What Breed Should I Get?

Aunt Angus

Free Ranging
Jul 16, 2018
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Nevada County, CA
My ducks (drakes inclusive!) eat layer pellets from the local Hillbilly-Feed-Mill. They also produce Moonshine, weed and lot's of kids. ;)
No clue if those pellets are organic, vegan or blessed - my ducks like them and that counts.
I bought more expensive pellets and crumbles from the farm-stores and the ducks gave me that »Are you trying to poison us?!« and played hide and poop with the food.
One 50lbs bag costs me $10 and i support a local business and not big corporate.
As for the ducklings, i bought Manna Pro Ducklings Starter for them and they grew up fine into feisty duckies.
The second ducklings were raised by their momma Katharina duck, they got extra meal-worms and ground up cat-food and ate the layer-pellets from day one on, as they saw their mom eating. They grew up just fine into feisty duckies.
The third ducklings were raised by their Momma Pinball and ate a gazillion of little flies from day one on. They also got some extra meal-worms and cat-food and grew up into feisty ducks by eating the layer-pellets.
Finally last year's fall ducklings got ground layer-pellets with cat-food and extra meal-worms and were switched to a diet of layer-pellets only when they were just four weeks old. They turned into thirteen feisty compost pirates.
Point is: All ducklings, except the first ones had plenty of access to the outdoors and with an abundant supply of insects and plants, naturally growing around here.
You can make yourself crazy about what to feed your ducklings or just feed them the same stuff that you feed to the grown-ups. Add a little more protein (cat-food, meal-worms) and they will grow up just fine.
For the grown up ducks, if they have room to roam around, they will give a quack on your pellets during the summer and eat outside whatever they can get their bills on. Ducks are somewhat not critical when it comes to eating. They eat everything!
Organic? - Imho (!) the biggest scam in the food world! There is no clear definition of what organic means, just a broad and vague set of recommendations… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organic_food
Thanks, Hillbilly. I'm trying to feed everyone as well as I can. They'll have forage. We planted a "chicken" pasture with clover and alfalfa and rye and legumes. And we have blackberries. Lordy, do we have blackberries. They can have at those of they can avoid the thorns. If not, I'd be more than happy to throw em a handful every now and again. But I'm going to brood them inside. Good thing my smaller is broken! Ha!

I'll get some layer pellets and mix it with the grower crumble and add nutritional yeast. Just to cover all my bases.
 

Quatie

Crowing
Oct 16, 2020
1,015
5,531
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Northern California
I'm getting 4!!!

Well, the official "husband version" of the story is that I'm getting 3, and - would you look at that - they sent a "packing peanut."
I told my husband about the packing peanut, and he thought it was a thing Metzer was saying to get people to by larger breed ducks. :gigHe thinks it would be a good marketing idea.
 

WannaBeHillBilly

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Sep 2, 2018
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I actually go a »packing peanut« with my last order of twelve ducklings. At first i didn't notice, then i thought i have a problem with my eyes, but when i collected the ducklings for their first trip out in the »wild« i counted them and there were thirteen: Two White Layers and eleven Runners. All thirteen made it and are now the »Compost Pirates«.
 

Quatie

Crowing
Oct 16, 2020
1,015
5,531
281
Northern California
I actually go a »packing peanut« with my last order of twelve ducklings. At first i didn't notice, then i thought i have a problem with my eyes, but when i collected the ducklings for their first trip out in the »wild« i counted them and there were thirteen: Two White Layers and eleven Runners. All thirteen made it and are now the »Compost Pirates«.
I read on at least Metzer, they ship an extra duck or ducks, or "packing peanut", when you order over 10. When you get less than that, they assume you have space restrictions.
 

Pollo Blanco

Crowing
10 Years
Jun 8, 2010
407
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Western Washington
Organic? - Imho (!) the biggest scam in the food world! There is no clear definition of what organic means, just a broad and vague set of recommendations… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organic_food
Unfortunately Wikipedia can be altered by anyone, and often is.
Far from a factual reference by a long shot.
But, back to organic; produce grown using natural fertilizers like manure taste better, last longer in storage and have a higher nutritional value. Modern pesticides rely on hormones that change all the insects into females. Not what I really want to be eating. Roundup ready crops get doused with glycophosphate many times in their growth cycle, and most grains get doused just before harvest to make separation of the grains from the stalks easier.
However, you are correct that 'organic' doesn't necessarily mean that you're going to get better value for your dollar. I have to chuckle at the chicken in the grocery store that says 'organic all vegetarian feed'. As we know, chickens are omnivorous insectivores, and pastured or 'humanely raised' chickens are superior to an 'organic' all vegetarian fed chicken trapped in a cage.
Just like the food we raise in our own gardens flat tastes better, that grown using practices that most use natural practices taste better too, and they are better for nutritionally. Better for the environment also.
 

