Day 29

Sad news. I went out to feed the ducks and they were all but one killed. Even the majestic geese. One had its head tucked under its wing, like it was sleeping when it happened. I’m not sure what ‘it’ was, but all the ducks had a bite taken out of their rumps, but that was it. They may have had heart attacks when they saw whatever it was bearing down on them. Our neighbors said in the early morning they saw some dogs running away from the direction of the garden.
So what do you do when life gives you two dead geese and five dead ducks?
Make duck confit and rillettes, of course.
I’ve spent the WHOLE day processing these fuckers. First I hung them in the bathroom, cut off their heads, and bled them (they were freshly killed). Then I plucked and cleaned each one. It takes about 45 for each bird. I salted them, to get out the blood, then got cooking. According to the River Cottage Meat Cookbook, you make confit by salting the legs (I did 6) with bay leaves, thyme, pepper for 48 hours. You need a shit-ton of duck fat to cover the legs, so in the oven, I have the three ducks roasting off their fat. Every 20 minutes, I go in and pour off the clear liquid fat. As for the geese and rest of the ducks, I’m going to make rilettes after I’ve eaten the confit (you can re-use the fat) so they’re in the freezer.
In a way, the predators just forced my hand: I’ve always wanted to make confit and have a preposterous amount of duck fat on hand.
I’m spending the rest of the day reading the paper, and snacking on roast duck.

4 responses to “Day 29

  1. That is horrible that they killed just for fun as it seems. The poor guy with his head under his wing, what a horrible way to go. Sounds like you need a farm dog to keep the others at bay.

  2. Goats! Ditch the piggies, get two goats. They’re awesome watch-animals. In the meantime, enjoy the bounty.

  3. Novella Carpenter

    really nat? i want to get goats–but how would they stop a dog? i’m working on starting a goat collective in the east bay–where someone provides the space, and a group of people rotate days to get them fed and watered and milked.

  4. Well r.e. goats versus dogs, no, I don’t think they have a chance. Unless you get those big goats, which might be a pain in the ass. I’ve got fences to control rogue dogs, but I need goats to control rogue raccoons.

    A goat collective would be nice, but you only need two to party. Can’t you squeeze two large ungulates into your lots somewhere? (Preferably next to the chickens/ducks/geese and away from the veggies.)

    I’m going to do some more research into goats and will drop you an email when I get more info.

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