THE FOUR PEEPERS AND HOW THEY GREW

I think we just about setting on some names for our four girls.  Though “Little House” characters were in the running we just are just too kin to names from the south. Here’s what we are leaning towards:

Opal – after the character in the Christy novel
AnnaLee – song sung by Gillian Welch, Dave Rawlings and OCMS
Lulabelle – another purdy southern name
Beulah – another song sung by Gillian Welch

The little peepers are sure growing fast!  They graduated from the kiddie pool to the big one last week and are eating greens.   Now that summer’s returned and the temps are back to “warmer” the duckies are spending their days outside in one of the raised beds.  They can dig in the dirt and splash around their water bowl to their hearts content – better yet they are natural dose of sunshine rather than from the artificial brooder light.  We like to ween them off the light within a week but you have to do it right as they are still small and can get easily chilled.   After an afternoon outside, we bring them back in the house for the evening.   Getting them out and about helps them to develop stronger constitution and resistance to coccidiosis. Not to mention the swimming and letting them walk around  helps develop strong legs.  Of course Jordanne’s specially formulated ducky supplement is added to their organic mash which contains essential minerals,  brewers yeast and tonic herbs.  BTW, over at BarnyardsandBackyards Jordanne’s offering a FREE bag – enter the Natural Poultry Supplement Giveaway

Pretty soon the fluff will give way to feathers and they can join the backyard menagerie.

Jordanne snapped a great bunch of photos during the duckies latest excursions.

We are in the BIG pool now!

Synchronized swimming ducky style

Time to dry off and snuggle

Our new playground

Should we stay or should we go?

Look up in the sky - is it a bird, a plane?

Nestling under the wing - er arm for safety

Or in an apron pocket will do just as well

Marching home again - hoorah, hoorah!

Cute little backsides

Whew, we're pooped

There’s a lot more happenings on the homestead besides the baby ducks. I hope to get around to posting pics from the summer garden, highlighting our meals and kick off another series called “Homestead Helpers”

Stay tuned!

Comments(27)

  1. Stacy says:

    Such adorable pictures, especially the one from the tail-end. What purpose will the ducks serve on your site? I’m not fond of duck eggs so I’m not sure other benefits to keeping a couple ducks on our soon-to-be backyard farm.

    • Jordanne Dervaes says:

      @Stacy,

      We use them for duck eggs — this breed lays almost an egg a day. The eggs are richer and have more egg-white than chicken eggs so they make richer and fluffier desserts/baked goods.

      They also are better for health-reasons (chicken eggs are acid, duck eggs are alkaline). This breed of ducks (Khaki Campbell) have eggs that are mild-tasting and no different from the taste/smell of chicken eggs. I’ve used them in place of chicken eggs and people don’t know the difference.

      • Stacy says:

        @Jordanne Dervaes, Oh, this I did not know, Jordanne. I raised peking ducks years ago when we had our little homestead farm. The eggs were so “fishy” tasting and smelling. I found no use for them. I read the comment you made concerning this breed’s ability to not need a lot of water. Thanks for your helpful comments.

        • Anais says:

          @Stacy: Yep, they are basically “land” ducks who enjoy a small, shallow kiddie pool/basin with water to take a daily bath. 😉

  2. Miss Ra'chel says:

    Oh those are sooooooo cute!!!! Makes me want to have some little cuddly ducks. Thanks for the update on them.: )

  3. Sally Knight says:

    What breed of ducks do you have? We are about to get 6 Rouens here at the farm for the eggs are are very excited about the arrival. Lovely Photos

    • Anais says:

      @Sally Knight: They are a heritage breed called Khakit Campbells which we found to be perfect for urban settings http://barnyardsandbackyards.org/2010/08/ask-miz-hennessy-khaki-campbell-ducks/

    • Anais says:

      @Sally Knight: This breed of ducks (Khaki Campbell) have eggs that are mild-tasting and no different from the taste/smell of chicken eggs. I’ve used them in place of chicken eggs and people don’t know the difference.

