Skip to content

Farmette 1769

by Monica Melograna-Ward

Category Archives: ducks

I always place two or three eggs at a time in the incubator. Not only is there a better survival rate for birds that are flock animals, to have a buddy to keep warm together and hang out with, but they hear each others peeps when in the hatching process, and are enthusiastically coaxed out of their shell(s).

Note: Our flock is small, and we use most of the eggs for consumption, so I don’t load up all 42 egg slots in the incubator at the same time.

 

Tags: , , , ,

Newly-Hatched Duckling Today
Sunday, June 10, 2018

I finally invested in a second unit, which allows a much higher success rate for the hatching process. The second incubator is still air (no fan) and does not have an automatic egg turner. This is due to the fact that for the final 3 days of incubation, you don’t turn and you raise the humidity. It was half the price of a full service Styrofoam incubator, since the turner and fan elements are somewhat pricey additions. I procrastinated anyway since everything adds up quickly. I try to keep costs vs. chick sales somewhat close.

The duck egg was moved from the long-term incubator to the brooder incubator earlier today, since it is day 25. Ducks normally take 28 days to create. Most people fill their incubator all at once, but since we have a small flock, I add two or three eggs at a time. This one is a lone egg, since I was testing to see if our new drake was fertile. Apparently he is, so no roast duck for dinner!

When I picked up the egg for transfer, I held it up to my ear. Peeping already? Usually you can hear a rustling, slightly crunchy noise when they start to activate for hatching. I’m not sure why this one is so early. It may be breed specific or maybe my incubator is running slightly higher that the thermometer is reading. Either way, the first duckling in a long time has just hatched on Farmette 1769.

All of our ducklings are/will be 1/2 Khaki Campbell, 1/2 Welsh Harlequin. Both breeds are prolific egg layers, sometimes besting chickens that are bred for the same thing. Our female Khaki Campbell duck lays an egg each and every day.

FirstDuckling_061018

 

Tags: , , , ,

With a busy weekend happening, Monica’s Weekend Recipe will be short. This article is focused on just one cooking ingredient – eggs. Not only is this about eggs, but, specifically, Duck Eggs.

DuckEggs_1

What are the Benefits to Eating Duck Eggs?
by Countryside Daily Magazine
  • Duck eggs stay fresher longer, due to their thicker shell.
  • Duck eggs are richer, with more albumen, which makes cakes and other pastries fluffier.
  • Duck eggs have more Omega-3 fatty acids.
  • People who cannot eat chicken eggs, due to allergies, can often eat duck eggs.

DuckEggs_2

Ducks make much more mess than chickens, so we opted to keep just one duck. Since the coop is predator proof, and we opted for standard sized birds this time (instead of bantam/mini), we feel more comfortable naming them – since they won’t end up being meals for foxes, weasels, raccoons, snakes, hawks, falcons, feral cats, stray dogs or coyotes. Our egg laying duck is named Macy.

Info
via Wikipedia
A duckling is a young duck in downy plumage or baby duck. A male duck is called a drake and the female is called a duck, or in ornithology a hen.

DuckEggs_3

I usually take my coffee with me while tending to the poultry in the morning.

DuckEggs_4

One last pic of Macy and her buddies, happily eating kitchen scraps.

Have fun cooking with eggs, and if you have the option, try duck eggs. They are delicious!

Tags: , , , , , , ,

On May 29, 2013 –

Our drake (male) Call duck was killed by a big, black Rat Snake (at least 4 feet long). The rat snake was after the eggs that our girl Call duck was sitting on. Daddy duck was very protective of the nest and I assume that this led to his demise.

DucknEggs

However, a rat snake is designed to eat small rodents (and eggs!), so he only made it to the shoulders of our duck. I discovered this when I opened the pen for feed/water. Rat snakes are not aggressive to people, so I pulled him out by the tail and then secured him better, just behind the head.

Normally I don’t mind encounters with snakes, but it was upsetting to lose the drake and have the snake spit out fertile egg to further darken my mood.

Although I have been practicing patience from the Teachings of the Buddha, I did not have enough for this situation. In defense of our mini ducks, I killed the snake with a shovel in the grass. This did not work really well, so I took it over to the cemented garage area and killed it more.

Snakes continue to writhe long after they are nearly split in two. That was pretty terrible. I did not like taking its life – at all.

It is a normal thing for a farmer to do. Once a predator figures out how to get an easy meal, they will continue to come back for more. You cannot just let them go back loose on your land if you expect to keep your livestock alive.

Apparently, this prepared me for… May 31, 2013 –

MeNsnake

Only two days later. I was riding the lawn mower tractor when I spotted another big snake. This one was 5 feet or more long. I thought of the ducks. I pulled it out from underneath a trailer and took it to the garage area.

My husband was home and was able to take a photo with his phone. This snake, a Black Racer, was taken down the road by my husband and son to be released in the nature conservancy area. It slithered into the woods in hopes of growing even bigger. I was happy for that.

The duck pen is being better secured, again. We’ll have to keep a few more ducklings to ensure we have a drake or two around for next Spring’s laying season.

To lighten things up a bit, I have included a pic of of baby ducks that was taken recently. This one is literally, a bucket o’ ducklings.

CallDucklings4

Country living is not easy. I had thought it would be so much more peaceful than living in the city. But, we must enjoy those calm and happy times as we have them, no matter when, or where.

CallDucklings7

Tags: , , , , , ,

Mini Duckling 1

Mini Duckling 1 – Pic A

Our first Bantam ducklings have hatched. There are actually only three so far. But we’ll have more than a bucket full before Spring laying is over.

Duckling 1 - Pic B

Duckling 1 – Pic B

fff

Duckling 1 – Pic C

hhh

Duckling 1 – Pic D

Farmette 1769’s Bantam-style Call ducks have produced offspring via incubator. Ducklings are very cute. Miniature ducklings are even cuter.

Duckling 1 (Left), Duckling 2 (Close-up) & Duckling 3

Duckling 1 (Left), Duckling 2 (Close-up) & Duckling 3

Ducklings grow quickly. But, these Call duck babies will be no more than a pound and a half when full grown. Bred for attracting hunted ducks, they are also great birds for show and as pets.

Duckling 1 (Left)

Duckling 1 (Left)


 

Tags: , ,