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Farmette 1769

by Monica Melograna-Ward

Tag Archives: ducklings

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


Duckling 1 – Pic C


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)


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Call ducks are Bantams, which places them in the miniature poultry category. Due to their light body weight, they can fly very well. So, unlike your average heavy farm duck, it is advisable to clip a wing so that they don’t wander too far off.

Clipping the flight feathers from one wing sets both wings off balance, leaving them flightless. The procedure is painless, since feathers are just like finger nails and hair.

Some blood vessels are still active in newly grown feathers, so avoid that area during clipping.

Muriel (left), Hector (right)

Muriel (left), Hector (right)

Duck Video

We bought Muriel, a female Call duck, at Carolina Chickenstock in the Fall of 2012. With a bit of searching early in 2013, we located a male (drake) Call duck for sale near Winston-Salem, NC.

In conjunction with the drake duck, there was also the opportunity to buy a male (gander) African goose to go with Annie, our female Chinese goose. It was a long drive from the Charlotte area to get the drake, so without too much thought, I went ahead and bought the gander too.

Muriel seems happy with her new duck boyfriend, Hector. They waddle around together, taking an occasional dip in the baby pool or a spare water pan. They are both super cute and easy to handle. Bantam breeds take up less space/accommodations and also consume less feed. Miniature livestock fit well here at our little farmette.

Our Annie, seemed content with her surprise boyfriend, Robert. They quickly become a bonded pair of closely related (both from the Swan Goose) domesticated geese.

Geese Video

Robert (left), Annie (right)

Robert (left), Annie (right)

The thing is, we don’t have a pond, stream or a fenced section of land for them, so there were second thoughts. I made the decision that the best thing was to get these full size (Standard) geese out of their pen and into the hands of someone with a more suitable set-up. They were sold to Kunekune Pig Preserve here in NC. One section of the preserve boasts a large fenced area with a big pond. They should be comfortable and safe at their new home.

We greatly enjoyed our time with them. Geese are very wonderful birds and great watch animals for farms.

Four Bantam chicken eggs (left), One Bantam duck egg (right)

Four Bantam chicken eggs (left), One Bantam duck egg (right)

That decision now leaves more time and energy to attend to our Call duck pair. Spring, though a bit unpredictable and chilly this year, has sprung. Beginning mid-March, Muriel started laying eggs. Her eggs are green!

A homemade egg candler shows obvious growth.

A homemade egg candler shows obvious growth.

The pair is now proven fertile and we are excitedly looking forward to Call ducklings. My lovely husband Jamie often says “There’s nothin’ cuter than a bucket of baby ducks”. I am thinking that Call ducklings, due to there tiny size, may just prove to be our new, ultimate, Spring baby fixation.


We can’t wait to see!

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Snakes can be good on the Farmette. They eat mice. We get more than your average household due to the never-ending supply of spilled grain. Having snakes prey on rodents is very helpful.

Of course, I might think differently if I encountered a poisonous snake. This would not be a good thing. There are several types of these dangerous predatory animals in this region.

Also, yesterday morning I made a grizzly discovery. One of the ducklings was dead. It took a while to figure out what made it look like it got pulled half way through a pipe. My best guess is that a snake that was not big enough to eat this size duckling decided to give it a try. About half way through, it realized that the end of the body was not the same size as the head and neck and spit it back out.

A few weeks ago, we had found an Eastern Kingsnake when we were getting the garden started. She was about the right size to create this kind of damage. I must remember not to put ducklings out in the chain link pen until they get a little bigger. I was thinking about the recent coyote incidents in the area, but had forgotten all about snakes.

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This technique works great on most eggs. Candling is the way to see inside an egg without disturbing the growing embryo.

Candling - Duck Egg

The easiest egg of ours to view so far is that of a duck. The shells are a bit transparent and the white color helps too.

The egg in the Pic is about to hatch. This duckling has already made an initial crack in the egg. It looks a lot like the damage from a pebble hitting the windshield of a car.

Ducks take their time breaking out of the shell. It is better to let them get all the way out themselves. Once in a while it takes too long and the egg starts to dry out. We have helped them out on occasion, but they do not always survive this way. There is something about the natural process that gets them moving and breathing correctly. Leaving them in the incubator longer to stay extra warm can produce better results.

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