Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Of Ducks and Eggs and Seed Catalogues

With the cold snap I feel bad leaving the hens and ducks indoors. But it is cold enough to partially freeze their watering containers inside even with the heat lamps.

Here is our henhouse in the snow. It is separated into compartments; the chicken are on the right and have the larger area, and the ducks have the left. In the middle are the nesting boxes which open and a small feed storage area. At the back each have their own runs - though when home we let them have free range in the yard.

We were not sure when the ducks would begin laying so we never built any nesting boxes for them. The are now laying about 4 eggs per day and have made their own nest in the loft area of their house. Yes, they are modern ducks with a ramp and loft!

Here you can see the drake with the dark head and tail feathers and the five hens. The ramp to the loft is on the left and the bottom of the heat lamp.

Some of our lovely eggs. We are getting about 2 dozen everyday.

Luckily we have a steady supply of egg buying customers - coworkers, neighbours and friends. We even have two people that buy our duck eggs. I was surprised at the duck eggs as they are white and around the same size as the chicken eggs. They taste better than the chicken eggs but do have a firmer texture.

When I tell people about our ducks I am always amazed at how many people exclaim "What? Ducks lay eggs?" and "You can eat a duck's egg?" Ducks are birds... I'm not sure how these people think they procreate. Perhaps I am too practical and take these things for granted.

On another note.... the first seed catalogue arrived in the mail today. They always come when we have a cold snap. I think it is to tease us.