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Duck Racing

Only paddling allowed
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Today I was passing by some water, and the surface happened to be unusually still. There was a lone duck paddling along, fast enough to raise an actual wake.

Idea!

Obviously ways need to be found to train your racing duck to not cheat by flying to the finish line.

Vernon, Nov 19 2011

this little lot have won some sort of race... (or lost it possibly) http://www.bbc.co.u...and-london-15809760
[po, Nov 20 2011]

Duck Racing http://racingducks.com/
What it says on the box. [Alterother, Nov 20 2011]

A little something on clipping wing feathers http://ancientstand...esidence-to-prison/
Ravens are excellent fliers, but six are held prisoner in the Tower of London, with wing feathers routinely clipped. [Vernon, Nov 21 2011]

Steamer Duck https://en.wikipedi...g/wiki/Steamer_duck
Just as tasty as regular ducks, but easier to catch. [8th of 7, Dec 27 2017]

[link]






       I'm boning this because I can't think of non-cruel ways to train the ducks
Voice, Nov 19 2011
  

       Seriously?
mouseposture, Nov 19 2011
  

       yup
Voice, Nov 19 2011
  

       indoor pool with a low ceiling.
po, Nov 19 2011
  

       Not even threats of bread at the finish line?
gnomethang, Nov 19 2011
  

       It is not cruel to clip the wing feathers on a domesticated duck then release several simultaneously one one side of the pond whilst throwing their food in at the other end. Most domesticated ducks such as moscovies can't fly anyway. Just throw food in.
AusCan531, Nov 20 2011
  

       No, have barrier gates like in horse-racing and transparent lane dividers across the pond. When the heart-stirring cry of "Release The Ducks!" is heard the barriers open and the ceremonially clad "Feeder of the Ducks" throws out the food on the other side of the pond.   

       Ducks, like most barnyard fowl, are competitive to get to the food first and transparent lane dividers would allow them to see the other ducks and stir up their competitive juices.   

       C'mon [Vernon] its YOUR idea!
AusCan531, Nov 20 2011
  

       So now [Vernon] is posting short, reasonable ideas and [Beany] has returned and is writing human- readable text.   

       I keep feeling that the multiverse hypothesis is true and that I've slipped through to another one.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 20 2011
  

       [+] ducks with racing stripes.
FlyingToaster, Nov 20 2011
  

       [AusCan531], I originally thought about the clipped-feathers thing, because I also know it is as harmless to a bird as cutting hair on a mammal. And new feathers will grow with the next molt. But probably Pavlovian-type conditioning can work well enough. Reward the duck for paddling, and don't reward it for flying. Also, start the training regimen with short distances such that the duck won't care to exert itself to get into the air, to get the reward.
Vernon, Nov 20 2011
  

       I don't think training the ducks not to fly will be a problem. Ducks are not efficient flyers, and seem to spend most of their time not doing it. All the ducks I've ever met would only fly if startled or given no other options.   

       This <link>, however, may prove more problematic, in the form of bakedness.
Alterother, Nov 20 2011
  

       [Alterother], you're right. The only way this Idea can escape an MFD is if it wasn't widely-known enough. To be determined...
Vernon, Nov 21 2011
  

       I'd never heard of duck racing, other than the rubber duck kind. But it's admittedly very easy to find coverage online.
jutta, Nov 21 2011
  

       Well, this Idea is still here, and the link to the Duck Racing site is still working. However, I looked at some of the duck race videos at that site, and it is quite obvious that those ducks are doing rather more than just paddling their feet to reach the finish line. That makes this Duck Racing Idea different enough to never have been in danger of the dreaded MFD. :)
Vernon, Dec 27 2017
  

       // MFD //   

       Mallard Flying Duck ... ?   

       There's a flightless species of duck in the Falkland Islands called the Steamer Duck <link>, which uses its vestigial wings in a humorous way to achieve higher speeds.   

       They'd be ideal.
8th of 7, Dec 27 2017
  
      
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