Squeaky and Friends

100 Pictures of a Duck named Squeaky

Pet Duck in the City

Webbed foot prints in the snow

Webbed foot prints in the snow

If you have a pet duck in the city, please be a responsible pet owner, or else the city will make a bunch of ordinances. The squeaky wheel gets the oil. I  have been hearing about stray ducks wandering neighborhood streets, and owners dropping their ducks and birds off at the dog pound, and concerned individuals calling animal control to report a lost duck, to Facebook suggestions of setting pet ducks free in Swope Park; then the city has heard about these things too.

I realize my blog doesn’t reach a lot of viewers, but I want to take the time to give some advice about ducks. Don’t call animal control, city services cost money. Don’t dump ducks off at any city park. Do not give your duck up to the dog pound. Do not put your fingers in their beaks.

Do care for them. Keep them safe from predators. Do give them fresh water and food every day. Feed them un-medicated duck feed, plus tomatoes, salmon, lettuce, and corn.

I am not a first time pet duck owner. I have kept ducks as pets since I was a pre-teen living in Chicago, Illinois. My father was a chemist at Rosner and Hixon Laboratories, where they kept animals for testing. I found it impossible to pass the cages without rescuing some rabbit, dog, or duck, and sometimes a rat. When we moved to Cameron, MO in 1979, I brought my pets with me.

After I grew up and bought my own house, I enjoyed the company of a dog and cat. Then one spring I discovered baby ducks being sold at the City River Market in Kansas City, and I had to have one. It was only $3. The little yellow duck grew into a beautiful white duck. The kids and I called him, Howard. He lived for a few years happily in the family room with access to the backyard. He had the large master bathroom tub to swim in.

I know from experience that Swope Park is not a good place for Domestic ducks. One afternoon, the family thought we would take Howard for a picnic near the water. We let Howard swim with the wild ducks in the park. Howard was not comfortable with the other ducks, he just wanted to be with us. However, we made him go swimming and tried unsuccessfully to get him to socialize with the other ducks.

That evening Howard got ill. By morning he was very sick. The next day he died. My suggestion is to not let a domestic pet ducks mingle with wild ducks or city ducks in the park. In fact the ducks in the city do not survive here year round. City crews go around to all the city parks and fountains that have ducks, sometime in mid November, and they scoop them all up. I don’t know what they do with them.

Squeaky the Duck has been with me since she was a tiny little duckling. She has been very easy to train, but she has a totally different personality from Howard the Duck. Squeaky is demanding. She has an interest in being close to the family, especially me.

The weather is cold out right now, with a little snow on the ground, however we still have a routine. The routine provides a structure that she can rely and makes it possible to train her. I know each morning, at 4:00am she will lay an egg. I do not bother her during this time, plus an hour before and an hour after. If she is bothered, she will “Quack”, and “quack’ very loud, and sometimes all day long.

I get up around 7:00 am and although I give her fresh water, she waits at the back door, with the cat and dog, who all want outside. I let all the animals out at once. Thirty minutes later, I open the door and usually only have to call the dog back in, because Squeaky and the cat will be ready to zoom inside, if it is very cold out. Making sure every animal gets a fresh bowl of food and water is the next task. They know I am reliable, they pace around my feet, making this task a obstacle course.

I am not a perfect pet owner, I have left them in the yard too long and I have gone through the terror of calling their name as I run up and down the streets looking for my pet. My neighbors all help out, thanks to tags on the collars of the dog and cat, they can phone me. I am considering having an ankle bracelet made for Squeaky.

I hope every one is warm. Peace on earth.

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