Here are a few of our reasons:
-minimizing stress on the ducklings. Shipping can be hard on the animals and hatching them here will completely eliminate that.
-we want to keep duck on our land year round. Why? They are incredible foragers and a great benefit by consuming large volumes of bugs and weeds that chickens tend to overlook. In fact, running ducks in tandem with chickens and turkeys helps ensure we get the most out of the available grazing as each has their own preferences.
-duck feces is rich in nutrients and adds an additional natural fertilizer which is slightly different chemically from others. The broader the mix of manures, the more benefit it is to the land.
-hatching will help us ensure the health of the animals. We have raised the parent birds since they were day-old ducklings and they are healthy and happy.
-birds hatched on the farm will naturally have more resistance to parasites and illnesses when compared to those which are shipped in, partially due to lack of shipping stress. This will help us limit losses, making us more efficient.
-we will have complete control from breeding through hatch through processing. The birds will never leave our care.
-we can more easily control our numbers which will help us meet customer demand more efficiently.
-ducks help deter predators. Being that female ducks can be quite vocal, their noise can help abate some attacks and their alertness to their surroundings helps make the other birds more aware of any threats. Ducks combined with turkeys make for a great security team. They let us know ANY time something changes. This is due in part to a duck's natural need for consistency. They like to eat the same food, at the same time, in the same pan, given by the same person...every single day. Flexibility is not their strong suit. This trait when managed properly can be a valuable asset.
We have a wonderful group of birds who call our farm home, both egg laying and meat birds alike. We simply cannot wait to hear that incubator humming and the peep of new ducklings.