Watch These Rescued Ducks Swim for the Very First Time

Today 160 rescued ducks, geese, turkeys and chickens are awakening to sunshine, clean bedding and grass under their feet. And for some of these birds saved from a hoarder, they are also having their very first swim!  More than a million people have now watched this incredible footage of the duck’s debut on the pond.

“Initially, we tried working with their owner towards an amicable surrender, pleading with her to consider the quality of life for the birds and we used many of our own resources to help provide a cleaner environment for them,” explains Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary co-Founder Doug Abel.  “The hoarder’s initial intentions were good and her love for the animals apparent, but she neglected to see how their overcrowding, over-breeding, lack of shelter and space and filthy conditions were hurting them. She also continued to buy chicks and ducklings online and mail ordered to her.”

All the birds were confiscated

Ultimately, when negotiations failed, Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary called in the Ulster County SPCA and the two got a judge’s warrant to seize the birds. The survivors were suffering from widespread malnutrition and frostbite and had been living in small sheds and animal carriers, caked with excrement and the stench of ammonia.  For the very first time all of their health issues are being addressed and they are receiving nutritional supplements, quality food and vitamins daily in their water.

But perhaps the most exciting moment in all this came when the flock of ducks were released onto a pond, one by one, and they had their very first swim to get  acquainted with the sheer essence of being a duck.

Hilary Jackson is caring for many of the birds in an offsite location.

Here you see some of the ducks and geese at the Woodstock Farm Sanctuary's remote site

“All the ducks were scared of us in the beginning and unsure,” Hilary explains. “But that quickly changed. For example, we have one named Snax who knows the daily routine and is always the first one at the gate when I arrive with food and she almost eats it out of my hand.  She has a little posse that now accompanies her on this mission.”

“And, given that none of the ducks were acquainted with water, it is wonderful to see a duck named Squeaks standing by the wading pools while I fill them,” Hilary continues. “Squeaks can’t wait to be the first one in the pool!”

Story brought to you by The Great Animal Rescue Chase tournament of heroes.


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Kati Patelaki
kathy P5 years ago


Carrie Anne Brown

great ending and article, thanks for sharing :)

Sheri D.
Sheri D5 years ago

Very sweet video! Thank you!

Gita Sasi Dharan
Gita Sasi Dharan5 years ago

Very happy for them! Lovely story.

Anita Wisch
Anita Wisch5 years ago


Can you imagine not being allowed to be a "duck", and float and clean yourself in water?

Tamara Hayes
Tamara Hayes5 years ago

That was the best site I have seen all day! I am still giggling from it. What a wonderful day for the ducks. Thank goodness for the Woodstock Farm Sanctuary. And many kudos to Doug Abel and Hilary Jackson for their timely rescue and care.

Julie W.
Jules W5 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Grace Adams
Grace Adams5 years ago

Lucky ducks.

mari s.
Mari S5 years ago

-- thank you deeply for having your antenna up and learning about these animals and their condition -- thank you deeply for intervening and not giving up until you rescued all of these animals -- it's pure joy to watch these ducks swim -- to be deprived of swimming is truly sad -- but thank God you came to the rescue and brought these animals out of their misery and into a normal and beautiful life

Beth M.
Beth M5 years ago