Posts Tagged ‘Muscovy Ducks’

Well that was a fun hour….


Thursday, 14th January – 5.15 pm and the ducks are not in bed.  I can see them swimming about on the pond in our neighbours field.

Usually they are in bed at this stage.

Back into the house and gave them another 10 minutes.  5.30 pm still not in.

5.40 pm don the wellies again, and discover half of the ducks are still swimming about in the pond, the other half are huddled in a tight  group at the edge.

Back to the kitchen to call in help.

Time to go and try to herd them back to their respective sheds.  Climb over fences to, plod through our stream – this is the moment I discover one of my wellies is leaking![when else] – over another fence and into a sodden field.

We get 5 of the muscovy babies (teenagers now) back on the right side of the fence.  So I’m left guarding them to make sure they don’t head back to pond while Alfie tries to get the remainder out of the pond.  By the way, I’m standing in the stream at this stage… yes, still in the leaking wellington. And in total darkness as Alfie has the torch.

And then it starts to snow!

Can it get any worse?

Alfie makes valiant attempts to get the swimming ducks out of the pond but to no avail.  He’s on one side, they on the other.  He moves around, they move to the other side several times.  In fact … stalemate.

Meanwhile I try to ‘herd’ the 5 charges I have back towards their shed.  Pitch dark, uneven ground…. yes, I end up falling into stream.

At least I am now uniformly wet on my lower half.

My 5 charges who normally duck under the fence (excuse the pun!) at the edge of our lawn, have no intention of doing this now.  So one by one I had to lift them and practically throw them over the fence.

Finally we are making progress towards the shed as the front house light is on.  Then we hit another stumbling block …. the yard is dark.  Why does the sensor light never come on when you want it?  Eventually the light comes on, and we manage to walk them extremely slowly up the yard to their shed.

We’ve had to abandon efforts 6.45 pm of trying to get the others off the pond.

So folks it is now time for prayers that they survive the night.

Needless to say there are no illuminating photos of this.

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Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain…. these two guys are happy out in the pond 🙂

Mossie and Mollie

Mossie and Mollie

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This time last year here in Ireland we were in the midst of the ‘horse meat’ scandal.  The question everyone was asking was how could there be horse meat in beef burgers, lasagne, etc. etc.?

I just wonder do people ever stop to think how is it possible to produce a pack of 10 burgers for €2.00.  Or what is the producer getting for that €2.99 chicken you’ve just bought?  If you think about it at all, it just doesn’t make sense.

Here’s a simple example from our own perspective….. and no, I am not going to talk pigs!

Let’s talk about ducks.  We buy a few every year here for the table, and some for eggs.

We buy our Aylesbury ducklings at about 10/12 weeks old.  Aylsebury ducks are not natural mothers… they seem to drop their eggs anywhere at all, and we’ve never ever had one go broody, so it is easier to buy in.  We now have a pair of Muscovy ducks who are better parents, so maybe we will not have to buy Aylsebury ducks anymore.

Aylesbury & Khaki Campbell ducklings

Aylesbury & Khaki Campbell ducklings

While the ducks are here in Redwood they live a happy life roaming freely about the place, enjoying the slugs and the flooded lawn, being taken care of and locked up at night away from any marauding foxes.

Aylesburys, Khakis and Muscovies

So today we will be having duck for dinner…. and this is what it cost us.

  • Purchase of duckling       €8.00
  • Feed for 9 months             13.50
  • Killing & preparation         4.00

Total Cost                        €25.50

Okay, we could reduce the cost by doing the killing, gutting and plucking ourselves…. but then a neighbour, who is well set up for it and does it on a professional basis will do it for €4.00 – and it does make our life that little bit easier 🙂

Ducks ready for the freezer

Ducks ready for the freezer

If we had ducklings born here, and did the killing ourselves we could eliminate those costs, that would leave just the feed which is €13.50.  If I was to supply a supermarket at that price, and get a return on my feed costs only, (forgetting about the work I have put into minding and caring for the birds) they would then add their 50% mark-up (that I believe is standard in supermarkets)…. the duck would cost you, the customer, €27.00.

So back to those burgers….. the supermarket bought that pack of 10 for a euro!  What the hell could possibly be in them at that price???????


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Ducks are getting so big….

Aylesbury, Campbell and Muscovy ducks

Aylesbury, Campbell and Muscovy ducks

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