Back to page

Uninhibited Ducks - Duck and Duckling Rescue and Sanctuary

  • Friscos stay in Wellinton has been extended     19 April 2018

    Posted by: Kim Hartley
    Main image

    I'm missing him HEAPS and can't wait for him to come home. The April PetBus was returning down here this weekend, however Frisco does not yet have his prosthetic leg, which is now really essential, if he is ever to walk again. So for the moment he is remaining in Wellinton. The Pet Bus only goes once a month so this means Frisco will be up here till at least the end of May.

    Please consider donating to the Wellington Bird Rehabilitation Trusts fundraiser to purchase a 3D printer as this is what will give Frisco his new leg.

    You can views their fundraiser and donate at:

    https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/3d-printer-for-avian-prosthetic-limbs

    Also if anyone might have some unwanted airpoints they could donate, please get in touch with me via my facebook page, as I would LOVE to be able to fly up to Wellington and visit Frisco. It's like a little aching hole in my heart him being away amd Id really like to be able to go and visit him. Because of my ducks here, I cannot go to Wellington except for the day, or overnight tops, so need to fly there.

    I am also keeping an eye on car rental offers, as when frisco is ready to come home I would love to be able to go get him straigt away, not have to wait till the next petbuS. So donations of airpoint dollars, wojld also help me get up to Wellington. My own car is too old and needs too many repairs to make the trip.

    Sorry there have not been any other updates on Frisco for a while, at the moment it is just a waiting game.

    Meanwhile down here, I am going to be starting to build a small run for disabled ducks soon. The plan is to build an outdoors run with a flat floor surface which will allow ducks in wheelchairs to move about. And later, put in a sort of 'moat' that disabled ducks can use to swim around their run, as often ducks with leg problems can swim as well as any other duck.

    I also want to build s prototype wheelchair, based on one I have seen made for a Kitten. I have another duck who has arthritis, and tendon problems whip will probably,be the first to use this, but if Frsco does not get his prosthetic leg, or if he needs to rest his legs sometimes, there will be one available for him to use as well, as I plan to make a total of 2-4 wheelchairs, once I have got the design of the first one right, so that any ducks I may come across in the future who need one, can use them.

    I will attach a photo of the kitten wheelchair whose design I plan to use for the prototype... I like this design as it has no bars, or wheels etc in front of the animal i think I could use it with something similar to the sling I made for Frisco and my arthritic duck, which I used to hook onto bungee cords and hold to allow them to walk with assistance.

    Once I have a working prototype I will post photos or video of it here or on the facebook page (or both)

      0 comments  |  Login to leave a comment  |  Share this update
  • Missing Frisco, and an Idea for a Disabled Enclosure...     9 April 2018

    Posted by: Kim Hartley

    I miss my little 'Disco Duck'

    Well it's about a week and a half now since Frisco went to Wellington. And I confess.. I miss him....

    Probably more than he misses me (if he misses me at all! Maybe my watch strap, but me, not so sure...)

    There's no new news on Frisco this week. Currently Craig is researching other options for Frisco in terms of a prosthetic for his leg, as they don't currently have their own 3d printer, and still need to raise around $1100 to buy one..

    Frisco is on antibiotics, but for joint infections it's a long course of treatment, and it is way to soon to expect any improvement, which unfortunately, if it does occur at all will be minimal.

    At the moment the best case scenario for Frisco is for him to regain the use of one leg, via a prosthetic leg, something which can only occur if a 3d printed leg can be obtained. Otherwise he is left with one stump, and one leg which has severe degeneration around the hip joint.

    The vet who saw Frisco in Wellington thinks that the stump wound will eventually granulate new tissue over and will stop bleeding and is not operating on that for now.

    If Frisco is unable to receive a 3D leg, he will probably have to return to Canterbury 'as is'.

    If that turns out to be the case, I am considering the following options for him:

    1: mega vitamin C therapy, as it has been shown in some animal studies to have significant, almost miraculous effects on mobility in arthritic animals (though it was dogs not ducks). I have used it on a couple of other ducks here who had difficult to treat conditions. Both showed significant improvement with I cannot prove is due to the vit C but personally believe is... So I will probably try that.

    Otherwise the options are more about tools and environment, ie a 'wheelchair' for Frisco and an environment which helps him move about.

    I am thinking about investing some of the funds donated into building a small enclosure here for disabled ('differently abled') ducks.

