Duck Dynasty? No, I haven’t grown a beard, wear camouflage daily, or even had ideals that lost their luster a century ago.
We have ducks.
On May 1st, we rescued two one-year-old Pekin ducks. A drake and a duck. Joe and Vera. Joe took on a Bobcat in order to protect Vera. He lost an eye over it, but other than that survived. So, Vera could keep on living and producing eggs.
Save just one day – I’ve gotten an egg from Vera every day. We’ve made duck-egg frittata; duck egg breakfast sandwiches; and, I put the eggs in just about anything I bake. It’s divine. In addition to being a good protector, Joe allows me to pet him on occasion.
They are very easy to take care of and I’m thrilled to have them as a part of our homestead.
My only issue? I know we need to get a third duck. Preferably female, as the eggs is the reason I began to consider adopting any how. I’ve posted adds at the farm supply story, craigslist, even a local bulletin board. Nothing so far. Ducks are social creatures. They need a buddy. If something were to happen to Joe or Vera the other would die of heartbreak. So, a third is on the agenda.
We had a pretty easy time putting together their pen. It took us a couple of weekends to get it all together. But, we used old pallets us build a platform where we installed a sink we rescued from a building demolition. I got the old dog house off of a free listing on craigslist. Then just regular hardware fencing with the green stake fenceposts. A modded gate, and roof from scrap wood. I painted it. The hardest part was the PVC roof with bird netting. But it’s perfect. Then we added the little 18” fence as an outer yard with a kiddie pool, which I built a sod ramp for them to get in and out of the pool (I had sod left over from ripping up my front yard for a garden). They love when the pool is fresh (I change it every other day). The sink gets fresh water daily. They also have a small dipping pool in the corner of their dormer pen. At night we shoo them into the gated pen and lock them up. So far so good.
They are well behaved, for the most part. A couple of mornings, Vera has been very demanding for feeding time. But she seems to have mellowed a bit now – after four weeks of me feeding them every day and giving them fresh water, and slug treats (ripped from my garden beds), they now trust me and she doesn’t scream in the morning so much for food.
In the meantime, the brood of chickens we have is now 3 months old. They are eating as much as adult hens, but not laying yet. We also need to provide them a larger range area. Working on that right now. More to come on that later.
But, if you hear of anyone in Western Washington who needs a Pekin duck rescued, send them my way. I’m still all ears for duck and chicken-keeping tips.