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Farmette1769's Blog

by Monica Melograna-Ward

Tag Archives: Khaki Campbell

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

 

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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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A picture is worth a thousand words.

Eggs - Variety

If you want to skip the dye for Easter eggs, choose your chickens wisely. You can also bring a bit of Spring liveliness into your kitchen every day. By mixing up your flock with different breeds it is possible to produce a rainbow for your breakfast table.

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The dogs have acquired a taste for duck eggs, now that they are sharing stomping ground in the split rail fenced area (so that they don’t pester the neighbors). Every morning now, I rush ahead of the crowd at the dog door and collect the lovely porcelain vessel of goodness, glowing white in the makeshift nest of leaves, surrounded by the challenging red clay earth. But, that early morning jog bypasses the drool-covered egg on the kitchen floor complete with teeth marks or the absence of that egg altogether.

Ducks

Duck Mates

The brown female is a Khaki Campbell. She is a prolific egg layer, as are all members of her specific breed. Her old man is a Pekin. Although his breed started out as small and black, they transformed into the present day “Big & White”, making them a much sought after victim of Peking duck feasts. As far as egg production goes, KC ducks are more reliable than hens.

Chickens

Laying Troop

The gold girl, front and center, is the creator of the golden eggs. Well, actually sun-touched brown with a golden surprise inside. In times of plenty, fresh eggs make great gifts or additions to recipes such as:

Spinach Quiche

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1 (4.5 ounce) can mushrooms, drained
  • 1 (6 ounce) package herb and garlic feta, crumbled
  • 1 (8 ounce) package shredded Cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 (9 inch) unbaked deep dish pie crust
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Saute garlic and onion in butter until lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Stir in spinach, mushrooms, feta and 1/2 cup Cheddar cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon mixture into pie crust.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into the pastry shell, allowing egg mixture to thoroughly combine with spinach mixture.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Sprinkle top with remaining Cheddar cheese, and bake an additional 35 to 40 minutes, until set in center. Allow to stand 10 minutes before serving.

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