    For a wheelchair to be successful a purpose built space is probably essential, as I don't have any indoor space to house disabled ducks, and the outdoor space, being a rural property, is rocky and uneven, and it would be difficult to build a wheelchair that a duck with only one leg and limited strength in that leg, would be able to move around by pushing against the ground.

    I have seen photos and videos of a couple of other ducks who have been given wheelchairs to move about in. Neither duck is in Friscos situation. One was a duckling with major bird defects affecting the hips, and another was a duck with neurological problems meaning the duck could not hold himself up, keep his balance and I think also had some tremors or wobbles.

    However the sorts of things they had is what I would like to try and build...and if anyone out there has any engineering skills they think would be useful, or a 3D printer, and they would like to help brainstorm/develop something, please get in touch by messaging be via the facebook page (link on the Uninhibitedducks givealittle page)

    So firstly, a wheelchair, and secondly an enclosure to use it in.

    My initial thoughts for the enclosure are a space with a smooth probably wooden floor, to make the chair easy to roll. However if the floor is too smooth it may be difficult for Frisco to get any traction with his one leg. So I may have to develop a chair, then try different flooring surfaces.

    Once the floor has been decided on, I would like to also build a sort of 'canal' system through the enclosure. A micro scale Venice. A small system of shallow canals that would allow a disabled duck who cannot walk, to swim about and this way, move independently to most areas of the enclosure.

    Along the sides of the canal, I would like to put in some sort of planters, and grow plants and grasses that the ducks can forage in, whilst swimming along the canals.

    If I can think of a way to achieve it on a budget, Id love to put in some way of heating the water, maybe using an old wetback log burner and some sort of recirculating water system, something that isn't going to be always on, but can be used to warm the watr to allow any fragile ducks, or ducks with no water proofing, to swim in warm water. Also for ducks possibly recovering from surgical procedures, or trauma, or illness, duck who may not be strong enough to maintain their body temperature in cold water.

    I would also like to set up planters at wheelchair height, to allow a duck in a wheelchIr to be able to approach the planter and forage in it.

    Other items that Id like to put in the enclosure include a 'zip' line type set up, to allow ducks to exercise their wings for flight, or allow ducks who cannot move about on land, move themselves about using their wings in a way that doesn't damage the wing feathers or cause skin abrasions (which 'wing walking' does).

    And on the sides and tops of the outdoor part of the enclosure, Id like to have some clear polythene, or glass 'shutters' that could be opened and closed as needed, to provide rain cover and wind protection, so that ducklings and no waterproof ducks, could spend time outdoors when the weather was rainy or windy (or both) without being at risk of hypothermia. Also because this would make my job much easier and would be less stressful for the ducks, if I didn't have to try herd or catch mums and vulnerable ducklings, or injured/sick/disabled ducks to get them indoors when the weather is bad, or deny them access to the outdoors if the weather is changeable and I am not going to be home...

    And any other ideas that would allow disabled ducks to live as normal and independent, yet safe and warm, life possible.

    I have a picture in my head of how this will all look, but unfortunately God did not bless me with drawing skills and I don't have any apps that will allow me to design what I am visualizing. Nor have I seen any photos on the web of anything similar to what I want to build...

      0 comments  |  Login to leave a comment  |  Share this update
  • Frisco is on his way to Wellington today     29 March 2018

    Posted by: Kim Hartley
    Main image

    Thanks to your support, Frisco Is currently on his way to Wellington and will arrive later tonight.

    If youwould like to donate specifically to Friscos case, I have created a fundraiser to help the Wellington Bird Rehabilitation Trust purchase a 3D printer. I would like donations for Frisco to go towards this goal as they need to meet it in the next couple of weeks if Frisco is to have his chance at a new leg. The link is:

    https://givealittle.co.nz/fundraiser/givefriscoalegup

    I will post updates on Frisco as I have them. Here he is in his travelling outfit (Friscos 'Disco' Outfit is not just to show how stylish a duck he is! It's actually to help cushion his stump wound against further injury and also allows him to be supported when standing on his remaining leg)

      0 comments  |  Login to leave a comment  |  Share this update
  • Frisco Update and Cute Video!     27 March 2018

