Ducklings

Oh ghod, wouldn’t you know that when I’m hoping to wind down the farm, the ducks are hatching out another plan.

Every year, I give the teachers at Washington Elementary some fertile duck eggs. It’s a really cool class project, where they hatch out the ducklings and the kids learn about science and life. This year, two separate classes did the project. Of the 10 eggs total given, 5 hatched. One of the teachers was really brave and conducted an autopsy on one of the unhatched eggs. I heard the smell was incredible. The kids sat far, far away. Teach’ figured out the eggs had gestated for 14 days, then stopped developing.

The five that kept developing and eventually hatched out imprinted on the school kids. But with school letting out, they had to leave the classroom. So now the ducklings are back at my place. Yes, Virginia, I am going to eat them. I only have so much space…Don’t worry City of Oakland, I’m taking them up to a USDA slaughterhouse….

Actually, my plan is to get rid of the ducks entirely. Which is why I was chagrined when my neighbor came up to me yesterday and said, “The ducklings hatched!” I thought he was talking about the school ducklings, and nodded my head. “I counted 13,” he said. Oh god. I ran back to the duck area and checked, yep, one of the sneaky girls hatched out a whole nest of them. Lucky number 13. Sometimes, nature has other plans. Anyone want to trade (something, anything) for some Muscovey ducklings?

8 responses to “Ducklings

  1. Excellent blogging you have done.
    I’ve liked this a lot. Please keep ,,,,,,,,,,,,
    Continuing your creation.Read a lot of blogs specially interesting ones like your blog, Good post! I accidentally found your site on the internet

  2. Hi Novella,
    This is Mark Hainds. We are going to meet in person this July at the Green Arcade.
    It’s been many years since we raised ducks back on the farm. We’ve built our flock of chickens up to 103 birds and I’m not sure how many cotornix quail we’ll end up with. But if you don’t find a home for your ducklings, I might be able to trade you out something from our farm. There have been a few people expressing interest in duck eggs at the Palafox Farmers’ Market where we sell our wild collected berries, fruits, vegetables, jams, and jellies.

    Sincerely,
    Mark

    PS: I’m halfway through Farm City and enjoying it very much!

  3. We swore off ducks this year after a massacre wiped us out this spring (raised runners all winter, stray puppy got them a week before they were to start laying!)… then Craigslist got us. 13 muscovies, there will be confit.

  4. Yes, yes, and yes! I am looking for two muscovy hens. If you can’t tell the difference yet I can take more or wait. I am located just below San Leandro. I have rabbits and/or guinea pigs to trade. I also have some quail I would consider trading if you are really interested. Are you able to see my email address or do I need to post it?

  5. Novella,
    As someone who greatly enjoys hearing of your urban farming exploits, I am worried that you are planning to stop? Or, now that I think of it, you have a baby, and you are planning to do a lot less with the farm? Anyway, too bad I can’t take those ducks off of your hands, as I live far away, live in an apt., and would only have some plants to trade.
    Anna

  6. If you can talk SW Airlines into transporting a couple of them, I’ll take them home to WA on July 26! LOL

  7. good morning and happy fourth of july. i have a small cafe in oakland cafe(504) that i supply most of my goods from my small farm plot in concord. i would be thrilled to take any ducklings you have left. i could trade food, coffee, help at your farm. i also am a mom of four so even a bit of childcare!!!

  8. I teach near downtown Tulsa & I’ve been hatching chicks in class for years. I’ve learned to dissect pooped out eggs inside ziplock bags. Still interesting, but no stench. I also buy 18 “grocery store” eggs to dissect and draw. Using only white paper, #2 pencil, a torn styrofoam cup or a white pyramid stage the kids compose stunning “value”able pieces of art. Before ordering our eggs we discuss the types of chickens that will live well & be wanted in our area. Several midtown families now have little flocks of cold & heat hardy, heirloom, clean-footed hens:)

    Please write more books! Your use of our language is brilliant:)

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