Wednesday, August 28, 2013

My Great Muscovy Duck Adventure is winding down...the last male I had mysteriously died overnight, as had the others the last few months. The females are thriving as usual. But over the last two years VERY few eggs hatched, the two males I slaughtered and ate confirmed what I'd read...very good eating but VERY difficult to pluck. For me, skinning (what some folks resort to) was even harder. So an hour ago I opened the gate to the pen...those poor ducks had lived their whole lives in there but would not let me catch them so I could clip their wings to let them join the semi-free range ones in the various beds...poor things have never paddled as adults, just as babies in there in small make shift ponds. They don't seem to realize they are free to go, even though the chickens are now coming and going...I hope they have flown away by dawn. I put so much time and energy into feeding them all that the sensible part of me says to slaughter and freeze the remaining three females, but we shall see if the "softie" in me kicks in yet again. I enjoyed the many eggs I ate, the two huge males I slaughtered gave me a LOT of meat, and the free range flocks did WONDERS for weed control. But all things considered, chickens are SO much easier. I've always ruled out Pekin Ducks as they can be SO noisy...when I first moved here a neighbor one street over had some...their loud quacking did not bother me at all but REALLY bugged other neighbors who did not grieve when in one night a racoon killed them all. Live and learn!

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