Saturday, June 25, 2011

My Muscovy Ducks

The growth rate of the hatchlings has been incredible these three months.....all are now the size of Momma Duck or bigger. Soon I will go into their pen, clip their wings, then transfer them into my west bed out back to tidy up THAT bed of weeds for me, something they excel at. Plus it seems that the other Momma Duck (who days ago laid another clutch of eggs) and Poppa Duck convinced me they are TOO MEAN to be killed by a predator, hence their status as a vermin bird in the wild in Florida, though she lost ALL her last newly-hatched babies to a predator (a cat I am sure) in a few days. So yesterday I placed a barricade between Poppa Duck and me (he went after me last year when still free range like a freakin'  Velociraptor in Jurassic Park...and I was just picking Vigna pods!) and I moved the new eggs onto a bed of pine needles in the giant dog carrier cage I used to shoo all three into each night before I realized racoons are afraid of them) so when they hatch in 30 days I can place these new ducklings in the very spacious duck pen for their safety.

This growth rate has been the result of their being fed restaurant scraps, weeds, bugs, left overs and seashell grit, with a few drops of iodine in their water now and then. As an urban farmer I have so far killed and eaten seven roosters, so I now need to "man up" and slaughter ducks too as the flock grows. I've only eaten duck meat a few times, and then the usual White Pekin, but I've read and been told that Muscovy Duck meat is VERY similar to cow meat.....dark and I've seen frozen male Muscovy Duck breasts being sold on line for $68 EACH plus shipping....a new source of income for me perhaps?

One of the things that amuses me about my Muscovy Ducks...they LOVE to swim in whatever mini-pond I create for them, but when it rains, they run for cover!

As a man who long ago learned the hard way that he is not healthy when vegan or vegetarian, but who is trying to wean himself from factory farm sources of meat, these ducks and the roosters that hatch here could well make buying meat from the store a thing of my past. I have the soul of a vegan...killing these birds is so very intense for me. But it feels necessary, honest, and authentic to me as a man seeking ethical self sufficiency and moral responsibility in a country and culture where factory farming, Monsanto, and wars of choice for profit, such as Iraq and Afghanistan and now Libya, are the norm.


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