Many of the ducks who live on the Safe Haven pond flew there from a nearby gun club after being released from dark boxes to be shot at by humans with guns. Of course, after being held in dark boxes while being transported to the shooting range, the ducks are dazed and confused when they are released. They fly up into the air and many are killed for sport; a few of them make it to the safety of Safe Haven.
Other ducks come to Safe Haven from people who purchase young ducks around Easter for their children. As the ducks grow, the purchasers find they can no longer care for the ducks and their children lose interest. These ducks are unable to fly and have no idea how to live in the wild since they were raised for a few weeks on a factory farm without their mothers to teach them how to live on their own.
Ducks are raised in crowded cages on factory farms for meat and killed in unbelievably cruel ways. Many are force fed through metal tubes jammed down their throats until their livers become huge with fat. The ducks are killed and their livers ground up to make fois gras, a so-called delicacy that humans choose to eat without concern for the animals from which it is made. Other wild type ducks, like mallards, are often raised on factory farms, unable to learn how to live in the wild, and then shipped to gun clubs where they are released to be shot by hunters hiding nearby in duck blinds.
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Magpie Ducks are active, fast-moving ducks that love to forage. They are great accompaniments to the garden as they are very effective at controlling bugs, slugs, and other invertebrates. The Magpie Duck was officially developed in Wales in the early 20th Century. They have distinctive white and black markings that include a cap on the top of the head, above the eyes, across the lower back, and over the top surface of the tail, and extending over the tops of the wings, making a heart-like shape if viewed from above.
These two spunky ducks lived in a coop with other ducks, but the family noticed a fox just outside the duck house. The fox kept getting closer and closer and they became concerned for the safety of their ducks. Safe Haven to the rescue!
We welcomed these two Magpie ducks in September of 2022 and they quickly made themselves at home. Freckles (black beak) and Speckles (yellow beak) are not shy! They have established themselves at the top of the duck hierarchy.
Ancona ducks are highly regarded for their calm demeanor. They tend to stay close to their duck house or coop and run when turned out and have no desire to wander too far from their home base. Ducks of this breed are not only highly adaptable to varying climates, they are also exceptionally hardy as well. Cold winters and humid summers do not faze Ancona ducks – as long as they have a fresh water source to get into to cool off.
While foraging the little noise some Ancona ducks make resembles that of a squeaking hinge. All in all, these ducks are generally quite quiet and do not panic when exposed to loud noises that can cause chaos when some breeds are free ranging.
Austin was rescued from Michigan by a woman in Chatham, NY who had 25 ducks. She realized that she had too many males relative to her females and needed to re-home some of the male ducks. Two of the males arrived at Safe Haven in July of 2021. Since they were not attached to each other, one of our caretakers took one of the ducks home. He already has ducks and the set up to accommodate and welcome one more. Austin seamlessly integrated with his new duck family here at the sanctuary and is quite popular with “the ladies”. He is an incredibly handsome Ancona duck and has a sweet and gentle demeanor.
Muscovies are often referred to as the “quiet” or “quackless” duck. The males vocalize with a “hissing” sound while the females make a sound called a “pip” which is similar to the sound of a flute. Muscovies have a “crest” on the top of their heads that they use to express themselves. The males often raise their crest during mating season to fend off other males and show dominance. The crest is also raised to impress and attract the female. Muscovies use body language to communicate. They will wag their tails and raise and lowering their heads at one another.
Ava & Quinn
This dynamic duck duo was rescued by some incredibly compassionate humans after being dumped in Central Park. Tragically, there were three of them but one did not survive the unfamiliar environment where they were abandoned. When pets and farmed animals are callously tossed out of their homes, survival is near impossible. They are left at the mercy of predators or slow and painful starvation. We are full of gratitude for those who rescued these sweet Muscovy girls and thrilled to welcome them into our family.
The Pekin is a large domestic duck used primarily for egg and meat production. Pekin ducks are also the most common breed sold as pets during the Easter holiday season. They have pure white feathers with orange legs and bills and range in weight from 8-12 pounds. Ducks are able to stay afloat in the water because of air sacs inside their bodies that increase their buoyancy! Their feathers are covered with a waterproof substance that keeps the ducks warm and dry. Pekin Ducks are poor fliers due to their large, heavy bodies. Ducks do not have teeth, but they do have bumpy edges on their bills that help them to filter food out of the water.