    Posted by: Kim Hartley
    Main image

    Thank you to all of you who have donated towards Friscos costs. Frisco will be travelling to Wellington this week. While donations towards my duck sanctuary and the costs of running it are , of course always appreciated, if you would specifically like to donate towards Frisco, I would ask that your donate funds towards the purchase of a 3D printer for the Wellinton Bird Rehabilitation Trust via this link:

    https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/3d-printer-for-avian-prosthetic-limbs

    If they can achieve their goal while Frisco is in Wellington, he will have a chance to receive one of the first limbs printed! For Frisco this will be more complicated and costly tha simply printing a leg. Friscos own leg was bitten/torn off when he was just a few days old, and only a small part of his leg remains. Not enough to fit a prosthetic onto. So for Frisco to receive a new leg, a vet will probably first have tofit a metal support onto what is left of his leg, that the prosthetic can then be attached to,

    This is specialist surgery, and there are no avian qualified vets in the South Island. So for Frisco to have his chance, the 3D printer needs to be purchased while he is in Wellington. He will most likely be there for just under a month, till 24-25 April.

    If you can help, PLEASE, PLEASE DONATE TO their fundraiser for a 3D printer! This will change Friscos life in a massive way. And it will also mean lots of other birds will also get to have a second chance at life....

    https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/3d-printer-for-avian-prosthetic-limbs

    I will keep you updated on Friscos progress. And if he does get his new leg, I will of course, post videos and photos of his progress with that!

    Thank you all for your support and prayers.

    If you cannot afford to donate yourself but would like to help, please share this page and the links on your facebook and other social media, and encourage your friends to share the post with their own comments as this is the best way to promote Friscos cause using social media. You never know there could be someone who sees this post, thanks to a share you did, who donates and as a result Frisco gets his leg!

    Also if you are someone who prays, please pray for Frisco to have a safe and successful journey and surgery in Wellington, and for the Trust to reach their goal to purchase that 3D printer!

    Meanwhile, enjoy this clip of Frisco having his bath tonight... I know he enjoyed filming it!

    PS. I am in the country and limited to a 3G connection via my mobile phone with low coverage and a very tiny data limit, so please excuse the video quality which was the best I could upload. I will try and upload higher quality versions of these videos from my sister or mums fibre connections when I get a chance. Check out the Uninhibitedducks chNnel and subscribe to be notified when a higher quality version is available

    Again, thank you all so much for your donations. They will dramatically change at least two lives (Frisco and me) for the better, and probably many more over time!

      0 comments  |  Login to leave a comment  |  Share this update
  • Good News on Friscos Foot     23 March 2018

    Posted by: Kim Hartley
    Main image

    Well my prayers have been answered and the dead tissue I found on Friscos foot has responded to treatment. Last night when changing his dressing several pieces of dead tissue had sloughed off leaving healthy pink tissue growing back underneath, yay!

      0 comments  |  Login to leave a comment  |  Share this update
  • Update on Frisco the One Legged Duck     22 March 2018

    Posted by: Kim Hartley

    Well it's almost time.... In just over a week, Frisco will begin his journey up to Wellington.

    Over the last week or so there have been ups and downs. Some dark areas of dead tissue developed on Friscos remaining leg and foot just over a week ago, a discovery which worried me greatly. Since then I have been dressing the leg with a combination of compression bandaging around the leg, and antibacterial dressings on the leg and foot. I also have been putting hyaluronic acid gel on the foot, as hyaluronic acid encourages tissue growth and repair. Luckily so far, since discovering the dead tissue, no further tissue death seems to have occurred. And the dead tissue that is there appears to be restricted to the outer layers of skin, ie cosmetic only. I am not sure what has caused it. Whether it is some event that has occurred and caused the death of a little bit of tissue at the time, and that is it. Or whether whatever injury caused Frisco to lose the ability to bear weight on his re mainly leg, also impacted on the blood supply to that leg, and as a result, caused tissue loss.

    On the good side, Frisco has started to put a little bit of weight on his remaining leg. He cannot hop around on it except with assistance, and cannot stand for any amount of time on the leg, but he can hold his wait briefly, and has been able to move himself around a little.

    To give you an example. Until a week ago, Frisco had been unable to move himself from one place to another AT ALL...I could put him down, and if someone came along and drew one of those police chalk outlines around him, he would still have been perfectly inside that outline even hours later.

    Now if I put him down in one spot, I may find him a foot or two away from it when I return.

    While he started putting some weight on his leg just over a week ago, it is only in the last couple of days that he has been moving about a little.

