Delightful Ducks


A photo of Lisa RichardsOne of my favorite chores of the day is bringing water to our flock of Saxony ducks.

It really doesn’t matter what else is going on that day, but there’s going to be a few minutes of absolute pleasure when the ducks get fresh water, no matter what the weather. 

ducks wading pool 

When the weather is nice, I fill up a little wading pool for them every morning. We have other spots for them to swim, but I guess because this is the pool I used when they were ducklings, they like this one the best. They are so funny. They love to get right into the stream of water, and much merriment is had by all. Quack quack quack! We have both geese and dogs that would also like to play the game, but I make sure the ducks get some uninterrupted pool time of their very own. They are pretty wimpy, and easily scared away. I often turn over a bucket and sit with them for a few minutes. It’s such a lovely way to start my day.

ducks bug bar 

Ducks are fantastic at foraging for their own food. I love to watch them strip the seed heads off of grasses and weeds. They love bugs best of all, though. Every new puddle that appears is going to have ducks looking for bugs in it. When the weather is warm, we put out solar lights in their paddock. The bugs flock to the lights and the ducks gorge themselves on the feast. In the evening, they start to congregate around the lights, giddy with anticipation. They’ll tap tap tap on the lights -- can we get some service here please?! We sit out in our gazebo on warm summer nights and laugh at their impatience. It really cuts down on our grain bill.

Robyn Dolan
2/15/2011 9:57:10 AM

I love my ducks and geese. I agree, it's fun to watch them play in the water. I like the eggs, too, now you make me want to raise a few more to try the meat again. Didn't like it so much the first time. Rendering the fat. Now that's using everything! I like it. Also like the solar light idea. I will have to try that one;)

Nebraska Dave
2/11/2011 7:50:00 PM

Lisa, I was raised on the farm from start of life through high school but never did I ever hear of anyone rendering duck fat. When ever we had duck to eat I think Mom just put the fat in the bucket for the hogs to eat. I don't remember ever finding duck eggs or that Mom ever used them for anything. The rendered lard she used for baking came from the hogs we butchered. Thank you so much for the informative blog about ducks and their use. I hope to hear much more about your homesteading ways. Have a great ducky day.

Candace Junkin
2/11/2011 6:57:07 AM

Wonderful article. Just wonderful! Loved the tip about the duck fat! You haven't had fried potatoes until you've had them fried in duck fat. Gourmet chefs go crazy for the stuff. But I must say that not all Pekins are terrible and mean. I have 6 Pekins and mine are all very sweet and funny. Good job!

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