Now that fall is settling in and those of us in North America settle in for winter, I’m looking back over the hatch season and thinking about how I might be able to improve things, and what I might change for next year. I for one know know that when hatching season starts up next year I’m going to try to move the brooder from the house to the shed. This of course would require electric in the shed, so I’m not entirely sure that it will happen, but it’s definitely at the top of my list. If I can’t do the shed, the I’d look into some kind of setup on the back porch which is covered, on the 2nd floor, screened in, and predator safe. I’d have to figure out a brooder that is going to be more closed off as an outdoor brooder. Separating breeding stock - Last year mid breeding season, I lost my 2 birds from my breeding stock, so some of my later hatches weren’t what I had wanted from the seasons breeding. I’d like to build a smaller, second coop and run tin which I can keep a trio for about 6 weeks. This will let me better log lineage and hopefully, and not lose any of them to predation. Don’t let mama go broody! I had a duck go broody on me and not breaking her broodiness was the biggest mistake I made this spring. She hatched and raised a single duckling who is still the worst duck I’ve had. Ever. She’s the loudest in the flock BY FAR. She hates people, and starts her long wailing quacks as soon as a person is in view. She bites. When the other ladies in the flock head-bob and climb atop one another, she climbs on top of the top duck while grabbing the neck of the bottom duck. On top of all this mama didn’t lay for most of the season. I imagine her with a little picket sign refusing to enter the nesting box until her demands were met. Her last egg was in early May, and she didn’t pick up again until last week. I love you lady, but this one jerk duck you raised is not equivalent compensation for 5 months of no eggs. I don’t think I’ll do much differently in my brooding setup, except move it outside if possible. I like the starter feed I’ve been using (Flock Raiser) though I’m going to push my local feed store to start carrying it in 50lb bags (right now they only have it in itty bitty bags, which I have to buy several of.) I think I may also switch back to powdered niacin (from tablets.) When I do need to add niacin to the feed, I have to grind up the tablets in my coffee grinder, but if I stick to powder I can just scoop it. I had moved away from the powder in the past, but that was because I was having trouble measuring it in such small amounts. I think I’ll just get a set of smaller (1/8 tsp and smaller) measures. I'm curious to know what other folks that raised ducks this season are thinking about this years hatches, and if they plan on doing anything differently.