Khaki Campbell - Foraging Ability & Eggs

seanheinle

Hatching
Jun 5, 2020
2
0
6
I'm looking to get a few Khaki Campell females to forage the insects in my orchard. Hoping they eat grubs and beetles of all kinds. It would ideal if they would dig through dropped fruit for grubs/worms as well. I've got 20 trees in my orchard in like a ~10,000 sq ft area.

Are Khaki Campbell's well equipped for this? Thoughts on how many would be ideal?

Also, I'm hearing they are great layers which would be a nice bonus. My neighbor has two White Layer ducks. I get eggs on occasion and I prefer chicken eggs. The duck eggs are a bit more gamey and a bit more rubbery (for lack of a better work) when cooked alone. I find them great when added to a three egg omelet (1 duck, 2 chicen) but by themselves, I'm not a huge fan. Will the Khaki Campbell eggs be similar? Anything I can do with their feed to tweak that taste a bit?
 

cheezenkwackers

Crowing
Aug 28, 2016
1,346
2,246
302
Memphis, TN
I think Khakis would be great for you. They love grubs and worms. I have six ducks (two pure Khaki, two part Khaki, and two other breeds) that live in my garden which is only about 1200 square feet. My two pure Khaki hens are the best at foraging. Still, mostly my ducks sleep, lounge in their pools, and bother each other. I think I might over feed mine so they only forage for fun and snacks. Have you seen this BBC new article which says one duck can eat 200 locust a day: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia...NNFlrnXqED5vqZQrdaR5fiLOFi1eTkcMrKbOMtLgpCa6g
I am not really sure how many you would need. At least a dozen or more, I would think.

My family loves the eggs. It seems like people who do not care for them often have their ducks on ponds. I can't help but think the flavor is affected by what they eat since those same people often complain that the eggs have a fishy taste. Mine do eat grubs and worms. On the days I am digging in the garden, they eat large quantities of them. I have never noticed a bad taste to the eggs after that. Hope that helps, if only a little.
 

seanheinle

Hatching
Jun 5, 2020
2
0
6
Very helpful! Do they wander much? If I have there coop and food in the orchard, will they stay reasonably close?

Also, orchard is in the edge of a wooded area. Do you think they'd avoid that and prefer the yard or have no issues poking around the woods?
 

cheezenkwackers

Crowing
Aug 28, 2016
1,346
2,246
302
Memphis, TN
Hopefully someone with a similar setup as you will chime in. I have a large fenced yard and they did explore all of it when I used to let them. They do tend to stay as a group. I have read that in parts of Asia that ducks are used for pest control in rice paddies. When they are young they are imprinted on a colorful stick. Then, when they are let out of the coop they are walked to the day’s rice paddy and left with the stick. At night, they follow the stick home. They use Indian Runner ducks but Khakis were originally bred from Runner ducks. You can find out more if you search that breed.
 

AgnesGray

Crowing
Mar 8, 2019
1,102
3,358
386
Ohio, US
My Coop
My Coop
I have 4 adult welsh harlequin (descendents of the khaki campbell) right now that only eat a 50 lb bag of food about every 6 weeks (sometimes longer). They dig and forage and would prefer to live on bugs, worms, and leaves. Their eggs have an amazing flavor that is just about the same as my chickens... just has more yolk. They really shine when used in baking... try making pancakes with duck eggs. People who buy them from me are always amazed at their qualities in baking. :) Then again, if yours have that much room to roam, it may end up being a challenge to find the nests they make.

I may also consider limiting them to one area at a time to let the poop be absorbed and the greenery heal at a certain point as mine tend to have favorite holes they go back to every time it rains. I'd probably do a moveable house like Youtubers gold shaw farm or john suscovich and use portable electric fencing to give them one area at a time. That would also provide a bit of protection for predators that are lurking in the woods.
 

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