Farm Happenings

The ducklings are coming…

The girls are officially enrolled in 4H this year. They’ve wanted to do it in the past but haven’t because they were too young to show live animals, we thought they were old enough this year and got them signed up but it turns out the rule changed and they are still not old enough. Regardless, they’ve picked projects that I know will be right up their alley.

Everly is doing embryology which goes hand and hand with our spring poultry incubation here on the farm. She selected two bantam hens and a rooster for her to breed and study, she choose a Mille Fleur hen and a Silkie hen to go with a Golden Seabright rooster. She’s made some guesses about what types of chicks will result. I’m no pro at crossbreeding genetics in poultry so I welcome your breeding result guesses in the comments below. I’ll share them with her. While we wait for their eggs we have a bunch and duck eggs incubating.

We lost our female Pekin duck last year, for now we have female Khaki Campbells that are breeding with a Pekin drake and a Khaki Campbell drake. Pekin ducks are typically kept as a meat bird, they are on the plumper side of the duck spectrum and have white feathers which are more appealing where meat birds are considered. Khaki Campbell ducks are listed as a Livestock Conservatory Heritage Breed and are generally kept for egg production and their wonderful foraging abilities. A good foraging bird needs less commercial feed and does better in a free range/ pasture setup.

When you cross Pekin with Khaki Campbell you get this really cute tuxedo looking duckling with black and white feet. They grow to be a nice size, not as big as a Pekin but not as thin as a Khaki. They are great egg layers! The black duckling in the video below is one we hatched last year:

We will be selling these ducklings to those in need of ducklings here in Southern, Illinois once they hatch. If you’d like to have a few contact me to reserve them.

<p>A city girl turned farmer. Yes women do farm ;) Owner and operator of direct to consumer, Ryder Family Farm in Southern Illinois.<br /> Wearing many hats I'm also a mother to 3, a wife, a yogi, a farmer, a 4-H & Girl Scout leader & hospitality manager.</p>

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