    In the last couple of days he has been moving from where I put him, when I put him outside. And he is also more active about moving away from me when I go to pick him up (this is a natural tendency for a duck, even when handled a lot, the only ducks I have seen that won't walk away from an approaching human, even one they know well, are either human imprinted (hatched by a human) or have seen green garden peas in that humans hand! - My ducks forget completely that they are scared of humans when I bring out the (thawed) frozen garden peas!)

    Also, Frisco has developed his adult Drake Voice!

    While only females develop the loud quack that is usually associated with a duck, young drakes go through 3 different voices. After starting like with the chirpy cheep of a duckling, a drake will normally keep his duckling voice for a little while after his sisters get their 'quacks'. He will then get a sort of intermediate voice which sounds like a horse whispered whistle. I call it their 'worried' voice, as to me young drakes always sound terribly worried when they call out with that voice.

    After a month or two with their 'worried' voice, a drake will finally get his "verrp", his adult male voice. Described as a hoarse whisper, the only written description I have seen of the drake voice that resembles the sound, is the "verrp". So that is now what I call it.

    Anyway, one day frisco was sounding "worried" two days later he was verrping with the best of them, and he now has a 100% manly verrp.

    He's also become a little more cautious of me since getting his verrp, and as most adult ducks become more cautious of humans, even my human imprinted ones, I am guessing that this natural tendancy to avoid any predator (creature with two eyes on the front of its head) is behind Friscos slight change in behaviour towards me.

    Soon he will probably molt into his mating plumage. And quite possibly this will happen while he is in Wellnngton, meaning my little wee duck will come back a grown up man-duck in totally different colors than he left! I'll have to look closely at his eyes to recognise him.

      0 comments  |  Login to leave a comment  |  Share this update
  • Frisco the One Legged Duck!     12 March 2018

    Posted by: Kim Hartley
    Main image

    Thanks to your generous donations, Frisco will be going to Wellington at the end of March for assessment and treatment.

    We are still not sure what is going on with his remaining leg. Unfortunately the cost of getting x Rays down here was quoted as being $300 - $450 which is more money than I have right now. I am still waiting to hear back from the local vet as to whether it is worth him examining Frisco to hopefully rule out some diagnoses on the leg, prior to his travel up to Wellington.

    Anyway in the meantime, I have booked Frisco on the PetBus to travel up to Wellington.

    Craig Shepherd of the Wellinton Wildlife Rehabilitation Trust has not ruled out funding surgery on Friscos remaining leg as well as surgery on the stump. He said the most important thing in his mind was the value of life, for these birds. Something I thoroughly agree with.

    Anyway with that in mind, any of you wishing to donate to help out Frisco might want to consider donating either all or most of what you can give, to the Wellington Bird Rehabilitation Trust, to help cover the costs of Frisco's surgery. If you like, you can add a note when you donate too say it's to help out with Frisco's costs, which are coming out of Craig's pocket and which were offered freely by Craig, with no hinting or asking for such help by me!

    I have added a link here to one of their Givealittle pages:

    The page is raising funds for a 3d printer to print out prosthetic legs for birds. I chose this one as it is something that could be life changing for ducks like Frisco (and who knows maybe even for Friisco if they raise funds in time!)

    https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/3d-printer-for-avian-prosthetic-limbs

    You are still of course welcome to donate to Frisco, or towards my rescued ducks in general, and f you wish to donate to bo without making two transactions, you can donate here and add a note that you wish some of the funds to be given to Craig from the Welllingon Biird Rehabillitation Trust.

    Thanks again for your donation. I am very grateful and will keep you update here, and also via the facebook page, on Fricos progress!

      0 comments  |  Login to leave a comment  |  Share this update
  • Frisco the One Legged Duck     7 March 2018

    Posted by: Kim Hartley

    We have had some very generous donations over the last few days (THANK YOU very much !) and a generous offer by PetBus to discount their fare for Frisco!

    There are still a few 'ducks to line up', and I don't want to 'count my ducklings before they hatch' (excuse the twin duck puns!) but hopefully we can have Frisco up in Wellington by the end of this month!

    The next steps I will be taking, are as follows:

    Contacting Craig from the Wellinton Bird Rehabilitation Trust, and discussing Friscos remaining leg with him, which Frisco is no longer able to stand on. I have concerns that Frisco has possibly dislocated it, and not sure what that will mean for Frisco and whether their vet will be able to repair that as well as Friscos stump.

