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Name: Jon
Status: Other
Grade: Other
Date: 2/7/2005 

I'm reading the duck-feeding advice, which is basically not to do so because of avian botulism and the dependency on humans, except for the one where it says ok if they are domesticated. I work near a large fountain complex where mallards congregate, and there is a pair with 7 new hatchlings (down from 10 a few days ago). Are these ducks considered wild or domesticated, and is it ok to feed them(especially the babies)? I enjoy communing with them a great deal, but I will do what's best for them, of course.

If I read your question correctly, it is that of advice. This is what I can give you:

Don't feed the young ducks. It is important that they do not become comfortable with humans, especially at a young age. You are obviously a good person, but unfortunately there are a lot of other individuals who would want to do harmful things to these animals. Additionally, it is important that these ducks learn from their parents how to feed young and how to fetch their own food. Your intentions are great, but I think you are wise to be hesitant.

Susannah Sample,
BSBME Department of Surgical Sciences
School of Veterinary Medicine
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Click here to return to the Veterinary Topics Archive

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