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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Ducks


Today I have a guest blogger post up over on Liz's blog. It's the first time I've done anything like that so I was a bit nervous but really it was just like sitting down with Liz, having a cup of herbal tea and answering a few questions.

So today is all about ducks. I'm no duck expert, not by any stretch of the imagination. What I do know is that they are easy to keep. My ducks are anyway. I should say that my yard is large, very large, and the ducks can wander wherever they like during the day (not the vegetable garden... no way!) so I have never stepped in any 'mess' that they might make.

Why do I have ducks? If truth be told, I would probably have at least a pair of every type of farm animal so ducks were a natural progression from the chickens and turkeys that we have had on the farm. My next progression is going to be geese and a meat-breed of duck.

Duck egg and chicken egg.

 Apart from the fact that ducks are waterfowl and really do need at least some water for dunking their heads in if not enough for wading, the biggest difference between chickens and ducks are their eggs. How nice of my ducks to comply and lay me the first egg of the spring this morning. The shells on the duck egg to me are stronger than chicken eggs, less brittle. That could possibly be an adaptation to keep them safe from  big, clumsy duck feet.

 
And the eggs really are mostly yolk. I think that's why they are favoured by a lot of bakers for sponges and other cakes. I like to use them to make pasta, it gives it a really nice taste, texture and colour.
 
When it comes time to pluck a duck to ready it for the table, you'll also find that they have a lot of feathers. It feels like a never ending job, more time consuming than plucking a chicken or a turkey.
 
  Please feel free to ask me any questions about ducks or whatever you like, I'll do my best to answer them.
 
Thanks again Liz for asking me to be a part of your blog series on ducks and for giving us such a great, informative blog to read.
Tracy

8 comments:

shez said...

lovely post tracy i found it very interesting,thankyou.xx

Lisa said...

Very interesting, Tracy.

Fiona said...

well done Tracy and lovely post... I love the first picture with their rather snooty expressions...
Hugz

Chookyblue...... said...

i'll just look at your ducks......My guinea fowl make enough mess and noise with out adding ducks to the chook yard.........

KERYN B said...

Tracy what a very handsome looking pair of ducks. They look very happy on your farm..

Janice said...

I've just had a lovely catch up on your latest doings. I didn't know that duck eggs were mainly yolk until today. You always learn something, like the fact that there are yellow snow peas - another colour to brighten the dinner plate. I've only just planted ours, so we will have to wait for a while to reap the harvest....if we are still here. It will be interesting to see how your solar goes. It is something we hope to embrace in our new house, and finally, I'm glad I'm not the only one who has trouble capturing bees in a photo. It is very rare for me to succeed. The one that you took that worked is stunning, showing all the fine details.

Farmer Liz said...

Thanks for joining in Tracy it was great to have your advice :)

Ruth Millett said...

We've raised ducks and chickens for quite a few years. We have Khaki Campbell ducks and Rhode Island Red chickens. For a long while we had trouble selling our duck eggs, but now the local COOP is buying them from us and we are selling some at the box on the road (self serve). The chicken and ducks are finally paying their own way in eggs money with a tiny bit of profit... at least till we next need to purchase bedding.

We had raised Muscovy which are a meat bird breed and great mothers, but not so great layers. Butchering ducks was not something I looked forward to at all. It took about 1/2 hour per bird in order to get all the pin feathers and down. I'm heard since that you can "singe" those off once the majority have been plucked. Maybe that will help you.

Thank you for your wonderful blogs posts. I've enjoyed them very much.