Ok, they aren't ducklings anymore but they are still adorable! My husband finally agreed to let me get ducks about a month ago and I am finally getting around to posting a blog about it. It has been a crazy busy month to say the least.
Anywho, I now have 6 Khaki Campbell ducks living in my kitchen. They are about done getting their feathers in so they will be moving outside as soon as I get their pen built.
This particular breed of duck is especially useful for the happy homesteader. The Khaki Campbell will lay upwards of 300 eggs a year, better than some breeds of chicken. Duck eggs are a bit thicker and bigger than chicken eggs but taste just as delicious. You can use duck eggs in all the same ways you would use a chicken egg but duck eggs make baked goods even fluffier! The nutritional value is a bit different as well.
Duck Eggs: 185 calories, 13g protein, 14g fat
Chicken Eggs: 147 calories, 12.5g protein, 10g fat
My ducks are not quite old enough to determine whether or not I have males or females but I am hoping for mostly females. The easiest way to determine your ducks sex is by simply looking at them. Many duck breeds have distinctly different coloring between males and females. Another tell tale sign is their tail feathers. Males will have a *sex feather* that curls up.
Housing a small duck flock is rather simple. I am using pallets and some cage fence to build my duck pen. As often as possible they will be able to roam free so they can stretch their feathers, swim, and search for grubs/bugs. For now they will have a small covered area to get out of the sun/rain when they want to but eventually I want to move the small shelter from my mini's pasture and use it for the ducks, but that is a future adventure that must follow a few other projects.
My hope with these new additions to my little homestead is to introduce my little to the joys of duck eggs. I have nothing against chicken eggs but I feel the duck is being unfairly pushed into the shadows. I will use my duck eggs for personal consumption and offer the rest for sale along with my fruits, veggies, and various canned foods.
If any of you would like more information on starting your own duck flock, or chickens, there is a great website that has kept me from too much anxiety in these early days. Storey Publishing offers plenty of books on the subject as well and I have turned to them for ideas and assistance many times.