Duck FactsAbout the animals at Clark's Elioak Petting Farm
The DUCKS at the farm are Huey and Louie.
They are male Call Ducks. Call Ducks were developed in England as miniature decoys to "call" in the wild ducks. Call Ducks usually weigh 1 ½ -2 lbs. Call ducks are a bantam breed of domesticated ducks.
Miniature ducks have become more popular as pets because they are more easily cared for and require much less space than other waterfowl.
FUN FACTS ABOUT DUCKS
Ducks are birds. They are called "waterfowl" because they are normally found in places with water like ponds, streams and rivers. They are related to geese and swans. Ducks are smaller and have shorter necks and wings and a stout body.
Ducks have webbed feet, designed for swimming. Their webbed feet act like paddles for the ducks. A duck waddles instead of walking because of its webbed feet. A duck's feet cannot feel cold even if it swims in icy cold water, since its feet have no nerves or blood vessels.
Another special thing about ducks is that they have waterproof feathers. There is a special gland that produces oil near the duck's tail which spreads and covers the outer coat of the duck's feathers, making it waterproof. Beneath the waterproof coat are fluffy and soft feathers to keep the duck warm.
Ducks give out a special sound called quacking. However, not all ducks quack. The Wood Duck gives out a squeal instead. Female Call Ducks have a very loud quack.
Ducks are found in wetlands, marshes, ponds, rivers, lakes and streams. Some species of ducks migrate or travel long distance every year to breed. Usually they travel to warmer areas or where the water does not freeze so that they can rest and raise their young. The distance may be thousands of miles away. Ducks are found everywhere in the world except Antarctica which is too cold for them.
Ducks were once wild until they were domesticated by the Chinese. There are still many different species of wild ducks. Most of the farm ducks are of a species called "Pekin".
The duck's mouth is called a "bill". Normally it is broad and flat and has rows of fine notches along the edge called "larnellae". The larnellae helps the duck to grip its food so that it will not slip off.
The males are usually the brightly colored ones, while the females are usually dull-colored and brown in color so that they can hide and camouflage from their enemies when they are in their nests.
The male uses its colorful plumage to attract females. However, they will lose or molt their colorful feathers when the females are busy hatching the eggs. The males will then look like the female in color and be unable to fly temporarily.
Ducks usually look for a mate or partner in winter. The males will attract the females with their colorful plumage. The females will then lead the males to their breeding ground in spring. The breeding ground will usually be the place where she was hatched. The female will build a nest, lay 5-12 eggs and sit on them until they hatch. The eggs will normally hatch within 28 days.
The mother duck will keep her brood of ducklings together to protect them from predators. Animals like raccoons, turtles, hawks, large fish and snakes will eat the ducklings. Ducklings are able to fly within 5-8 weeks. When the young can fly, all the ducks will gather in flocks on large bodies of water to migrate to their wintering home. When the ducks fly, they usually do so in a "V-shape" or long line.
Indian Runner Ducks walk more upright than other ducks.
Information from kiddyhouse.com.