If they live long enough, that is. I have a lady who wants to give me her two surviving ducks. She’s had trouble with raccoons or coyotes going after her flock and now she is down to two, a Blue Swedish and a Khaki Campbell, both female. The Blue Swedish looks like the duck above. The Khaki Campbell is pretty much like a Welsh Harlequin, instead having far more brown and almost no white, and a slightly more upright stance. I really hadn’t planned on getting anymore ducks. But since it is unlikely we will sell hatching eggs this year, it doesn’t matter. We can always isolate them from the flock in the future if we want that. We’d only need to do it for a month or so, collect the eggs, and them let them back together.
It would be obvious at hatching which ducklings were Blue Swedish as they are black or grey with just a little yellow on them. Khaki Campbell ducklings are brown. And Welsh Harlequin ducklings are mostly yellow with a little brown. So I could still sell ducklings with a fair knowledge of which were pure WH and which were crossbreeds. Some Blue Swedish lay eggs that are tinted green or blue, but some are white.
But they have to live long enough. They are a fair distance away and I have to wait until they can bring them. I can’t go out there as I am having issues with driving too far due to my leg and it would be a 60 mile round trip. And since the husband won’t be home until Thursday, I have to wait on their timetable. Though we would go and get them if they are still alive when he gets home, since he’d be able to do the driving.
I really hadn’t planned on getting more laying ducks this year at all. Not even to replace Lemon. But since they will be free and it’s not like those breeds eat much feed and they forage well, it won’t really change the feed bill that much.
I am still contemplating on whether or not I will raise Pekins for meat this year. I was thinking about maybe doing a dozen, so we could have duck once a month. But only if the one slaughter facility adds water fowl like they had planned to. No one here wants to pluck a duck. I’d only need to raise them for 12 weeks to get to butcher size. And we’d start it in August so the kids can help with the first month of constant care. Also that would put them about the second week of September before they’d go outside,, which is after the neighbor stops his summer outdoor entertaining. That would avoid any smells from that many more ducks infringing on his outdoor time. Plus it is pretty much constantly raining from the end of September which also keeps down the smells.
We may just do chickens. I just am not sure I want to risk the hassles that raising more ducks might entail if the neighbor gets snippy. I’m still worried about the smells from the turkeys when summer comes. I guess if we just clean it out daily it’ll be okay. I’d like to raise 2 more turkeys this year and we can raise them with the meat chickens and then when they get old enough they will have the meat chicken coop and pen to themselves because the chickens will be butchered. Or we can move them in with the other two if they will get along. The two we ate this year were just outstanding so I’d really like to do that again this year. And we don’t want to butcher George and Gina as they are our breeding stock for the future, so it would have to be two new ones.
Of course some of these plans might be moot if our house sells. There are some pretty serious buyers getting their stuff together right now to maybe make an offer. But we had a contract before and it fell through, so I won’t believe it until it happens. So if the house sells and we start looking for a farm, I may just see if I can have someone else raise us two for the holidays. Once we are set up on an actual farm, I’d like to raise at least six turkeys a year so we can have turkey at other times. I might even raise some for sale. But for now, it is all just wait and see.