The Seventh Annual Deer Creek Duck Launch will be held on Sunday, June 21, 2020 at 3:00pm. 50 Pekin ducks will be set free on Deer Creek, near the intersection of Sycamore and S. Deer Creek Drive W.
Check out a video of the 2016 launch on our Facebook page: facebook.com/lelandchamber
Leland offers citizens an opportunity to sponsor a duck for $8. Duck sponsorships offer an opportunity to honor the memory of loved one or to have some fun with the children by coming up with a funny name. Proceeds from duck sponsorships benefit the Deer Creek Duck Fund, which provides for the replenishment of Deer Creek’s duck population each year. Mail checks to the Leland Chamber of Commerce, PO Box 67, Leland, MS 38756 along with the name of the duck(s) you will be sponsoring.
Each year, 50-100 pekin ducklings arrive at Farmers Feed & Supply in Leland, where they are nurtured for two weeks before being transferred to a facility on Huddleston Farms. Huddleston Farms cares for the ducks until they are big enough to be set free on Deer Creek.
“This event has turned into something that’s really fun for the whole community,” says Kenner Patton. Patton and Kevin Magee, also of Leland, tend to the ducklings while they are being raised on the farm. “The ‘white ducks’ have been on Deer Creek as long as I can remember, and I’m glad we’re able to keep that tradition going,” adds Patton.
The ducks are the American Pekin breed, originally chosen for Leland’s Deer Creek for their beauty. This particular breed of duckling is not able to fly long distances because of their weight, which keeps them from leaving the general area in which they live. They are also known to be friendly to humans.ducks first swim
Leland’s duck tradition is credited to Albert Bouler and Mary Katherine Broadfoot, who both dedicated many hours to the care of the ducks during their time in Leland in the 1960’s.
Several years ago, all of the ducks mysteriously disappeared, and many suspect foxes to be the culprit. Once the community started seeing decreased duck population, several concerned residents got together and constructed respite areas with feeders out in the middle of the water. The objective was to give the ducks a fox-free sanctuary, but it was reported that only turtles were ever spotted on the barges. Since then, the ducks have especially watched a bit more closely!