How to Take Care of Your Plastic Ducks

Congratulations on your duck purchase!  As a proud owner you’re probably eager to place your dover of ducks in some kind of aquatic apparatus.  Before the yellow squeaky ducks lands in the bathtub or pool, here are few tips for taking care of your dover.

Why are they called plastic ducks when usually they’re called “rubber” ducks?  Rubber ducks were initially made of rubber, until more durable, flexible and colorful materials, such as plastic, were invented.  Now that plastic is so easy to produce, “rubber” ducks are made from plastic but retain their original name.  Rubber ducks are sometimes made of a plastic called PVC, but there are some health concerns with that material.

Can I put my ducks directly into water?  Yes!  Even ducklings can have supervised swimming from as early as day one.  If you’re overly cautious about your dover of ducks, you might want to use a paint roller tray for the first few days swimming. The paint roller tray has an in-built slope which acts as a duck ramp and, given access into the tray, they easily jumped out of the “shallow end”. The very first swim only lasted a few minutes and be careful not to let the ducks become chilled.

Are there precautions with leaving my ducks in a swimming pool or in any other water?  Actually, yes there are precautions.  Over time, chemical disinfectants such as chlorine, bromine and mineral sanitizers found in swimming pools can be harmful to your ducks coat.   Also, ducks are small enough to get stuck in the pool filter once the pool pump turns on.  Unfortunately they don’t have the smarts to flee because water makes your ducks extremely docile.  That also applies to sinks, toilets, bathtubs, or anything else that drains.  It is strongly advised to take your ducks out of the water before you drain or flush.  They tend to be drawn to counterclockwise motion and shears are the number one cause of plastic ducks “deaths” and maiming today.

What should I keep my ducks in when they’re not in water?

Flock o' Ducks

Taking care of your Plastic Ducks is easy and fun!

Use a plastic storage box, a cardboard box, or basket.  We strongly advise not letting a child under 3 or 4 hold the ducks even with supervision, unless they are “organic ducks” which would be stamped on the shipping crate. Organic ducks are specifically designed to love to be mouthed by teething babies.  (We’re currently conducting Anatidae Behavioral Testing on these ducks to understand their masochistic personality disorder)  To make the ducks feel secure while in storage, partially cover the top with something like a towel.  You want to make sure there’s adequate ventilation and protect them from predators like children, dogs, cats, hamsters, squirrels, and rats to name a few.

How do I keep my ducks especially ducklings warm?  Waterfowl babies don’t need as much warmth as other birds, but they do need a little extra warmth, especially at night, for the first week to 10 days.  This can be provided with a lamp and a 100 to 200 watt bulb set over the container, a heating pad set on low and covered with a towel.

What do my ducks eat?  Our scientific research clearly and absolutely demands that your ducks do not eat anything. Unlike their flamingo counterparts, who like to get into everything; your ducks are always content and never want for anything.

Since my ducks don’t eat, does that mean there’s no clean up?  Right again!  Whether you keep your ducks either inside or out, there is no pick up duty.  There is an orifice located on the bottom of the duck. It’s used to produce beautiful aquatic toroidal vortices by your ducks when you’re not looking.  (They are extremely shy so it’s rare to see them make one!)  You might notice when taking your ducks out of water that they seem a bit “water logged”.  That’s because they were playing with vortex rings they produced while you were out of sight.  It’s easy to get the water out of your ducks.  After retrieving them from the water, simply squeeze gently on their body.  That will release the retaining water and they might even “quack” or “squeak” to thank you!

What do I do if my ducks keep tipping over?   Sometimes your ducks will either go face down or lay sideways in the water. This syndrome is called “Ducktile Dysfunction”.  This can be extremely traumatic for your duck, especially with all the peer pressure from the dover.  Ducktile Dysfunction is caused by the lack of mass distribution.  If you have repeatedly attempted stand your duck up to swim and made sure there isn’t any water in its body with no results; non-invasive surgery is the only option.  The procedure is simple and less risk to you, the surgeon and the duck.  Here’s what you need for this out- patient procedure:

  • Protective goggles
  • Non latex gloves or dishwashing gloves
  • A washer that has a hole in the middle big enough to accommodate your duck’s squeaker or bottom orifice
  • Spray paint (If the duck wishes to have “cosmetic surgery” along with the procedure)
  • Water proof adhesive.

Consult with your duck to see if it wants to have the artificial attachment blend into its natural color.  If the duck desires the cosmetic portion of the procedure, spray-paint the washer to blend with the natural color of your duck the day before the surgery to allow the paint to dry completely.  Use your protective goggles and gloves for this pre-op.  On the day of the surgery, the duck will still have a “squeaky” grin on its bill.  That doesn’t mean it’s not scared or concerned.  (It just means it has had too much ducktox injections and the plastic grin is permanent.)  Talk and console your duck to make it feel secure.  The surgery is quick, easy, and relatively painless to the duck.  The surgery:

  1. Swaddle your duck in a warm towel
  2. Don the protective goggles and gloves
  3. Turn your duck gently “bottoms up” and locate the orifice
  4. Apply water-proof adhesive to the washer and to your duck, making sure to leave the washer hole and the duck squeaker clear of any adhesive
  5. Attach the washer to the duck and take care of making sure the ducks’ orifice and the center of the washer line up
  6. Firmly apply pressure to the washer and duck for about 10 seconds
  7. Allow your duck to rest on its side until the adhesive dries completely.

After the adhesive dries completely, you can float test your patient before releasing it out to the general dover.  Don’t be surprised if the drakes and the hens start preening and vying after the newly recovered patient’s attention!!!

How do I bathe my ducks and what is the care involved?  Ducks are waterfowl that can take care of their bathing.  If there is a need to bathe them, you can put your ducks in a couple of inches of water in a sink, but watch them closely, let them bathe, and give them time to preen in a warm place.  Also quick wipe with dry paper towels usually takes care of all the dirt and dust and will make your ducks ready for your enjoyment!

Notable Information:  The rubber duck was invented by a lady named Bryn Shaffer in the 1800′s. She decided to invent something to keep baths from being boring. She went with the color of yellow to keep the duck in a happy looking color.  In 2001, The Sun, a British tabloid newspaper reported that Queen Elizabeth II has a rubber duck in her bathroom that wears an inflatable crown. The duck was spotted by a workman who was repainting her bathroom.  The story prompted sales of rubber ducks in the United Kingdom to increase by 80% for a short period

Any other questions?  Please use the Contact Form and we’ll be happy to assist you!


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