    I will ask Craig whether he would like me to have a vet down here examine Frisco with a view to hopefully being able to give the vet up there, either a diagnosis on the remaining leg, or at least some possible diagnoses.

    It may be that Frisco will need surgery on both his stump and his remaining leg, and obviously this will cost potentially a lot more than just dealing with the stump wound.

    So I plan to try and catch up with Craig via phone in the next day or two, discuss this with him, and my own observations ask Craig whether he is happy for all that to be assessed in Wellington, or whether he would like Frisco to be seen by a vet here before sending him all that way.

    Your thoughts would be appreciated over the next couple of days and prayers that whatever is causing the weakness in Friscos remaining leg can be repaired/treated so that Frisco can have his chance at the life he deserves.

    Right now, I am thrilled that your donations have enabled me to start things moving for Frisco, and I am really hoping that over weeks and months to come, I can post updates here, and on the facebook page of Frisco travelling to Wellington, undergoing treatment and recovering successfully, returning here and eventually videos of a Frisco back on his feet (foot) followed by videos of a Frisco who soars through the air the way he currently sees all his mallard peers here do. Every time I pick him up these days, his wings start to flap, he loves to be in his little sling thing, or help up hig in my hands while he flaps his wings. It's so obvious how much he wants to fly.

    He's spent so long on the sidelines, watching other ducks live their lives, I can't wait to see Frisco be able to get up and join in, rather than watch life passing him by...

    Thank you for your support. Please keep checking this page and also the Facebook page (facebook.com/uninhibitedducks) for updates on Frisco and the other ducks.

    Due to my only Internet access out here in the country being expensive and very limited mobile data(currently 1.25gb a month!) , many updates, like this one, will be text based. But once things start happening with Friscos treatment and recovery I will try and capture it all on video, and when I am at my family's homes in town, I will upload those videos on their fibre ;-)

    Any questions or comments are welcome.

      0 comments  |  Login to leave a comment  |  Share this update
  • 'Frisco' the One Legged Duck     11 January 2018

    Posted by: Kim Hartley
    Main image

    Frisco is about 9 weeks old. He is a wild mallard duck who lost one of his legs in his first week of life, probably by an eel, or hedgehog. He was given to me by a fellow duck rescuer, who took him in after he noticed him struggling to keep up with his siblings and mother in his first week of life. My rescuer friend did not have any other ducklings in his care at the time, and knowing I had other young ducklings, plus could offer Frisco long term place to live, offered Frisco to me. Very soon after I took him home, I realised Frisco had won my heart.

    Despite this horrific start to his life, Frisco has developed into an engaging and unique duck. He has a real character and usually has plenty to say.

    On arrival at Ducktopia, Frisco was accepted into a group of 7 (including him) ducklings. They are all now Juvenille ducks, and though he is still an accepted and welcomed member of that group, Frisco often seems to prefer to spend his time alone. Like most ducks, Frisco will protect when picked up, however at the same time as he is protesting, he is usually also positioning himself up close under my chin for a cuddle, so much so he has earned the nickname my 'cuddle duck'.

    This video shows a young Frisco, hopping about the run he was initially placed in, along with 6 other ducklings. Nowadays, Frisco free ranges by day, but still comes indoors at night. He is almost flying, and my feelings on this are divided. ...

    I am excited for him, and for the new world flight will open up to him after being limited to hopping about on his one leg....

    And I worry... Firstly because for mallard ducks, flight is only possible at high speeds, meaning landings are often brutal. Leg injuries are common in wild ducks and they seem prone to them. So I worry about the impact that repeated high speed landings, even when they turn out as planned (let alone the inevitable crash landings ducks learning to fly go through) will have on his one leg.

    Secondly, since his wings have developed, he has started to use them as 'arms' or secondary legs, is throwing them out to balance himself in a kind of 3-legged walk. His wings are not made for this and I am concerned he will develop sores on the wings. Hopefully once he is able to lift off the ground consistently, he will stop using his wings in this way,

    I also worry about him leaving Ducktopia, either for a day, overnight, or longer, unaware of the dangers that lurk outside the safety of the enclosure here... Though I guess, he has already experienced those dangers at a very young age...

    If anyone would like to donate funds specifically for the care of Frisco, please say so in the notes with your donation. Either way, Frisco will always have a home here, and a special place in my heart...

