If you have read my blog long or know me IRL you know that I have wanted to see the Peabody Ducks for years! I have mentioned it on several trips where for some reason or another we have missed seeing them! However today was the day--- we arrived at the hotel with time to spare-- got an awesome valet who parked our car for FREE (we tipped him well) and even got a front seat to view the waddling ducks.
There were five ducks. You could tell that they KNEW it was close to five because they kept getting out on the side of the fountain and quacking.
Once the gentleman came to lead them to their own PERSONAL elevator, their steps were put in place, red carpet laid down and away they went.. quacking and NOT staying in a neat little row. They really wandered this way and that way a lot! I was surprised that it wasn't more "make way for duckling" ish!
I will say that it truly did make me happy to see the ducks waddle down the stairs and down their little red carpet. I know that seems silly but I just think it is such a wonderfully neat thing to have in such a nice, upscale hotel.
The story goes that Mr. Schutt, who was the general manager of the Peabody in Memphis in 1932 went duck hunting and came back very drunk, along with another friend decided to put three live duck decoys in the marble fountain in the hotel as a joke. Well everyone loved it and they were soon replaced with Mallard Ducks.
In 1940, Mr. Pembroke, who used to be a circus trainer, decided to train the ducks to come to and from the fountain on their little red carpet and because Peabody Duck Master of the Peabody Duck March for the next 50 years!
Now all Peabody Hotels have their own fountains and duck teams- with their own Duck Master. The ducks are raised by local farmers. When they are not in the fountain they live in the Royal Duck house on the roof of the hotel.
There is NO duck served in any Peabody hotels, even though they have french chefs. Also they do not name the ducks! Each duck team has one male and 4 female and only serve as the Peabody Ducks for 3 months before they retire to a farm and another duck team is brought in.