Salisbury man seeks answers in pet duck’s killing

Published 12:10 am Saturday, April 22, 2023

SALISBURY — The beauty of pets is that they come in all shapes and sizes, but you still love them all the same, so losing one hurts, no matter what kind of animal it is.

A Salisbury man awoke on Tuesday morning, and like he always does, he went out to feed his ducks and chickens, but when he got out to his yard, something was amiss.

Chris Moore raises ducks and chickens at his home on East Ridge Road.

“They aren’t like my pets,” Moore said. “They are my pets. We have hand raised every one of these birds in the house in my breeder box from hatched to the yard in our house.”

He has three female ducks and one drake. As he was going to feed them, two of the females came, and so did the drake, but “Fred” was nowhere to be found.

As he explored his yard, he saw a scene that nearly brought him to tears. His beloved duck Fred had been shot dead by a .22 rifle.

“Why would you come into somebody’s yard, on somebody’s property, trespassing and then shoot an animal that has never done anything besides eat bugs and worms?” Moore said.

To compound matters, Fred was watching over a clutch of eggs that had yet to hatch, which Moore indicated were all lost after their mother was killed.

Moore’s backyard is enclosed to keep his animals in.

“This property is the only thing they have ever known,” Moore said. “They free range this whole entire area. The chickens put themselves up at night, and we lock them up.”

Although they remained in the yard, the ducks would stay out at night, but Moore never imagined he was putting them in harm’s way.

The incident is unusual for the neighborhood Moore described as good and quiet.

“We all get along,” Moore said.

It’s a rural area, but the houses are close enough to each other to know your neighbors. Moore went around on a “walk and talk” after what happened to find out if any of those neighbors knew anything. He said they are scared it, or something worse, might happen again.

“There are kids in this neighborhood, and the moms are worried,” Moore said. “They are appalled by what exactly has happened. This is ridiculous. Somebody is walking around with a .22 in the middle of the night, going around and shooting stuff.”

It wasn’t just stuff they shot this time, though.

With the chickens and ducks that Moore has, he is able to sell eggs of both, but he very much considers the fowl to be pets.

“They are just our babies,” Moore said. “We got into (this business) because we wanted a few chickens. We already had ducks. We got into this quite a few years ago and have never had any problems.”

Moore has 13 hens, one rooster, two female ducks and a drake. He has 12 more duck hatchlings in his breeder box that he said will be coming in about a month.

Fred is gone. Moore knows that.

“I just wish somebody would own up to it,” Moore said.

Most importantly, Moore wants to make sure that it doesn’t happen to anyone else.