      0 comments  |  Login to leave a comment  |  Share this update
  • Miss Sore Leg Duck     14 July 2017

    Posted by: Kim Hartley
    Main image

    This is 'Miss Sore Leg Duck'

    She first came to my attention when I discovered her limping about, in my old home in North Loburn.

    She spent a week or two in one of my duck cages there, seeming quite happy to take a bit of time to rest and eat well. I was wondering whether or not to take her with me when I moved, but the night before I was due to move, she started loudly protesting that she wanted out of the cage she was in.

    Her leg, by then, was almost good as new, so I released her. Considering she had been taken in as an adult, I figured she would be happier remaining in familiar home grounds, rather than being moved elsewhere, especially as she was basically back to full health and had not been raised in my care so I decided not to try and relocate her to 'Ducktopia' (however she had other ideas!)

    .

    So the next day I packed up myself, my domestic ducks and some of the rescued ducks that still needed care, or had made it clear they wanted to live in the situation I was offering.

    After putting the other ducks that were staying in the cage Miss Sore Leg Duck had been in, in relocation cages on the trailer, I walked back past that cage. And was surprised to see that Miss Sore Leg Duck had walked back into that cage, sat down, with her mate, and was looking pointedly at me, as if to say

    "Why have you left me behind?

    What did I do wrong??"

    I swear, if she had owned a suitcase, it would have been packed up and neatly stowed alongside her and her 'Mr Duck', they were so clearly ready and waiting to go!

    I looked at her and the pleading expression on her face, and while logic told me I should leave her, something else told me to take her.

    So I packed them up and brought them along.

    And that was early December 2016. And since then Miss Sore Leg has not spent one single night away fro her new home. Many of the ducks I raised, ducks that were moved here as fledglings, juveniles, or ducklings, have grown up here and still spend much of their here time here, but have all spent at least a few nights elsewhere.

    But not Miss Sore Leg Duck.

    She brought her mate, broke up with him, and found another mate. Her old mate, and her new one, both like to spend nights elsewhere, and as the female mate, she is expected to follow the male wherever he goes..

    But not Miss Sore Leg Duck...

    Many changes have occured here in the last 6-8 months, including netting being put up, hunting starting nearby and more. Many ducks have been a bit frightened by the changes, and flown away in a panic, then returned, a few hours, days or even weeks and months later...

    But not Miss Sore Leg Duck

    Every day, every night, she's been here, since the day we arrived.

    Even when her new mate insisted on flying elsewhere every night to roost, she stayed (and berated him without mercy the following morning on his return!).

    Even when the enclosure netting collapsed under snow and almost all the other ducks, including her bestie, 'Storm', flew off, she stayed.

    Even when I had to herd all the (mostly flightless, domestic breed) ducks into a strange shed for the night, against their will. In a situation where, if they could have flown, I suspect many of my domestics would have departed,

    She stayed...

    No matter how strange, scary, exposed, or abandoned (by other ducks) she has been....

    Miss Sore Leg Duck has remained.

    With a determination that amazes me, this adult female duck, who I knew only a few weeks before bringing her here, has made it abundantly clear that wherever I take her, herd her, or send her, that is her home.

    And woe betide any drakes, ducks, or weather that try and say otherwise!

    I have no idea what I did to deserve such loyalty. But I am honoured to have been 'choosen' by such a special and wonderful duck.

    Here's to you, Miss Sore Leg Duck.

      0 comments  |  Login to leave a comment  |  Share this update
  • The first Winter Ducklings have arrived (photos)     16 June 2017

    Posted by: Kim Hartley
    Main image

    Meet Adriel and her ducklings. Adriel hatched these little cuties almost a week ago. With temperatures where they hatched (North Loburn) dropping below zero at night, they had little to no chance to survive the cold weather long enough to get their adult feathers, so they have joined the rest of my Ducky family in Eyrewell Forest at 'Ducktopia'.

    I am really hoping there are not any more winter ducklings, however my old neighbour in North Loburn said a number of other female ducks are displaying broody behaviours (ducks have quite distinctive quacks and body language that they only display when either raising young ducklings or incubating eggs).

    These guys are spending their nights in one of my duck houses, with my only heat pad keeping them warm. So help is needed to purchase the following, both for these ducks, and for any others that may arrive. Without your help I will not be in a position to help any more winter ducklings and that does unfortunately mean that any others which hatch before spring will almost certainly die before reaching a week of age.

