Welcoming the awesome Revellie back today with some more love and learning about ducks. (I also have to say, after tricking Rockstar into eating them, he really liked the duck eggs)
After the long chicken blog, the duck blog is going to be quite short…
Let me just start by saying ducks are awesome!
Josh first took ducks seriously as part of our homestead last summer. He had seen some Runner ducks at a friend’s and had heard they were easy to take care of. Josh picked up 2 Khaki Campbell’s because they are the most consistent egg layers in the duck world. To be honest with you, I had no clue about duck eggs and was a bit nervous about even trying them. I even made eggs separately the first few times we cooked with them and then slowly started using them more and more. But to my surprise, you can’t really tell the difference.
Khaki CampbellDucks are pretty cool. The Khaki Campbell’s (Lois and Lily) are very quiet. It was really neat to sit our back and read as they would waddle around our middle yard foraging for bugs. Then when we got baby turkeys, it was funny to watch the turkeys follow the ducks around like they were the mothers. Once, I accidently trapped one of the ducks behind a wheelbarrow during a turkey fiasco. It was so sad to watch the other one mope around the yard that I almost went out and got another duck (which is saying a lot because I have a strict no animal rule for my car). Luckily, I found the duck, patiently and very quietly waiting for me to release her from her prison.
Muskovy DuckInteresting enough, ducks don’t need a pond. They just need fresh water. Our Muskovy ducks are good examples of this, however Lois and Lily (the Khaki Campells) love pools of water of any sort (lid, puddle, bucket, wading pool). Our plan is to build a pond this year for the ducks. I am so excited because I really wanted a pond and I get to have one because Josh got ducks. So…don’t tell your husband’s that ducks don’t need a pond.
Here are a few short points about owning ducks:
1. More neighbor friendly than other homestead type animals (no one is going to think you are homesteading if you have some ducks in a pond).
2. You only have to feed them in the winter. During the summer they will just forage through your back yard.
3. You won’t have to mow as much. Our ducks kept our middle yard trimmed (because of foraging) so well, we mowed maybe 3 times last summer.
4. They are not as personable but I hear if you hand raise them from ducklings they are very sweet and loving.
5. Lay eggs consistently for up to 7 years (chickens only lay for 2 years). So, a duck can actually become a family pet.
6. Egg shells are harder than chicken eggs. They don’t crack as easily. This is better for storage and allows for the little ones to help gather and wash eggs as well.
7. Ducks are hardier than chickens. They are less prone to avian ailments.
8. Not all ducks fly.
So, if chickens seem too far out there to own, ducks may be a better option. Again you can listen to a podcast about ducks at www.thegoatcast.blogspot.com