on the pond

We got our first ducks in 2013 and it didn’t take long for us to realize how much we enjoyed them!  They are incredibly hardy, in comparison to chickens, very entertaining to watch, and while they don’t lay as frequently, we are very impressed with how many eggs we do get from them, plus they make excellent table birds.

In 2014 we added a pair of Buff geese, who quickly stole our hearts, followed by a quad of Sebastopols, but don’t ask how many we have now!  We did decide to streamline and just breed the Sebastopol in 2016.  The geese make fantastic ‘watch’ birds and are excellent at warning us of anything unusual going on at the farm, not to mention their excellent lawn-mower and fertilizing abilities.

We currently have the following breeds. Availability is listed for each individually.

CALL DUCK: The bantams of the duck world, Call Ducks were developed as live decoys, to “call” in the wild ducks for hunting. These little darlings are very popular for today’s hobbyist or breeder of exhibition poultry. They are small and thus are more easily cared for, requiring much less space and feed. Calls feature short, deep bodies and heads which are high crowned, wide in skull, and a bill which is very short and very wide. One common characteristic of the Call needs to be taken into consideration if noise would be a problem: the females have a very loud quack or call. Even though they have not been selected for their calling ability for many generations, they retain a tendency to be noisy when excited.  They come in a variety of colours. We breed the White, Gray (mallard), Snowy, Blue Fawn, and Pastel varieties. As a rule, we only sell Calls in fall after we’ve decided what to keep for breeding stock. Only available as overstock in late summer/fall.

EGGS: N/A | DUCKLINGS: $20-50 depending on quality

DSC00195WELSH HARLEQUIN DUCK:  A descendant of the Khaki Campbell, the Welsh Harlequin has become a very popular breed due to their multipurpose characteristics. They have excellent egg production abilities, yet retain the instinct to sit and hatch a nest full of ducklings. They lay beautiful white to light blue tinted eggs.  They are calm, inquisitive and excellent foragers. They can also make an outstanding dressed bird as their down feathers are almost exclusively white making their carcass as pretty as a pure white bird. They are an attractive bird, especially the feather patterns and colors on the adult females. There are two variations of Welsh Harlequins: Silver and Gold. Ours are the more common Silver variety but we do have 2 gold hens and may one day be able to produce both colours. APA only accepts the Silver colouration but we like variety! Available for 2022.

EGGS: $50/doz | DUCKLINGS: $12 (unsexed)

Muscovy HenMUSCOVY DUCK:  Muscovy are the only domestic ducks that are not derived from Mallard stock.  Also known in culinary circles as the Barbary Duck, the Muscovy is a large, hardy perching duck that is native to South America.  Despite it’s tropical origins, it adapts well to cooler climates. Some people consider them ugly because of the large red warty caruncles above the beak and around the eyes. They are, however, very personable and interesting birds, and quite intelligent. Unlike most domestic waterfowl, Muscovy will often fly up and roost. Some lines fly fairly well, especially the smaller females, but are known more for flying around than flying away!  The other interesting thing about Muscovy is that they don’t quack, but they do huff and make other funny sounds.  The meat of the Muscovy is unlike that of the other domestic ducks. It is not greasy and is much more like veal than like poultry.  They also lay well, but tend to do so in spurts, and they make excellent mothers if allowed to go broody and hatch their own clutch.  In addition to all these other positives, they are fantastic foragers and love to eat flies! These traits make them ideal to keep in your pastures to help control insect populations around your livestock.  On the down side, they do poop … a lot! Our flock produces chocolate, black, blue, blue fawn, possibly lavender and buff. Available for 2022.

EGGS: $30/doz | DUCKLINGS: $12 (unsexed)

JUMBO PEKIN: The Jumbo Pekin Duck is a meat-type duck bred primarily for size rather than for show. They are approximately 15-18 percent larger than standard white Pekins and weigh between 9-13 pounds. We had an opportunity in 2021 to hatch some and fell in love with them, so when the flock became available we snapped them up. These are big, meaty, friendly birds, that lay incredibly well despite their size and purpose.  Their eggs are huge, and given proper duck feed to provide adequate niacin, they are incredibly hardy and active.  They stand out in a crowd because of their size and snow white feathering, personable temperament, laying, and utility purposes.  Win, win! Available for 2022.

EGGS: $50/doz | DUCKLINGS: $12/ea, unsexed

DSC09828SEBASTOPOL GOOSE: Sebastopol are one of the most unique in appearance – they are are medium-sized birds which are known for their long curling feathers. A good specimen has feathers that are curly all over it’s body.  It is hard to keep their feathers in pristine condition, but it is possible if you provide a mud free environment with lots of water for washing. Sebastopol geese aren’t quite as cold hardy as other goose breeds because their feathers do not lay flat, and do not insulate them as well. Wind easily fluffs their feathers and any heat held by the feather may be quickly lost. So in very cold weather they will spend more time inside than other breeds and should be given adequate housing to accommodate this need.  Fertility also seems to be a problem with some lines of Sebastopols, along with lower than normal egg production. We are working with white, and grey with the intent to produce buff in the near future.  Sebastopol stock will only be available in fall as we sift through our breeding stock. Watch our site for sales lists. Only available as goslings and possibly overstock in fall.

EGGS: N/A | GOSLINGS: $50+ depending on age/quality