In 2012, I gave ducks a go. And man, did they win me over.
Sadly, they didn’t win over the raccoons. Raccoons-3, Ducks-0.
Four lovely ladies became one lonely lady. We picked up a couple more in a nearby town, and are intending to off a particularly rapey drake. I don’t
believe in allow violence against women. I’ll tell you about that experience another time.
So for now, Maggie and Unnamed Duck #1 are rocking it, dodging #2’s advances, and I am contemplating picking up a few more girls this spring.
When my little girls were still little girls, I’d fill up a paint roller tray and sit in the front yard in the sun with them while they learned to swim. They’d come over and nap against my leg, nibble at my pants.
Ducks make chickens look like assholes.
Ducks will definitely be on my farm.
I am still crushing on the Buff Ducks I had and the Black and White Magpies. I enjoy the subtle differences each bird has. Last year I fell in love with Welsh Harlequins as well, but I like the idea of simple selections, fewer breeds. A baker’s dozen of my founding feathers sounds about right to keep us in eggs and opportunities for cuteness.
But wait! What if we want to eat our fine feathered friends? (Which, we will.)
Rapey drakes, check. But I think we’ll raise some just to butcher. Sources say: Pekin, Muscovy, Swedish, Saxony, Aylesbury and Rouen are all good options.
Pekin. Small. Aylesbury. Poor foragers. Swedish, Rouen. Medium-weight.
Muscovy’s get the best press. “Less greasy.” “Tastes like fine steak.” But man-o, they are some of the least cute (see here). Saxony, “Perhaps one of the loveliest ducks.” Active foragers, very adaptable, rare preservation breed.
Well that all sounds well and good. I vote 6 Saxony and 6 Muscovy, and a whole lot of lovin’.
A black+white, and brown+white trend appears in the ducks.
The idea that we could start out small, and allow the animals to naturally replenish themselves with selective butchering and allowing natural amours of duck love–makes me wish all the more that I could realize this dream now.
There’s a creek and there’s pasture. The birds roam during the day, foraging mostly. Rations fed back in the barn keep them busy at night while they stay warm, dry, and safe–and lay their eggs and dream their duck dreams.
Oh. One thing: