The virtues of backyard ducks
Nicole Goss’s ducks: a Khaki Campbell (left) and a Cayuga.She says they’re both quiet breeds. They look enticingly strokable.The other day I read an inspiring bit of reader mail about egg-layers who quack instead of cluck. With the writer’s permission, I’ve copied it here.
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The April edition of Sunset couldn’t have had more perfect timing for my backyard projects. I had just finished planting my vegetable garden in my raised planter beds, and was looking forward to home grown eggs from my newly purchased chicks. The only difference being my chicks had webbed feet and bills.Ducks are often overlooked as egg producers but depending on the breed lay as many eggs as chickens. Their eggs are larger and are good for general eating. They have slightly higher oil content which makes them great for baking. They are also easy to raise, and more disease resistant and withstand a wider temperature range than chickens. Best of all they will take care of your bugs AND weeds! They love to forage around the backyard for snails, slugs, and whatever else they can find.They make great pets and most cities that allow chickens will also let you have ducks. They don’t need a pond but love a shallow tub or “Kiddy pool” to splash in. Some breeds like Pekins can be loud so just make sure you research breeds before you buy. Ducks make great pets and their hilarious antics are a nonstop source of entertainment in my yard. — Nicole Goss
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