cm long tails and an imprinted silver
"1st" in the center.
A personalized and framed Majestic Waterfowl
Sanctuary Winner's Certificate will also accompany each Blue
There will be two
categories and two First Prizes, one for Most Comical
& one for Most Photogenic. In addition to being
awarded Blue Ribbons and framed Winner Certificates, winning photos will also be featured
in our April newsletter and on our
entry fees for
this year's competition will be accepted through March 15, 2009.
Blue Ribbon Page for
further information, submission guidelines and to view
photos of our previous winners.
ENTER WHILE YOU STILL CAN & GOOD
After nearly two years
in our care and after being diagnosed with cancer in
December, ten year-old Miri succumbed to the tumor that had invaded her
body in February.
This beautiful girl lost her life-long, special needs
friend Glory last August, and the only soul who was able to
mend her heart was our special needs newcomer Benny. Miri
and Benny spent every single day together, waddling around
their pens, sleeping in the sun and swimming on the pond.
We began to notice
Miri's health deteriorate further on a Saturday, when we had to
increase her medication in order to comfort her. We
were fortunate to have a spring-like day in February and
carried Miri and Benny out from the barn and down to the
pond for a relaxing swim together. But by Sunday, we noticed
that Miri was not eating and was no longer wadding
around the barn.
On Monday morning we
brought Miri inside for a nice, warm bath in the tub
followed by a blow-drying session. Normally, Miri lets us
know when she has had enough of this routine and wants to go
back to the barn, but this time, she did not protest. She
was tired, her breathing was labored and for the first
time ever, there was that look in her eyes that let us know she
was ready to move on.
Miri's last swim in the tub...
We brought Miri to the
vet that same morning, February 9th, and held her in a
blanket in our arms while she drifted off quietly to sleep.
Miri was a beautiful
duck with a strong spirit; she always had a special place in
her heart for other ducks who were not able to take care of
themselves all on their own. She spent most of her days
cuddled beside those who could not follow the rest of the
flock around the pens. She preferred their company to all
Our beautiful, Miri-Miwi,
we know Glory was there waiting for you when you crossed
over and this time she will take care of you. And don't you
worry one bit about your Benny boy; we will take extra special care
of him for you. You will always be remembered--always our sweetheart. And we
will lay your ashes down to rest, forever beside your Glory
Glory & Miri ... Together again...
A Tribute To
was not the only duck we had to say good-bye to.
Unfortunately, as we
accept more elder and special needs ducks into our care we realize we
invite greater risk into our hearts. Although we have had many
great success stories with the likes of Joseph, Elijah,
Glory and Benny, our success story with Neo was far too
Neo was a
mute little duck who joined
our sanctuary last September with a serious digestive issue
that left him on the brink of starvation and with so little
energy he could barely stand up, let alone walk. By grinding
up his food and serving it in a specialized, timed feeder we
were able to completely rectify his condition and our little
boy was able to eat and digest regular food normally again.
But beneath this ailment lied a serious
neurological issue and we suspect this is why his owners
originally abandoned him. Neo was unable to waddle along
like other ducks and tended to walk a bit zig-zagged,
struggling for his center and getting confused during some
of his normal routines. In order to keep his environment
stable and stress free, we gave Neo a pen that was the
easiest for him to master and we made it a point to keep him
on a very specialized routine.
"Stick with me kid" (Neo &
When winter set upon us, Neo
enjoyed his own cozy kennel bedded with a thick layer of
hay, his own heated water bucket and an always-full dish of his
favorite food, not to mention weekly lettuce treats.
Throughout the day we went out to scoop up
some of his food into our hands and sprinkle it in his bucket. He
would waddle over and we would hold his soft, fluffy belly
in our hands and help him balance over his water bucket
while he delved in after the food and splashed the water
back and over his head and onto us. It was one of his
favorite things and ours too.
When the icy pond became inaccessible to him because of his
specialized needs, we helped him keep clean by bringing him inside for swims in the tub.
He is the
only duck we have ever known who loved the blow dryer so
much that he made it a point to aim himself towards it and soak
up its warmth. And then after his spa time was over, he
would fall asleep on our laps until it was time to return to
the barn. He was so innocent, taking great pleasure out of
the very simplest of things.
Neo began to succumb to
mild seizures in late January and his motor coordination
rapidly began to deteriorate. So gentle and so fragile, our
little Neo was not able to keep up the fight and he fell
very ill. We rushed Neo to our vet knowing too well what
lied ahead. We held him in our arms and eased his passage in
order to spare him any further discomfort in this world.
We are so grateful for the time,
however brief, that we had Neo in our care, but heartbroken that we lost him so soon. He was so lovely, and
sadly, so broken. But now he is whole again in a world which
holds far less pain and far more promises. May you quack
loudest now, little Neo.
Our innocent, little one... You are
We are still getting a number of emails
about ganders and Muscovy drakes going a little crazy and
attacking their caretakers. This is not a sign of
aggression, your darlings haven't turned on you; in fact,
quite the opposite is going on. During this time of year,
boys get all riled up with Spring Fever and their displays
may be aimed at you.
So if your gander
suddenly becomes hot headed and gives you a good bruise or
your Muscovy drake suddenly comes chasing after you, biting
at your ankles, understand that they are not trying to hurt
you, but rather show you how much they love you in the only
way they know how.
Behavior can sometimes
be controlled by mounting them when they get too out of line
and this is necessary when dealing with these large male
birds or else they will displace you as the alpha leader.
You want to hold onto you position in the hierarchy to avoid
future problems. Just squat down over your boy and gently
push his neck down to the ground, hold it there for one
second, release and dismount. Now you are communicating in
his language. This works for ganders too.
In warmer weather,
follow this action up by picking up your bird and then
plopping them down into water (or setting them down if you
have a small water source or kiddie pool). They will often
stop behaving badly and immediately start taking a bath.
And remember, as
boisterous as your boys are now, they will return to their
old loveable selves as the mating season wanes off. They
will still be feisty in Summer, but will calm down to be
your darlings again in Fall.
contact us if you need
us to mail you a tax receipt for your total donations for
2008. Please include your full name and complete mailing
address in the email. Thank you!