There was the smell of manure in the air.
Many farmers are spreading all their winter manure on their large cornfields.
Everywhere I went today there were tractors and manure spreaders.
The stuff was really flying!
The breeder (the"Mother Duck") has several incubators in her pristine home.
Her largest incubator can hatch 20 duck eggs at a time.
Once the ducklings are hatched out and dried off, they are put in a brooder, like these, with a heat lamp, food and water.
Here is the back story on HOW and WHY these ducklings are so important:
Last summer I was invaded with snails and lost 70% of the food I had planted. I tried the Diatamacious Earth, Bud Lite, coffee grounds, wool and many other safe treatments to try to get rid of them, to no avail. So I have been planning since last August how to avoid the same problem.
Expensive solution: Heritage/foraging chicks, snail killing ducks, all supplies and next: buying or hiring a carpenter to build me a well ventilated and secure coop.
Fortunately, I found this NH/VT Appleyard Preservation Project in my search for snail killing fowl and these very special ducks will be my front line against pests in the garden.
As soon as my coop is built I will reserve a few more of these rare birds.
So much for having the bathroom to myself......
Lots of splashing going on as the ducklings made themselves comfy in the brooder.
According to the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy (ALBC) these ducks are....
Critical: According to the survey, several breeds of ducks, including the Ancona, Magpie, Saxony, and Silver Appleyard, show populations of fewer than 150 breeding birds and one or no primary breeding flocks. If they are to survive each of these requires prompt conservation efforts, including the development of additional primary flocks. Experienced breeders are strongly encouraged to consider working with these breeds.
Please Consider raising rare breeds of fowl and livestock. Save those genetics!!