Sunday, June 24, 2012

Veggies and Duck

I have been eating delicious radishes for a month now, and so have the other 3 families I have been giving my surplus to.  My 4 kinds of lettuce too.  I feed 4 families plus my ducks all the lettuce they want.

Some of my lettuce, brussel sprouts, peas and baby swiss chard was destroyed the other day by a wicked hailstorm, but most of it bounced back up. I fed all the damaged crops to the flock.  This is the 2nd hailstorm in as many weeks. These hailstones were larger and more abundant. The front yard was full of round ice cubes as they came out of the black sky.
A few trees were stripped of leaves from hail and a few trees fell across the road because of the severe winds.

I started picking swiss chard today and had a great lunch.  Got some tomatoes that are big and green and will probably be ready next week if the sun stays out.  Been snacking on sweet peas as I do some weeding in the garden. What a treat those are. I have had to fight with the ducks over who gets to eat the most peas. Evidently they are a preferred food for handsome ducks.

My garden is producing all kinds of wonderful veggies and flowers.   I am a little nervous with the amount of egg plant that is growing blossoms.   I think I planted much more than I wanted. I thought only a few would survive the March weather, but they all did well.

On the Ducky front there is plenty of news.   The snail population has met their match in Duck Power.
These 2 ducks have eaten their weight in snails and slugs every day and have eliminated any vegetable destruction from the snails.  This time last year my compost bin was overflowing with snail damaged lettuce, chard, tomatoes, growing squash, melons, peppers and anything else you could think of and it got worse as the summer progressed.  The ducks are the organic weapon I needed to put a stop to the growing garden pest problem.  As an added bonus, the 6 pullets have destroyed every ant mound on the property and this is the first year we have not been invaded by ants in the mud room and kitchen.

Unexpectedly, Agnes and Ruthless have morphed and molted into Agnew and Rudy.
We were all so convinced they were hens until last week.    I kept waiting for their voices to change and suspected they would never quack like a hen.... and then their heads started turning green, but I also ignored that as well.  They have been molting into their adult plumage for the past 3 weeks.   When their tail feathers started curling on Wednesday I couldn't deny any longer that my ducks weren't the girls I thought they were.

Its a bit thrilling to have TWO Silver Appleyard drakes in the flock.
Most people who have these kind of ducks are always looking for unrelated males to breed to their flock.
And guess what ?   These two are not related to each other. One came from Mississippi and the other from Kentucky.  They are not related to any of the Appleyard ducks in this region so there is much potential for a duck swap.  They are so tame, comical and well trained.  I can call them from anywhere on the property and they come a running!  The chickens follow them everywhere.  They are also dog friendly.     Their favorite treat are scratch grains and lettuce, however they will eat anything they find while foraging.

Well, looks like I am going to have to go on to find mates for my boys.   Time for them to hook up with some decent gals and start making some ducklings to increase the population of their rare breed. 

Help me find some "marrying kind" of Appleyard hens for my boys.

Have you had to find mates for your flock, herd or gaggle?
Was it an interesting adventure?


  1. I know nothing about ducks, but I am so jealous of your fresh radishes

  2. Hello, love the ducks,sure hope they find a sweetheart,wink wink. To bad about the hail but your garden is lovely. Blessings Francine.