Project Quack
Written by: Brooke Smith, Biology Major
Pre-Veterinary students at Judson College are conducting a study on rearing ducklings in the laboratory. This project is designed to give biology students, especially those interested in animal sciences, the opportunity to expand their studies beyond the microscope into living, breathing biology. Student involvement in the project can range from just getting hands on experience to researching nutritional information, veterinary care, and general knowledge. Pre-veterinary students can observe and learn about the growth, development, care, and social behavior among duck breeds.
Sixteen five-day-old ducklings arrived on Wednesday, 1 October, 2003, at the Marion, Alabama, Post Office from the Murray McMurray Hatchery in Webster City, Iowa. However, one of these did not survive the five-day, 1,053 mile trip. The surviving 15 ducklings included 8 Fawn and White Indian Runners, 7 Flying Mallards, and one oddball duckling that we have concluded to be a Cayuga duck.
Project Quack's main goal is to determine which breed of duck will imprint the best on their keeper. The personality of each duck will be compared to determine if the level of imprinting is dependant on the breed of duck, or just individual ducks. Imprinting is a rapid learning process by which a newborn or very young animal begins to show recognition and attraction to another animal of its own kind, a substitute, or another object or person identified as the parent. Duck behavior will be documented during each stage of their development to compare the rate at which each breed progresses toward adulthood, interacts with the other ducklings, and reacts to other stimuli outside the lab.

Project Duck
Indian Runner

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