I have always wanted fresh healthy eggs and have taken a particular liking to duck eggs over chicken eggs due to the rich flavor. Once I learned of the health benefits of eating duck eggs, I knew I really wanted to raise my own! (It's costs $6 for half a dozen duck eggs and store bought eggs just aren't fresh--they are often 1-3 months old in the store.)
I researched the duck breeds I wanted very carefully.
I got two ducklings that were born on the autumn equinox: Paimei and Phantom! I was in love as soon as I opened the box they were contained in.
Paimei is the light colored one. She is a Welsh Harlequin, one of the best egg layers and also the calmest breed. She is very chill when I pick her up and not easily spooked. Her breed lays white eggs. Personality: Paimei is stoic, classy (she loves to keep herself clean), and very protective of her buddy Phantom. When Phantom was sick, Paimei would guard over her, never leaving her side.
Phantom is the dark one. She is a Cayuga, a favored breed for urban farms due to their quietness. Indeed, Phantom still peeps like a baby as an adult, unlike Paimei who makes goosey sounds. Her breed lays gray and black eggs (which looks amazing)! Personality: Phantom is friskier than Paimei--she likes to run, jump, and be the first in line for their breakfast. She loves goofing around and causing mischief.
My husband who has keen eyes for design and a talent for building pretty much anything, built the coop mansion for them! I had fun designing the coop but he definitely did the heavy lifting on this one.
Other use of ducks: foraging (they eat weeds and pests), manure can be used for great compost soil, they eat left over veggies, and they keep you company while you do yard work.
The past two days the ducks both laid eggs! I love going out to the coop every morning to collect them. It feels romantic in an old timey way. I tried the egg for the first time by frying it in a pan. Best egg I ever tasted! I'm hooked.
Eggs aside, they have been a great source of joy and peace for me. My favorite thing to do is go outside with them and watch them march around the yard. They have taught me to slow down and relax.
Hope you enjoyed the photos! If you enjoyed this, I post more urban farming stuff (plus my original recipes) on my Urban Nature Tumblr and FB page.