Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Cuteness of Baby Ducks....

I was going to do a serious post on "how to get started" but I just can't because of the cuteness!

Miss Dash hatched her clutch and they are so cute I can't get a thing done.... And then Runner the Turkey Hen Who Hatched Chicks was out there funny-ing it up.. I just can't think straight....the cuteness! The cuteness! Seriously, how are you supposed to get anything done with these little lumpkins...

I love this little one "talking" to Miss Duck... and the little duck butts sticking out from under her. It looks like the little one is saying:

"And then what happened was..."

Duckling with Dog for scale....and nope. He didn't want to eat her... But she is only as big as he nose!

This looks pretty funny... duckling with dog ears..


Love the racing stripes on her head... there are two with these same markings

And then there is Runner....

I put the babies out in their "day camp" yard and they loved it! Chasing bugs and playing in the tall grass was a chick's dream come true. Runner was on high-alert tho. She has taken to running off the hens, guineas, AND geese if they get too close. At this point I really don't have to worry about the babies, and aside from rainy days, they will be spending most of the days outside from now on. One of the things we love about the Bourbon Red turkeys is that they are so industrious -- they love to forage so she will teach these little ones how to free range like the pros.

See how she is puffed up on full display? Some folks don't know that this stance is not just for the toms.. the hens do it as well. She is giving me the stink eye and showing who is boss. While the toms will hold this display for most of the day the hens only do it when they are riled up. Runner is a good momma and we are glad she got this clutch right!

Happy Sunday!


basicliving@backtobasicliving.com said...

Oh dear lord. You just had to post these pictures..... Bernie wants ducks. BAD. I want turkeys. But now I see your cute little ducks and...... *swoon* Dang your hide!

Chai Chai said...

What does one do with ducks? Eat them? Do they lay eggs year round like chickens? Put them in nappies and eat popcorn with them on the couch? Inquiring minds want to know!

Mama Mess said...

Such a cute post! Nothing sweeter than poultry hatched out naturally! I never tire of watching the mamas teach their babies what they need to know!

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Ducks are the best! While you CAN put little nappies on them and let them watch TV with you (a lot of people do this, really!)... they are best outside being cute and eating ALL the bugs. Ours are omnivorous so they eat anything that moves.

Ducks are also part of our 'stacked' barnyard strategy. They are great to pasture with sheep as they eat the flock's pests, for keeping flies down with horses, and for keeping the yard free of slugs.

While we have a 'core flock' of cuties (laying hens and one drake)... we've sent some to the freezer. Right now we have 3 more that need to come to dinner also. I'll keep one out of Miss Duck's clutch and the rest are spoken for.

Duck eggs are great for baking - a custard made from them is like nothing you've ever had before. And folks who are sensitive to chicken eggs can sometimes eat duck eggs. And pay a premium for them. Some folks make a little side biz of selling duck eggs.

For more cute duck pix and info click on the Blue Feather Farm link on the right blog list...they have a great set up!

Chai Chai said...

Sneaky how you added the part about sheep in there, slugs are a problem for both goats and sheep. Do ducks lay year round?

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Slug ARE creepy...and goats know it!

Our ducks have 3 or 4 clutches a year. But we don't really use them for eggs. Miss Dash's last clutch was in October I believe.

I know that some breeds lay more than ours and some folks use them mostly for eggs. We use ours to make cute ducklings!

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