One of the most important enterprises I have on the farm is a flock of Khaki Campbell ducks. They lay wonderful big white eggs which I sell locally and from an honesty box at the gate (£2 for half a dozen, plug plug!).
The Khaki Campbell duck is a super layer, some can lay up to 350 eggs a year.
They love to free range and they roam all over my farm, in fact they would stop laying very quickly if kept confined, unlike most chickens. They are capable of finding much of their own forage (worms, bugs, seeds, etc.) and their droppings fertilise the land. One of their greatest attributes is their keenness on seeking out slugs and snails. In fact I’d say that if it wasn’t for the ducks it would be impossible to grow clean salad leaves out doors in this wet landscape.
I put them to bed religiously every night in a large shed. A duck at night would have no chance against mink or foxes. Then in the morning I let them out about the time I wake up and collect the eggs. I sprinkle some dry straw or hay on the shed floor and periodically shovel it out into the compost heap. Once composted down this duck compost is incredibly useful stuff, the key to the fertility of the whole farm. It’s the base for the seedlings to go into and the source of nutrients for the outdoor growing beds.
Keeping ducks is probably the smartest thing I’ve done with the farm.
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