I still have ducks. Lots of ducks. Some we hatched here. We hatched so much that my kids are world-experts on hatching. Upon accidentally denting one of the eggs during incubation, words of wisdom from my six-year-old: “Well, at least it didn’t break the inner membrane. That’s the important part.”
We also purchased some ducklings from Dave Holderread’s farm in Oregon, and the quality there is the best I’ve ever seen (he’s also the author of Storey’s Guide to Raising Ducks, the duck-owner’s bible). I’m replacing my McMurray drakes with Holderread drakes, but don’t have enough hens to do the same there. I also bought some magpies from Holderread:
These same ducks are now laying reliably almost every day so that my fridge has more eggs in it than should technically be legal. I’m open to egg recipes. Here are the beautiful layers and their concomitants:
One of our geese was killed by a domestic dog (grrr), so we found him a new companion through a local rescue group. She’s a white Chinese crested, and I think she’s elegant like a swan:
She sounds like a dinosaur when she honks. Don’t ask me how I know what a dinosaur sounds like. She just does.
We also ventured into (and probably, soon, out of) quail this year.
We hatched a bunch and they are the cutest darn little things when they hatch, look like Easter peeps–hardly as big as a quarter. Then 8 weeks later you eat them. Seriously. And they taste… okay. The “okay” part is why we’re getting back out again. Eli will be keeping a small breeding group of his own, but the rest are going away. Too much else going on, and the eggs don’t sell well.
Next up… kiddies and kitty and piggy