Rescue Duck, Duck, Goose

The ranch and rescue operation founded by Jimmy Longbottom for injured and abandoned fowl.
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Jimmy Longbottom shows off one of his many rescued and rehabilitated birds.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHRIS VON HOLLE

Jimmy Longbottom is greeted with quacks of recognition as he walks into his sanctuary, Longbottom Bird Ranch, in Monfort Heights. More than 16 species of ducks and some geese and chickens live in this “duck retirement community.” Longbottom is a duck expert now, but he ended up a rescuer by accident. “I had those chickens like eight years ago and someone reached out to me with some ducklings they got from Tractor Supply and didn’t want anymore,” he says. “Then I started doing a lot of social media content about it and people reached out asking if I’d be interested in taking their duck because they didn’t want it anymore.”

Gaston the Toulouse Goose (left) preens and shows off to the other birds.

This is a very common occurrence for Longbottom now. “Every duck you see here, somebody got them as a pet and either dumped them at a local park or pond or called me to surrender them.” Domestic ducks can’t survive on their own in the wild, he says. “The fact is they’ll be dead within a little bit of time because they’ll freeze when the winter comes, or a coyote will pick them up because they can’t fly. They don’t have feed out there. They can’t forage for food.” Longbottom uses his popularity on social media to help spread the word about the dangers of feed stores selling ducklings. He also brings the birds around town to farmers’ markets, breweries, and even movie theaters. If you want to help support the sanctuary, and ducks like James Pond, Launchpad McQuack, and Chance the Quacker, you can donate through here. Additionally, due to the recent massive influx of rescue ducks Longbottom took in after the Easter season, the ranch has switched to a non-profit model and is running a GoFundMe to help keep up with required resources like food and medical care. You can donate to the GoFundMe here.

Longbottom walks around the ranch following the flock of Canadian Geese.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHRIS VON HOLLE

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