Lazy ducks

Flock of ducks

I hate to admit it, but our duck experiment was a dismal failure.  We chose Ancona ducks because they came highly recommended by Carol Deppe, but either the breed or the species seems to be a poor fit for our homestead.  When the ducklings were small enough to dabble in our sky pond, I loved the way they foraged for their own food, but keeping them on dry land
has been much more of a hassle.  The requisite open bucket of
water turns into mud within hours, and the ducks then proceed to turn
the entire area around the bucket into mud too.

Lazy ducks

I could probably deal with the mud problem, though, if our ducks weren’t
so darn lazy.  At first, I thought maybe the waterfowl were spending their
entire day hanging out in one spot because they were in a hillside
, and hills were too hard for their webbed feet.  However, I
moved the flock into a flat pasture full of low weeds and clover (and
even took away their open water bucket) and the waterfowl still lay about all

Busy chickens

For the sake of
comparison, here’s what the tractored hens were doing on the same hot
afternoon that I took the second photo in this post.  Despite being
confined to a small space, these Red Stars were busy working up the ground where I plan to set out fall broccoli next week, hunting for worms in the process.

If we were in the market
for pets, not working livestock, ducks might be keepers, but Mark and I
both agreed that we’d be better off cutting our losses before we have to
deal with open buckets of mud in the winter.  We’ll soon be dining
on ducks and hunting down a few point-of-lay pullets to expand our new
laying flock.

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  1. BW July 7, 2014
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