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Growing Again

May 8th, 2014

Yesterday we headed down to Al’s Quackery in Saco, Maine to pick up 12 Ancona ducklings. I actually ordered these ducklings last year, but a few things happened and the ducklings weren’t meant to be at the time. This year however, it looks like we’re in business. Al gave me a great mix of colors: chocolate, silver, white, black and one crested bird, they should be really pretty when they feather out. This morning they actually headed off to a local preschool for a week so the kids can watch the difference between ducklings and chicks.
ancona ducklings (1)
These ducks are listed in critical condition by the The Livestock Conservancy, which is why I decided on this breed for a small laying flock. These are egg ducks, unlike my Muscovies, they will lay eggs all year long providing delicious duck eggs for all my baking needs. With the ducks I can reduce the number of chickens I have or not worry so much about keeping my flock filled with younger birds. These ducks will pick up the slack for my aging hens.

Do you use duck eggs in cooking? Can you find them in your area?

9 Comments to “Growing Again”
  1. Mich on May 8, 2014 at 5:35 am

    I love using duck eggs in baking, fabulous rise to the cakes. I’m lucky a friend keeps some khaki Campbell’s so I have access to fresh eggs. I have given up keeping them at home…too many foxes :(

    Reply to Mich's comment

    • Sue from Ky. on May 8, 2014 at 5:52 am

      I have 5 new Khaki Campbell ducks. I lost one early on. They are just now old enough to be released to the pond. I have been doing some reading on them, and hope to reap the benefits you both speak of here. We sold half of our laying hens yesterday, since they are bringing a good price now, and we had way more than we needed to keep us in eggs, plus the cost of feeding them was getting ridiculous. We don’t let our hens run free during gardening season, so they depend on the feed more now. I am anxious to try the duck eggs. I hear it is really hard to keep ducks since their are so many predators, but ours will remain out on the open pond, with a shelter to run to, just in case. I’m sure I will be posting more about my new experience with these ducks, as time goes by.

      Reply to Sue from Ky.'s comment

      • Susy on May 8, 2014 at 9:25 pm

        It’s always hard to lose one, we lost one of our ducklings from our first batch and a two from our third batch.

        to Susy's comment

    • Susy on May 8, 2014 at 7:06 am

      Yes, they can be tough to keep safe. Luckily Tara is doing a great job keeping the foxes away from the birds.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  2. Luci McKeown on May 8, 2014 at 7:45 am

    This may seem like a silly question but is there any difference when using duck eggs rather than chicken eggs in cooking? I’m assuming duck eggs are larger? Any taste difference when making scrambled eggs for instance?

    Reply to Luci McKeown's comment

    • Susy on May 8, 2014 at 9:24 pm

      They are different in scrambled eggs, but work much better when it comes to baked goods like cakes. They are especially good in custards and pumpkin pies. Duck eggs aren’t really much bigger than large chickens eggs, but the yolks are larger and the whites are different.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  3. Nebraska Dave on May 8, 2014 at 8:23 am

    Susy, looks like ducks are taking over the homestead. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten a duck egg straight up or in any baked item. I’ve heard the taste is a little stronger than a chicken egg. I’ve never really tried to find anyone that has duck eggs. I never knew anyone that raised ducks for that purpose here in Nebraska. I hope all works out for the little ducklings.

    Have a great growing again day.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

  4. whit on May 8, 2014 at 9:01 am

    So sweet these little guys are! That’s so generous sharing them with a preschool! Funny story: We purchased “assorted” ducks from the farm store when we first moved. Oh goodness how we loved those things. They keep the Growman incredibly slug free. We were excited for the eggs too. They are okay straight up fried in a pan, scrambled they taste just like chicken eggs. So I used them in baking waffles or cupcakes, and reserved chicken eggs for when we were feeling fancy. We eat waffles almost everyday, so it was great to have the ducks eggs to use for that. Within a few days, I start wondering if I’m pregnant again. Then my daughter becomes violently ill so sporadically. It goes on like this for about a month. Finally, one morning after a particularly unfortunate breakfast of pancakes and chocolate milk that suddenly ended up on my cream colored carpet within 15 minutes of ingesting it occurs to me that we might be allergic to duck eggs. Once we stopped using them, my suspicions were confirmed. So now we use them as gifts for friends, or we give them to the food bank.

    Reply to whit's comment

  5. Megan on May 8, 2014 at 9:33 pm

    Here duck eggs are only something eaten by farmers – and then only if they bother to collect them. This past summer we acquired our first ducklings – five Muscovey. They have been a joy to have. We have also, through no effort of our own, acquired five adult Muscovey from various different people. My father loves the duck eggs for breakfast. But he would like them to be more prolific layers. I haven’t mentioned to him the difference between Muscovey and regular ducks – we haven’t finished building the front pond yet. I can’t manage more ducks than we have with only one small artificial pond!

    Reply to Megan's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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