Millennium Post

The lucky duck

The lucky duck
Q- I rescued a duck from a butcher. How do I feed it ?  
I hope you have a green area and a small pond . The duck will find insects and greens. Foods ducks regularly eat include: small fish and fish eggs, snails, worms and mollusks, small crustaceans, grass and weeds, algae and aquatic plants and roots, frogs and other amphibians, aquatic and land insects, seeds and grain, small berries, fruits and nuts. Some ducks will also eat sand, gravel and small stones to provide grit that aids their digestion . Grit may also provide trace amounts of critical minerals as part of an overall healthy, varied diet.

Some ducks are specialized for particular types of food, such as those with narrow, toothed bills that eat primarily fish. Perching ducks that live in trees often have a lot of nuts or fruits in their diet. Many ducks will have a diet of mostly insects in spring and summer when insects are most plentiful and provide the best protein and other nutrition for growing ducklings. When the seasons change and insects aren't as common, however, ducks will switch their diet to more easily available foods. A duck's diet may vary the most in winter, when they take advantage of any possible food source. Where a duck's overall range occurs impacts its diet. Ducks that stay in fields or grassland areas eat more grains and grasses, while ducks that live along oceanic shorelines will eat more fish and crustaceans. When a duck's range changes during migration, its diet will change as well. If food is scarce, a duck's range may change accordingly to find more abundant food sources. Ducks that prefer shady marsh habitats will eat more amphibians and small fish, while ducks that stay in more open parks and grassy areas are more prone to eat grasses, weeds and grain. Dabbling ducks feed in shallow water and are more likely to have a diet with more aquatic plants and insects, while diving ducks feed deeper in the water and typically eat more fish or crustaceans.

Unfortunately, the food most people associate with ducks – bread – is also one of the worst parts of a duck's diet. A diet of bread or bread-like products such as crackers, cookies, chips, cereal and similar scraps will cause health problems, including obesity, malnutrition and poor development. Uneaten, rotting bread in the water will foster disease and attract pests and predators such as rats and other mammals that may prey on ducklings or even attack adult ducks.

You can give cracked corn, oats, chopped vegetables,grass and lettuce leaves.  Leafy greens are an important part of a duck's diet.

Acceptable Treats and Supplements 
Plain scrambled eggs 
• Diced tomatoes and mild veggies 
• Finely chopped lettuce (opt for organic) 
• Hardboiled eggs - including the ones they lay The eggs are hardboiled, cooled then chopped finely with the shell on. You can heat the shells in the oven until crisp, then grind the shells into a crumbly consistency. Cool and serve. 

Absolute NO-NO's 
• Bread, pasta, bread products, popcorn, pretzels, chips, crackers... 
• Cookies, cakes, ice cream, sugared snacks or processed food products... 
• Seeds, nuts, seeded breads or crackers (causes a painful reaction similar to diverticulitis in humans), pits. 
• Chocolate, onion, garlic, spices, spicy foods, alcohol . 
• Colours, dyes, additives, chemicals, preservatives.. 
Junk food rapidly causes malnutrition, serious health problems and leads to a duck's death in a surprisingly short time. If a healthy duck lives up to 10 years, feeding snacks and junk means slicing 8 to 9 years off their lifespan. A poorly fed duck will become internally obese and literally drown in its own fat, though you will not see any outward physical signs as in other pets. You will begin to notice sluggishness and sometimes aggressive behaviour when they aren't eating correctly. Ducks should eat ONLY their staple food . 
Why is it advised to keep 2 rabbits than one?
Rabbits need company.Therefore, the best option is to keep a compatible pair of rabbits, although it is possible to keep just one rabbit if your rabbit lives indoors, as a house rabbit, as part of the family, with plenty of human company. Before introducing two rabbits, it is advisable to have them neutered to reduce fighting and aggressive behavior and to, of course, prevent unwanted litters. Rabbits like company and interaction. If you have a busy lifestyle consider getting two rabbits instead of one. They can keep each other company.

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