Monday, February 7, 2011
CRAZY FOR DUCKS
I’ve been thinking a lot about ducks lately. Did you know that people are actually raising ducks in their residential backyards? I know, crazy, right? It’s the latest thing in sustainable living.
I recently learned an abundance of information about ducks while researching beneficial critters for our Spring Festival at Clark Gardens. Expert Permaculturist Elizabeth Samudio of Fort Worth, Texas, actually prefers ducks over chickens for their ability to provide eggs, meat and elimination of unwanted bugs like mosquitoes, snails, and slugs. Elizabeth will be one of our guest speakers at our Spring Festival this year on the last weekend of March.
Ducks don’t tear up the yard like chickens do and contrary to what you might think; they don’t need a pond or a lake to be happy. A plastic baby pool in the backyard will suffice. Ducks are excellent family pets. When raised from ducklings, they bond to the family and can be hand fed, held, and they love to follow you around the yard. Their favorite treats to eat are worms!
Some duck breeds, like the Khaki Campbell, can lay up to one egg per day and thus provide enough eggs for a family of four. Duck eggs are richer tasting than chicken eggs. They are great to eat and cook with and are about the size of a large chicken egg. Other duck breeds like the Pekin are excellent meat ducks.
If you had told me a couple of months ago that I would be raising ducks in my backyard, I would have said "you’re crazy.” Our ducklings will arrive next week by the U.S mail. I can’t wait to see them. I think the best reason of all to raise ducks is all about the deep love, respect and appreciation that our family has for animals. May our precious ducks live happily ever after.
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