Why the Ducks?
As pets, for eggs (if possible), as natural pest control, natural fertilizer and a great conversation starter (or stopper!)
Who the Ducks?
We currently have five female ducks: two Welsh Harlequin (Gladys and Peep), two Cayuga (Bonnie and Fannie) and one Orpington Buff (Puff, who I call Ping because she looks just like that duckling in the children’s book.)* All of our ducks are on the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy’s list, the Welsh Harlequins are considered “critical” and the others are “threatened”. We chose these breeds to help in a small way to promote diversity and create a market for the farmers who raise them.
How the Ducks?
By mail through an on-line company, www.ducksforbackyards.com, very nice folks in Texas who have answered my many questions patiently and kindly. The ducks themselves are shipped from California.
Where the Ducks?
Right now, in our garage in an artificial brooder. When they are a couple weeks old, weather permitting, we will let them go outside in a small covered pen under our supervision so they can get fresh air, sunshine, exercise and begin to learn to forage. When they’re about 6-8 weeks old, again depending on weather conditions and their maturation, we plan to place them full-time outside in a coop/pen, fortified against predators. During the day, they will “free-range” in the large backyard and at night we will pen them up.
What the Ducks!
Here’s the TV logline: a newbie suburban mom and her 10-yr-old daughter try to get back to nature by raising ducks and vegetables in their backyard under Dad’s skeptical eye.
* Prior to their birth, Pamela planned to call them Quack, Ouack, Tuscarora, Onondaga, Creampuff and Cheesepuff. That went out the window day one.
Copyright 2012, Lori Fontanes