Sunday, August 14, 2011

Tour with Donald the DuckMaster at the Peabody Orlando

I was very lucky to get a wonderful tour from Donald, the DuckMaster, at the Peabody Orlando. He was a very lovely & knowledgable man. He has been taking care of the ducks for just over a year. I understand this is quite a sought after job as there are only 3 DuckMasters in the world. So competition can be fierce. The Orlando ducks (the Memphis & Little Rock hotels have ducks as well) are 5 yrs old & can live 12 -15 years. When the ducks are 5 they are released back into the wild. Sort of like completing a tour of duty. There are always 5 mallards at the hotel, one male & 4 female. They are a family & bonded for life. Donald says that if one of them gets sick or has to go to the vet the group misses them terribly. Contrary to what I thought there are a couple of groups of ducks that rotate through the hotel. Because of this they only spend a few months of the year at the hotel taking their 'vacation' as Donald says. They get grouchy if they stay too long. One can only get so many spa treatments I guess ;-).

When not at the hotel the ducks are at a farm where they live in a way that is close to being in the wild. This way they can learn to look after themselves & are better prepared for when they are released. Although Donald says they often say close to the farm after being released. Which sounds about right for some adult children I know.


This is the duck house at the top of Mallard Tower where they live while on vacation.


The inside is completely made out of marble & cost $100,000 when it was built in 1986. When the ducks are at the fountain from 11am-5pm it get a very good cleaning, no chemicals are used in the ducks water at all.


On Saturday Donald marched the ducks as part of a Hindu wedding ceremony. He says they are in demand for any number of public events & he often takes them on the road for very special events. Lucky ducks!


This is Donald & I with the ducks.


If you are in Orlando, Memphis or Little Rock & want to march with the ducks Donald says to contact the hotel right away & reserve your spot. They fill up fast as I learned. I had a great tour & was very impressed with how nice & knowledgeable Donald was. It was a fantastic experience! I am so happy I got the chance to meet him & learn more about the ducks.

Posted via email from Completely Barking Mad

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