    Urgently needed are:

    At least one more pet head pad

    Money to purchase materials to build a covered run (polythene) to give mums and ducklings an outdoor area where they can spend the days and be sheltered from wind and rain. Wet and windy weather is a real killer and unfortunately mummy ducks just will not willingly go indoors when the weather gets bad, so if am not there all day every day to herd them inside then lock them there in bad weather, they have to either be locked inside a small house every time I am not there in the day, or left out when I am away and hope they are ok....

    The mother ducks do not do well if locked inside (not surprisingly, as they are a wild animal) and a mother duck locked inside a small house during daylight hours will fret and may abandon her ducklings, or inadvertently injure them trying to escape. So I would like to build a sort of cover/run, which has clear plastic polythene sides and top instead of wire netting. Something I could place in front of the door to their house on days where the weather is not looking great, and that way mum and babies have an outdoor area they can be in, which will not be windy and where the babies will stay dry if it rains.

    Ducklings are not waterproofs ike ducks, their waterproofing does not come in until they grow adult feathers. Until then they have some waterproofing from their mums feathers, but it is limited in how well it keeps them dry. In rainy weather ducklings not covered can very quickly get saturated, and once this happens they usually die, often within minutes.

    please donate. Or if you have a pet heat pad you no longer need, or any thick clear plastic that you could donate please contact me via the facebook page or text 020 406 41485

      0 comments  |  Login to leave a comment  |  Share this update
  • Hello from the ducks!     5 June 2017

    Posted by: Kim Hartley

    (I'm pretty sure that's what they all wanted to say in this video!)

      0 comments  |  Login to leave a comment  |  Share this update
  • Dont forget to check out the facebook page!     12 March 2017

    Posted by: Kim Hartley

    For more updates, photos, videos and even duck 'hot gossip'! Check out the facebook page!

    Www.facebook.com/uninhibitedducks

      0 comments  |  Login to leave a comment  |  Share this update
  • To every season, turn, turn, turn     12 March 2017

    Posted by: Kim Hartley
    Main image

    Well we are almost halfway thrgh March already, which means there is just one and a half months to go until duck Hunting season starts. I dread this time of year because it means my babies (my rescued flying ducks) are in danger.

    My first rescued ducks came into my life in Feb last year. 4 ducklings who I raised, and who waddled their way into my heart. By April last year those four ducks (Little Duck, Whisper, Punky and Chatterbox) were flying and spending the days doing their own thing, returning home at night.

    By mid April Little Duck had found himself a girlfriend and spent some nights away from home with her. Soon after Punky and Chatterbox also spent a night or two away from home. However they were never away more than one or two nights.

    So I thought I had time.... Time to lock them up over the start of hunting. Two days of carnage they call opening weekend.

    But then they all decided to take a holiday. I dont know why, perhaps someone nearby was baiting their pond with corn (some farmers put out food for ducks in the weeks leading up to the start of the season, so that the ducks start to see their ponds as a safe and welcoming place to nest and feed)

    Anyway, they went off just over a week before the start of the hunting season, and I have not seen any of them since. So my assumption is that all 4 were shot and killed that weekend.

    Please help me get a roof on 'Ducktopia' so that i dont have to lose any of these guys to a 'hunter's shotgun

    Pictured in the foreground:

    "Miss Sore Leg Duck" a sweet gentle miss, with the cutest quiet little quack, and a penchant for lettuce, that some might call an addiction (she often sleeps beside the bin I bring the lettuce home in so as not to miss out on any when I dish it out)

      0 comments  |  Login to leave a comment  |  Share this update
  • We need a roof!     2 March 2017

    Posted by: Kim Hartley

    Just one more donation from so eone who hasnt donated to this (new version of the) page already, to get it live. You dont need to donate much, just $1 or whatever the minimum amount Givealittle have set will do.

    That will get this page live and searchable on the Givealittle site. And also mean there is no annoying pop up to click on on every time you visit

    Goals!

    At the moment the biggest need is to get a roof on Ducktopia.

    I have around 25-30 wild flying ducks who are here every day but not always here at night. They are flying off somewhere close by at nightfall and returning in the morning.

    As well as the obvious risk of predators, there is another far more ominious risk approaching rapidly.....duck hunting season.

