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Farmette 1769

by Monica Melograna-Ward

Tag Archives: ducks

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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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!

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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.

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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.

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I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But,

Beatrice

“Beatrice”

Abbey

“Abbey”

Luna

“Luna”

Tony

“Tony”

Mozart

“Mozart”

Guinea Fowl

Guinea Fowl

Bantam Chickens

Bantam Chickens

Annie & Muriel

“Annie” & “Muriel”

Rocky

“Rocky”

Bigs

“Bigs”

“Now, Abbey! now, Annie! now, Tony and Rocky!
On, Beatrice! on, Bigs! on, Muriel and Luna!
To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”

“Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.


The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that Saint Nicholas soon would be there.”

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And me in my ‘kerchief, and dadda in his cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

Crazy Bird

“Crazy Bird”

Button Quail

Button Quail

Tropical Fish

Tropical Fish

Deirdre

“Deirdre”

Cecilia

“Cecilia”

Penny

“Penny”

“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”

xmasMoonWbw

excerpts courtesy of

Twas the Night before Christmas Poem

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2011 is here and it is time to pair down. Doing this quarterly helps keep an appropriate number of livestock living on our 5 acre Farmette. Reducing numbers now makes way for the Spring goat births and fowl egg hatching. Also, the original plans for building up the Farmette had to be scaled down due to a medical condition that slows me down.

The most recent to go was “Billy the Kid”. We have enough brush clearing goats, so this wether (banded/neutered male/billy) goat was not a necessity.

8 month old neutered male pygmy goat - SOLD

He had gotten quite fat and was very happy staying with his mother in our little herd. But, it was time for him to move on.

"Billy the Kid" (right) with his Mom "Olivia"

BtK could not have gotten a better home. He was a Christmas gift for the mother of a very nice young couple. The mother kept livestock for pets – not to eat…

If we have any boy goats born this Spring, they will be sold off when weaned and will not linger this time around. Only one boy – the herd sire – is needed here.

We enjoy our ducks, but they love free ranging. Unluckily, they do not come back to roost at night and become easy targets for foxes, coyotes and raccoons.

Two Duck Hens

The ducks have been penned since our trouble with predators. They would be happier loose and with a pond. They are advertised for sale on craig’s list.

There is also an Ameraucana Rooster up for grabs. He is a good boy and a beauty.

A. Rooster - SOLD

He is the last of the standard sized chickens for sale. There is one regular sized hen that we will keep since she was raised here from an egg. She’ll be bred into the Bantam flock this year or will just provide some nice big blue eggs for our breakfast table.

UPDATE: Went ahead and sold the last Standard Hen (Ameraucana/Jersey Giant) with the Rooster in the pic. The Duck sale has been delayed since they are the only ones laying right now – we do love fresh eggs.

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We have almost five acres. It is a nice sized piece of land. Getting the right combination of animals for the space has been a mix and match challenge. It is not enough space to have cows or a lot of other large animals, but it can accommodate a good number of small to medium sized livestock.

On one side of our house, we keep our fowl pens. There is a 10′ x 10′ pen with 2 ducks, a 5′ x 10′ pen with 2 turkeys, a cage with 2 Japanese (coturnix) quail and a homing pigeon, 3 bantam chicken cages, a chick grow out cage and the main standard chicken coop.

Our horse and pony have a double pasture out front. That set of large animals works well. The recent rain storms keep passing over our area, so we have a round bale scheduled for pickup today, but normally during the warm weather, the grass grows at about the same pace as their grazing.

The three dogs all stay inside now. And they have a fenced area in the back to run around in. That is also where our herd is. We have four mini goats. And now there is Charlie.

Charlie

This is our new lamb. He is very quiet and shy. I think that Charlie is an Oxford sheep. They are used for both meat and wool. We won’t be eating Charlie, but a scarf would be nice. Actually, I have a friend that weaves, so she will most likely be getting a surprise package when we shave him.

The goats have been ignoring him, except for Luna. Luna is our little black goat that loves to play all day. She taunts the dogs. She jabs me lightly in the calves with her little horns if I’m not quick enough at feed time. Luna has been torturing Charlie. But Charlie barely feels her pushing him around. His fleece serves as a bouncy, thick layer of protection.

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RE: Tuesday’s Post (May 25, 2010)

I was about to gather eggs from the duck pen when along crawled a Black Racer snake. He was around last year. It was the same snake that liked to curl up on top of the duck nest last year. I thought he liked the warm spot, or the eggs, but it seems now that he must have been patiently waiting for ducklings.

A snake has to eat. But, one duckling is enough of a sacrifice to nature this year, so off to the conservatory he went. Luckily, there is open protected land right down the road. He got out of his bag in the truck, which was great fun. Luckily, they are mild mannered. I ended up just holding him with one hand and driving with the other.

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The first two ducklings are out of the brooding bin and into the lot with our duck hen (the one who lost her drake). We will be adding two more when they are ready. Hopefully they will all get along OK.

New Duck Trio

The one adult that we have is fairly accepting of her new room mates. The introduction of fowl can be tricky, but is a bit safer with ducks. They can’t really use their feet as weapons and their beaks are curved. But they are capable of killing other birds. We will have to watch carefully when the 2nd two are added to make sure they don’t get attacked by the newly formed trio.

This should be enough to ensure a breeding pair or two. We are not sure if we will keep them all. It depends on the mix of sexes and how well they all get along.

The next set of hatch-able eggs will be either Khaki/Pekin X (cross) or 3/4 Khaki and 1/4 Pekin. The latter should be the best of the egg layers, although the 50% X come in at a close 2nd. In either case they make a great breakfast burrito (the eggs, not the ducks) or french toast.

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