  4. Chris says:

    These photos are beyond cute, but the apron photo has to be my favorite!
    Jordanne, thank you for the Duck 101 Tutorial! I’ve never had a duck egg, but will be asking around at the Farmer’s Market now. Thanks!!!

    • Anais says:

      @Chris: Glad to be of help!

  5. Susan says:

    Wow, they are already getting big. They grow fast!

    • Anais says:

      @Susan: Yep, pretty soon they’ll be awkward looking – feather’s sticking out everywhere. LOL

  6. Amy says:

    I’m so glad to have read the information about the Khaki Campbell eggs vs chicken eggs!

    I just LOVE the names you are considering! Wonderful picke!

  7. kelli says:

    sooo cute!

    i came accross your homegrown revoluation video and am elated to find that you have an amazing blog! oh happy day!=)

  8. LaVonne Ellis says:

    Adorable! How do you keep them from flying away when they grow up?

    • Jordanne Dervaes says:

      @LaVonne Ellis,

      They were bred to be domesticated so their wing size isn’t large enough to support their body to fly higher more than a couple feet off the ground.

      Some breeds will fly — but the Khaki Campbell can’t, at least no more than 3 or 4 feet off the ground.

  9. Jordanne Dervaes says:

    testing comment error… 1.2.3

  10. Ginger says:

    I loved reading that book to my littles so many years ago, which made me really want to read your article. Great title! Your ducklings and apron are cute as can be. Love the buttons. Love the little quacker rumps. But no more fowl for me. I’ve turned vegan, feel great, and therefore have no use for eggs. The babies are so tempting though.

    • Anais says:

      @Ginger: Funny things is we don’t each much eggs either. With all the chickens and ducks on the urban homestead we actually sell more eggs than we eat. LOL

  11. Joy Giles says:

    Great names. My late mother’s name was Opal. . . just like your duckling she was a real gem.

    • Anais says:

      @Joy Giles: Thanks for sharing.

  12. Tara Fass says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE your website. Thanks for doing this story on raising backyard ducks. My significant other is getting ready to have ducks at his home in Santa Monica. Neighbors of mine have successfully raised ducks for the last 10 years in the LaCienega/Pico area of LA. I find the flavor of duck eggs overwhelming cooked alone or in omelettes while lucscious for French toast, bread pudding, baking and pancakes. How about you? I look forward to future stories on recipes for duck eggs.

    I’m fairly new to urban micro-farming but am taking to it like a ‘duck to water.’ LOL…Lewis and I were featured recently in an article about a restaurant in Silverlake. Here’s the link if interested. Take Care!
    Regards, Tara aka Ma Locavores

    http://www.theatlantic.com/food/archive/2010/07/in-los-angeles-a-breakthrough-in-local-eating/60507/

    • Anais says:

      @Tara Fass: We’ve been raising ducks for over 8 years (so do a bit of search here on the blog for additional posts) and love using duck eggs in baked goods. Khaki Campbell eggs are very mild in taste. Actually duck eggs are one of our biggest sellers at our front porch farm stand! We’ve been selling our surplus to restaurants in the area for over 15 years no and now have so many folks telling us that we should contact that restaurant mentioned in the sell our surplus too.

      • Tara Fass says:

        I think Forage could be a wonderful resource for you and visa versa. What you’re doing is just great. Take Care, Tara

        • Anais says:

          @Tara Fass: Wonder if they would pick up the produce?

  13. Kerstin Ehry says:

    Hello,

    I have noticed, you guys have chicks and ducks togethers. Since I am planning on adding ducks (Khaki Campbells) to my (all female) chick (AMERAUCANAS) flock, I was wondering how that goes.

    I have read that there can be quite some issues. What has been your experience?

    DO you only have female ducks?

    How many ducks / chicks do you have?

    Do you feed them the same food?

    THANKS, Kerstin

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