Cassidy lived in upstate NY. The man who owned her did a lot of traveling and realized he needed to find a more suitable home for her. We welcomed this lovely little lady in May of 2020 . We and are happy to report she will never be lonely here at Safe Haven as she has made friends with the abundance of ducks living happily our sanctuary. She enjoys her days swimming and foraging with her new family.
Cassidy can be shy at times but also not afraid to speak her mind. She is very vocal when she has something she wants to say!
This cutie pie arrived in September of 2021. Chip was living with a family that took her into their home from a friend who had six ducks that were purchased as pets for Easter. The friend soon realized they were not equipped to care for the ducks. Each year, parents and others buy ducklings on impulse for Easter but have no idea how to care for these fragile creatures. Sadly, as a result, many of the ducks are dumped in parks or by creeks left to fend for themselves and vulnerable to predators. The family provided Chip with a temporary home until they could find the perfect place for her to live a happy life. They were thrilled to find Safe Haven where they knew this precious duck would be safe and receive all the care she needed to thrive. Chip spends her days exploring with her many duck friends and enjoying their pond. She is super sweet and friendly and loves to interact with her human friends at the sanctuary. She might just be the cuddliest duck of all time!
Nicholas, Savannah & Scarlett
Formerly known as the “Fantastic Four”, this group included a sweet duck named Noah who sadly passed away. His friends Nicholas (left), Savannah (top/right), and Scarlett (bottom/right) sorely miss him. These ducks arrived at Safe Haven in the summer of 2019. They came from an egg hatching project at a school in Armonk, NY. As often happens with hatched baby ducks and chicks, placement of the babies fell through and the school really had no idea what to do. One of the teachers found us online and contacted us. They really had no other possibilities so we took the babies at nearly 2 weeks of age. These duck friends are living happily at our sanctuary and enjoy spending their days exploring and swimming in their pond.
Petunia is an adorable Crested Duck. This type of duck is known for having a powder puff of white feathers on the top of the head! Petunia lived with 4 other duck friends in a loving home on Long Island. Sadly, her pals were killed by a dog but Petunia managed to escape the same fate. The family was devastated and sought a safe and loving home for her. When Petunia was ready to join our flock at Safe Haven, the other ducks raced over to say hi, circled around her and urged her to join them for a swim.
Campbells are very energetic little ducks that need plenty of space to explore. They typically weigh about 4 pounds and come in a variety of colors: Khaki, White, Dark and Pied. Even though this breed does not necessarily require water for swimming, they do enjoy swimming in shallow waters. They are excellent foragers that keep gardens and ponds free of slugs, snails and worms.
Frankie & Reese
These tiny baby ducks arrived in July of 2021 at just a few weeks old. We were contacted by a woman who discovered the ducklings while she was hiking along a path in a farmland area of New Jersey. She took them home to care for them temporarily in her apartment. She knew this wouldn’t be the ideal living situation for the ducks long term. So she searched for a proper home and contacted Safe Haven. Once they were big enough, they were introduced to our large duck family where they enjoy days exploring and enjoying the pond.
Robin Raven & Starling
Robin, Raven and Starling (left to right) arrived in April of 2022 when their people were sadly evicted from their home and needed to quickly find a new home for their three darling ducks. They spend their days happily exploring and swimming in the time with their new duck friends.
Sparrow River & Raine
In May of 2022, we welcomed these three precious ducklings in need. Sparrow (in the middle) found great comfort snuggling with her two new friends, River and Raine, after losing her entire family when they were abandoned at a local dairy bar.
Tragically, her mother and two siblings were struck and killed by a passing vehicle. Some very compassionate passersby stopped to assess the scene and rescue this frightened little one. This sweet duckling has found her (or his – gender to be determined soon!) forever home at our sanctuary. Soon after Sparrow arrived, we welcomed River and Raine who were purchased from Tractor Supply and in need of a home when the original plan for them to live on a farm fell through. We are glad we can provide a safe place for this sweet trio who have formed a new family.