DuckDuck and Goose left The Farmstead this weekend. Yes, they left alive. Yes, they will stay alive. They're going to live at Farmpound, a fellow Air Force Academy grad's farm in Tacoma, Washington. How did we come to this decision? Well, anyone who has met us knows, we don't part with animals. When filling out adoption questionnaires from animal rescues we could always easily answer the question, "What if you have to re-home this animal?" Simple, we wouldn't. We feel we have enough resources and means to make it work for any animal's temperament. And up to this point, we have.
But, the ducks are different. The ducks are a homesteading utility animal. The other day I went out to collect eggs and there were 16 in the nest. That means, for 8 days we didn't feel the void of having duck eggs and, even more-so, we had wasted food. (Although, not really, I hard boiled them and gave them to the piggies). It's still the principle of the thing and it got me thinking.
When DuckDuck and Goose cross the rainbow bridge, will I replace them? The answer was no. Anyone who has ducks knows, they are messy messy creatures. They require an entirely different habitat than chickens. Although ours live quite contentedly with our chickens with zero issues (I have heard stories of ducks drowning chickens in their ponds) they are a different dynamic. It's true, I love looking at them, and they make me smile with their big feet and bossy quacks. And it's double true, their eggs are richer and creamier than chicken eggs. But, we are a working farm. And every different species of animal that we bring onto this farm is one more skill-set, one more habitat, one more job.
I am a big believer in not spreading yourself too thin. When we try to do too much no one benefits and everyone suffers. Once I let myself start the conversation around the ducks it all started to make sense. I had just seen Farmpound hatch ducklings on facebook so I knew they had the habitat already. I sent a message and asked the question, "Would you be interested in DuckDuck and Goose?"
As it turns out, the answer was yes! They had a failed hatch, only 2 of 10 eggs resulted in live ducklings...and they had been prepared for all 10 to make it. As an added bonus, they don't have the eagle problems that we do. This meant DuckDuck and Goose could actually free range like they were supposed to instead of being in a covered run all day. Isn't it amazing how things work out? Had Farmpound said no I would have buried my thoughts and sucked it up, we made the commitment to the ducks. But, when a fellow homesteader can use something that we have better then we're using it, that just makes sense.
So farewell DuckDuck and Goose. We know you're going to a wonderful place where your eggs will never be forgotten and instead, shared by many.