For the last few months, I have been working on building a Khaki Campbell flock. I picked them because they are prolific egg layers and we love duck eggs. Now I knew on some level when I bought them from the feed store as straight runs we would get some males, and lets face it we need males. Really we do. But i really didnt figure my 6 ducks would actually be 2 ducks and 4 drakes. Look no girl should have to put up with that. Not on a permanent living arrangement kind of thing. Even after a little tragedy (a drake couldn't make it out of its pond and drowned...yea it did) I still had too many drakes for my girls. So I bought some more. Thats how they get you. But this time I bought girls only to try to spread the love so to speak.
Now about the time I got my new duckling girls, my big girls started laying. Oh what a happy day that was. It gave me a little something to look forward to each morning as I slogged outside to feed the ducks. We actually were getting 2 eggs a day. Considering I only had 2 laying eggs that was pretty exciting. Then we had a cold snap and everything eggy stopped. I did the typical novice farmer thing and googled to my hearts content. Were they stressed? Were they having too much attention from the drakes? Did they look sickly? I studied them and still came back to the fact that I had no clue. But I decided to go with the "time heals all things" adage and wait awhile to see what happened.
As the ducklings got bigger, it became a necessity to move them outside. A really messy necessity. So as my brother in law was in town, he and Seth made a duck tractor and out they went. We took a heat lamp and hung it in the tractor just in case it was too cold for them and they were very happy. Of course as we went to move the tractor we realized there was a problem. If you moved it, it fell apart. Huh. Didn't see that coming. So in with the big ducks they had to go. In case I didn't mention it, the big ducks were living on the top of my asparagus bed as it was already fenced to keep the dogs out. And as the temperatures plummeted we left the heat lamp out there for all of them to enjoy.
A few days later, a happy event took place. We had eggs again. Yep, back to the 2 a day. Were they miraculously healed from their ailments? Did the drakes start giving them a little down time now that there were other girls around, adolescent as they were? Or do you think the light I put in there messed with the whole season setting and so they started popping out eggs again? Yea, I think it was the last thing too. So eggs we enjoy for several weeks. And then one day, it stopped again. What the heck? Five days went by and nothing, no eggs. By this time I am convinced. Ducks are stupid. They just can't stick with the program. As disappointed as I was in them, I hoped the new girls would do me proud in the spring. And as long as they weren't laying, I might as well move them to the farm.
The boys finished out the duck quarters at the farm and this morning began the great duck migration from Germantown, TN to Holly Springs, MS. I went outside to get the sleeping quarters cleaned up for the migration and see an egg. Well, ok. I'll take it. So I pick up the dog crate (aka sleeping quarters for ducks) and reach in to get the egg but soon realize there is more than one. I feel around and find a total of 10 eggs hidden deep in the pine shavings. OMG as stupid as those ducks were, they sure outsmarted me. Apparently they had figured out they needed to hide their eggs better.
I have learned my lesson and will be more vigilant in my egg hunting. I geuss I shouldn't have expected them to just roll them out for me. I'm still sure they aren't very smart, but realize I am not either when it comes to the mysteries that are duck,