The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Duck vaccillations

Duck versus chicken eggs

Original plan: Keep a mixed flock of ducks and chickens this winter to see whether it's true that waterfowl are better winter layers than land fowl

Midsummer plan: Get rid of the ducks ASAP!

DucksLate summer plan: Slaughter all the male ducks (meaning we won't be raising waterfowl again next year), but keep the girls for winter layers.  Now that I treat the ducks like chickens (only giving them open water as a treat once a week --- after all, it rains nearly every day), they're much easier to handle.  Sure, ducks don't forage as well as chickens on a hillside, but the experiment is still worthy of carrying to its natural conclusion...

...Especially since the ducks are starting to lay!  I found the first egg (slightly dirty because we haven't built floor-level nest boxes yet) on Thursday and we tasted it on Friday.  The consensus was --- it tastes like an egg.  (By carefully eating bites of duck and chicken eggs side by side, I could detect a very slightly richer flavor in the former, but the difference was very minor.)  I'll be sure to report laying stats in a few months once day length is at winter levels.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Your findings are very interesting. We've had ducks for a little over a year now. We have been very happy with them. Yes, they are way messier and we are still working on how much water access to give them and keeping their house cleaner, but ours are excellent foragers, eating very little grain. We have seen an incredible decline of slugs in the garden, we even saw one eat a little snake once! We got them as ducklings last summer and started laying at around 5 months (our chickens usually start laying at 6-7 months) and are more consistant layers even winter. Maybe there is more variation between duck breeds than chicken breeds?
Comment by Adriana Mon Sep 8 07:30:49 2014

HI Adrianna,

What breed of ducks do you have?

Comment by Faith T Mon Sep 8 08:43:34 2014
Comment by Terry Mon Sep 8 11:40:07 2014

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