Aunt Angus

Free Ranging
Jul 16, 2018
4,498
11,482
712
Nevada County, CA
Unfortunately Wikipedia can be altered by anyone, and often is.
Far from a factual reference by a long shot.
But, back to organic; produce grown using natural fertilizers like manure taste better, last longer in storage and have a higher nutritional value. Modern pesticides rely on hormones that change all the insects into females. Not what I really want to be eating. Roundup ready crops get doused with glycophosphate many times in their growth cycle, and most grains get doused just before harvest to make separation of the grains from the stalks easier.
However, you are correct that 'organic' doesn't necessarily mean that you're going to get better value for your dollar. I have to chuckle at the chicken in the grocery store that says 'organic all vegetarian feed'. As we know, chickens are omnivorous insectivores, and pastured or 'humanely raised' chickens are superior to an 'organic' all vegetarian fed chicken trapped in a cage.
Just like the food we raise in our own gardens flat tastes better, that grown using practices that most use natural practices taste better too, and they are better for nutritionally. Better for the environment also.
Pretty sure Hillbilly knows about Wikipedia. ;)

And I am looking for grower pellets, not starter or crumbles. But thank you! Gotta have organic if I want to sell eggs at the farmer's market in town. Otherwise, I'd have to drive over an hour into the valley. On a Saturday morning. Ew. Haha!
 

Aunt Angus

Free Ranging
Jul 16, 2018
4,498
11,482
712
Nevada County, CA
Unfortunately Wikipedia can be altered by anyone, and often is.
Far from a factual reference by a long shot.
But, back to organic; produce grown using natural fertilizers like manure taste better, last longer in storage and have a higher nutritional value. Modern pesticides rely on hormones that change all the insects into females. Not what I really want to be eating. Roundup ready crops get doused with glycophosphate many times in their growth cycle, and most grains get doused just before harvest to make separation of the grains from the stalks easier.
However, you are correct that 'organic' doesn't necessarily mean that you're going to get better value for your dollar. I have to chuckle at the chicken in the grocery store that says 'organic all vegetarian feed'. As we know, chickens are omnivorous insectivores, and pastured or 'humanely raised' chickens are superior to an 'organic' all vegetarian fed chicken trapped in a cage.
Just like the food we raise in our own gardens flat tastes better, that grown using practices that most use natural practices taste better too, and they are better for nutritionally. Better for the environment also.
And actually, Wikipedia is a great source. When I was working on my thesis, I used it a lot to find other sources. Love them little blue links that take you to the bottom of the page! It's a great place to start looking for online resources. I tell my students that all the time. Why scour the internet when wikis have done the leg work for you? As long as you vet the sources, you're good!
 

WannaBeHillBilly

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Sep 2, 2018
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Pretty sure Hillbilly knows about Wikipedia. ;)

And I am looking for grower pellets, not starter or crumbles. But thank you! Gotta have organic if I want to sell eggs at the farmer's market in town. Otherwise, I'd have to drive over an hour into the valley. On a Saturday morning. Ew. Haha!
There is a difference between just »organic« and »certified organic« !
Anybody can declare their produce as organic without breaking any rules, like in »I don't use pesticides and industrial fertilizer, so my veggies are organic
I consider my duck's eggs to be organic to: My ducks are being fed pellets, made from local resources, they are being free ranged and they are currently not on any medication.
Organic is what you define it to be! - Notice that i have not said anything about GMO! I am pretty sure some of the local soybeans and corn that is processed into the pellets are of the evil gmo kind that will turn humons into zombies without warning. ;)
Now certified organic is basically the same, with the difference that an external organization came up with a set of rules that they think define organic and they are certifying food producers that obey their rules.
  • You are not using pesticides around your birds? (Exception: Permethrin for the coop)
  • You don't feed medicated feed on a regular base, especially no anti-biotics?
  • Your birds live in clean conditions?
  • You birds are happy and you treat them well?
  • You wash the eggs after collection with clean water with at least 60°C (160F) and store them at or below 8°C (46F)?
If you have answered all these questions with yes the Limping Drake Farm is happily willing to certify that your bird's eggs match our standard for organic eggs.
 

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