The Wildlife Center continues to receive Easter ducklings that have been dyed bright festive colors. This is despite our media blitz to educate parents that dyed ducklings and chicks make poor pets that will be killed by predators including dogs and cats if not protected. The day before Easter someone dropped off three “leftover” baby ducks, one pink, one green and one blue that had been party favors at an Easter party. Live animals as party favors? What were they thinking?
Baby ducks and chickens are exceedingly cute, even if they are not dyed. Care of the hatchlings isn’t really too bad – they make a mess with their water, but they don’t eat much and there’s not that much poop. The problem is that by the time the duckling is the size of those in the photograph – they need lots or room, they make a huge mess with their water and their poop is super slimy when wet and hard as concrete when dry. Oh – and there’s lots of it. Now what happens? They are tame, they can’t fly yet and even once fully grown will need to be housed in a predator proof area at night.
After Easter, the Wildlife Center of Texas received another 14 dyed ducks. One had been released in a community pond. The duckling was too young to fly. The duckling was so tame that it ran up to a big dog and was bitten. The dog broke the duck’s back and it had to be euthanized. Please help with the campaign against giving Easter ducks next year by reminding friends and acquaintances that there are rarely good outcomes for these little ones.