Our ducks are free range with access to a pond to swim in daily. Duck eggs are available in our honor system cooler by the mailbox. $7/dozen
The ducks we primarily raise are Welsh Harlequin. They are calm, and beautiful ducks, who produce a lot of eggs, compared to other breeds. We have them on the farm to sell their eggs, and sometimes sell some extra drakes for meat.
I let my duck flock live together on our pond, and let them mate naturally. We remove some of the drakes, because too many causes competition and fighting. I gather most of the eggs to sell, but do collect some that I incubate inside to hatch more ducklings. They are provided a house to lay eggs in, but tend to prefer laying them by the pond where they spend most of their time. Eggs left by the pond and not collected by me, are often eaten by snakes and other predators. Ducks who wander away from the pond to lay and brood eggs are also often taken by predators.
I have hatched several of my own ducklings in our incubator. They stay inside in a brooder box until they are feathered enough to go outside. It takes ducks much longer to get fully feathered, compared to chickens, that I don't let them onto the pond until they are big enough to stay warm, and climb the edge of the pond. Ducks are very social animals who form strong bonds. My ducklings don't get put on the pond, unless they have formed a bond with at least one other duckling that has hatched, so that they can stay together until they make friends with the adult flock. They are given extra exercise in the sink or bathtub to practice their swimming before they are put on the pond.
Growth and feeding
Our ducks stay out on the pond, but have a house built just near the pond where they are given access to feed, if they desire it. They also eat algae, insects and grass from around the pond. They are great at eliminating mosquito larvae! Their feed consumption of very low in the spring, summer and fall, as they get most of their nutrition from bugs and grass and algae on the pond. In the winter, they require the grain supplements. Our ducks are all hormone-free, and none of them are ever fed medicated feed. Our birds are also antibiotic-free. We only feed medicine if a bird is ill. We have never had an illness in our duck flock. We never spray any chemicals anywhere on our land, so they are not exposed to pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides.
A FEW DUCK STATISTICS
In 2016, we hatched 87 of our own ducklings
in 2017, we hatched 167 ducklings!
Our ducks seem to prefer laying eggs in cold weather and take the summer off to splash in the pond
Our resident 4H show birds are Paddles and Becky.