    Duck hunters arrive and hide before sunrise, then shoot at the ducks when they fly off to wherever they normally spend their day,

    They also hide and wait to shoot ducks in the evening when they are flying into their night time spot. Often they will 'bait' ponds, rivers, irrigation ponds etc with corn or other food in the weeks leading up to the start of huntin season, causing ducks to see the place as a safe haven where there is also plentiful food.

    This means all of my flying ducks are at risk of being killed, or worse, injured and possibly left to die a slow and agonising death, if they are not here at sunrise and sunset.

    Additionally there are risks to all the ducks from flying predators, and for the last 2-3 weeks a hawk (harrier, swamp harrier) has been hanging around the area, and has already swooped right down towards

    Ducktopia,( clearly intent on duck or duckling for breakfast) and had to be chased off. The hawk has been signed almost every day in the last week and is a definate concern. I have seen these birds go for adult ducks before.

    Another reason a roof is needed is to protect the health of the birds here, At the moment there is no way to prevent any wild duck flying in and mixing with the ducks here, and possibly spreading disease.

    Wild ducks will always be welcome, but S numbers of birds grow, I need to be putting quarantine measures into place to protect the ducks who call Ducktopia home.

    My plan is to allow wild ducks who want to, or need help to still enter Ducktopia, either via the gates (as a mother with 8 ducklings did earlier this year) or with me, through places such as Oxford bird rescue. However on entry they will be placed into separate pens until I am sure they do not pose any significant risk to my other ducks.

    Any wild flying ducks who are physically capable of living in the wild without my support, who demonstrate behaviour indicating they do not wish to be kept in Ducktopia, will be released.

    This way I hope to be able to offer any duck in need food and a safe place to live or recover, without putting the health of my current ducks at risk. Many of these ducks were hand raised by myself. They are like children to me, and like any mother, the thought of them being shot and killed or shot and injured terrifies me. I will do whatever I can to keep them from harm, including temporarily restricting their movement to within Ducktopia at high risk times such as the Opening weekend of the Duck hunting season.

    Without a roof over Ducktopia the only way to prevent the flying ducks from leaving the safety of Ducktopia, would be to either cage them in a much smaller area, or clip their wings. Clipping their wings will prevent them flying until they molt, which wont be until Dec - Feb 2018.

    The best way to keep the ducks safe while still allowing them the freedom to roam and forage as they see fit, and the freedom to spread their wings and fly, would be to place a roof over top of Ducktopia. This requires a wire netting or bird netting cover over around 600sqm

      0 comments  |  Login to leave a comment  |  Share this update
  • 2 more donations needed to go Live!     20 January 2017

    Posted by: Kim Hartley
    Main image

    Because I have had to create a new page, I have to go through the GiveaLittle verification process again which means I need 3 donations from different people to get the page live.

    As far as I am aware any amount will do, even $1. So if you can help out with a donation to get the page live, it would be much appreciated!

    Below is a photograph of my first 'self referred' ducks! Yes I kid you not, these ducks arrived, literally at my front gate a few days ago.

    Their mum, who I have named Melissa, had been flying into my duck sanctuary ever day for a couple of weeks or so.

    I thought she was a broody duck on a nest, who had discovered that flying into 'Ducktopia' and raiding the food bowls was a quick way to get a feed (necessary for a duck who is spending up to 23 hrs a day sitting on eggs).

    However it turned out she was a broody duck with 8 almost grown up ducklings. She must have been looking for a good place to 'bring the kids' and was spending each day checking us out, until finally she decided to bring the kids on over.

    What really cracked me up is the fact that they arrived, literally, at my front gate. They literally walked up, and stood there making ducky conversational noises till I came out. I opened the gate and in they came.

    A ~4m stretch out of a total of approximately 100m of fencing!

    The fact that Melissa knew exactly where the entrance gate was shows how much time she spent checking the place out and observing me enter and exit before she gave us her stamp of approval!

    Because her ducklings were almost the same age as my 9 ducklings (my 'wee doves') at first I assumed that somehow the wee doves had gotten out, and i went out and started to herd them in. I quickly realised it was not my wee doves, but a group of strange ducklings. By this point they were already pretty much inside, and all heading off toward the pond. After some initial establishment of the pecking order, Melissa Nd her 8 young uns were pretty much part of the furniture. While they still can often be found loafing about as a group, they can just as often be found, hanging out with the existing ducks. As for my wee doves, they seem pretty happy to suddenly have all these extra peers. And I can see them soon becoming a formidable gang of 17!

      0 comments  |  Login to leave a comment  |  Share this update