Simple Living for the
Urban and Rural Homesteader
Raising Small Livestock page
Small Livestock page 1
Raising Tips - Sent in by our readers
Trials & Triumphs of Farm Life -
By contributing editor, Bea Frankland. She has raised goats for 20
- Some resources and info
- DUCK RAISING
The following are Duck Raising
Tips that were sent in by our readers. If you have a tip you would
like to add please click
here to send.
Ducks are a valuable source for
keeping pests down. Even better than chickens. Where
a chicken won't go into a pond and scoop up thousands of mosquito
eggs at a time or even fly eggs, the ducks will.
Rev. Dr.D.Boldeux, Oklahoma
Find an old wading pool that still
holds water. Just fill it to the top and place it where the
ducks can get into it easily. Just make sure that if the babies
get in, they have something to climb onto to get back out. The
edges of most wading pools are too slick for ducklings to get a hold
on, and they will eventually get tired and drown if they can't get
back out. Of course, the pool will have to be cleaned out and
refilled at least once a week, ducks are not the cleanest creatures.
Shelby Denter, Brant, Michigan
Right now we have 4 ducks and 1
goose (the goose thinks she is a duck) We have a swamp down the hill
from our house but, the ducks are too lazy to go down there. We have
a child size pool set up in our back yard for them to swim inside
of. Our ducks range in age from 4 years old to the youngest born in
June. All of them run free in the yard with the other animals.
We started them off in a small
fenced in area and when they got comfortable with where they were
we started to let them free in the day time. After about a month of
working with them they were allowed to run free. We did this so they
would know were they lived and come back home.
I found ducks are not good adopted
mothers. I started off my baby ducks with my chickens and then moved
them over with the ducks and goose when they were old enough to fight
for themselves. (about 1 month old) My ducks are wonderful pets, they
are all females and only lay eggs for about 2 months of the year.
We live on a small dead end street
and they sometimes wander into the front of our yard to play or eat
bird seeds. When they do this they stay close to the house and cars
will drive by and stop and look.
With my ducks I found they do not
like to be confined. They LOVE to run free. When I make them stay
in an area (no matter what size it is) they start making a pecking
order and breaking the skin of each other. Now that they are free
I have not seen them fight nor have I found any pecking order spots
Liz Harrison, New Hampshire
We raise ducks, chickens and goats.
The ducks and chickens share an aviary my dh built out of used and
found building materials. Both the ducks and chickens eat laying
mash and cracked corn. We also put out oyster shell for them.
The ducks love our goat milk. They could be a "Got milk?" commercial.
The ducks have a wading pool.
I'd like to come up with something a bit deeper and with a plug to
release the water. We change the water daily.
I found that ducks stick to their
own "group". The first set of ducks (seven) are Swedish blue,
Pekin and Rouen. The second group came from a kindergarten incubator
project. We had given the class twelve duck eggs and eighteen
chicken eggs. We also agreed to take the chicks and ducklings
after they'd hatched and the children had a chance to enjoy them.
Six ducklings and one chick hatched. There is one Pekin and
one that looks Rouen. The others are part Pekin and part Swedish
Blue or Rouen.
We did butcher two of the original
Swedish blues -- too many drakes. I wouldn't suggest it to any
one simply because there was not much meat on these small birds.
The usual "meat" duck is the Pekin.
I sell our duck eggs to a lady
who is allergic to the protein in chicken eggs. I sell our chicken
eggs to people who find out about us and request them. Duck
eggs go for $3 a dozen and chicken eggs for $2.50.
We enjoy our aviary. It
is relaxing and the birds are fun.
Sharon G., Southern California
P.S. About the wading pools...ours
just broke down. I went to Toys R Us and purchased three for
$2.98 each. That should stock us up for a while.
I read your great tips, but just
thought I'd point this out to prevent others from making my mistakes.
I had chickens and ducks together, but I've separated them because
chickens drown. If you have a pool for the ducks, make sure the chickens
can easily get out of it, because they do not know what to do in water
at all! Also, ducks can make chickens sick because they carry bacteria
that they are immune to, but chickens aren't.
Cheryl, Northern CA
I have three domestic mallards.
I had a wading pool that I used
for their water supply but I had to dump it out every day because
they got it so dirty. I needed some thing bigger so I took an old
satellite dish and super glued bolts in all the small holes. I plugged
up the bottom hole with a drain plug. Then I dug a hole to put it
in. Now they only swim once in the morning and once in the evening.
I syphon it out once a week with a hose.
Michelle Tenney Spring Creek N.V.
If you have a tip you would like
to add please click
here to send.
Trials & Triumphs of Farm Life -by
try everything to help them. You
become doctor, nurse, comforter, friend and healer. And you learn. Oh,
how you learn! You learn patience. You learn midwifery. You learn herbs.
And you learn to find
Bea with one of her
I had just returned from a 2 mile hike with my dozen goats.
We had taken the mountain trail that starts just beyond our
front door and we had walked to the top where the old skid road
meets the county road. Thus we had leisurely wound our way back
home. Included in our motley crew were my huge Saanen buck,
three milking does, various wether's, a doeling and finally
my Angora mama with her twin boys.
One week later, my matriarch mama goat
dead. I miss her dearly. Farm animals,
goats, I think, can take you on a
coaster ride of heavenly highs and abysmal lows. When one of
them is sick you
creature's, nature's herbal remedies,
and the sweet interaction of caprines with humans, animals and gardens,
sickness and healings, giving and receiving.
joy, love, patience, friendship...and letting go.....
* * * * * * * * *
In future articles, I will relate certain episodes, various
cures and innumerable stories of my homestead living.
After 20 years, I am still enthralled. Two decades have only
served to bring me to the brink of this wide, wonderful world
Bea doing her daily
is circular. The goats give us milk, meat and manure. The manure is
taken to the garden. We receive fruit and vegetables
Bea, Korey 11, K.C.,
the garden and the goats enjoy its over abundance. They then,
in turn,reward us with more nanny berries for the garden.
To everything turn...turn...turn. I give. I receive. Though,
honestly, I truly believe I have received more from my garden,
my goats and my farm critters than I have ever been able to
put into them. Nothing can match the joy and the satisfaction
of a milk goat that supplies your family's needs. And from that
milk can come cream, butter, cheese and cheese cake. I shall
leave you with this easy recipe for a simple
cheesecake. If you don't have a goat (yet!) you can
jump right in with store bought cow's milk. Even the crust is
convenient. Here goes. Bye-Baaa for now!
©2001 Bea Frankland
- Bea has 4 children and her family lives and farms high on
a mountaintop in Southern Oregon. Her farm consists of several
breeds of goats, including a buck, sheep, geese, turkeys, chickens,
rabbits, cats and dogs. She farms and lives without the
convenience of electricity!
Emma, 14 & Timothee
Click on link to read Bea's other
Loving Goat Care.
Although bees aren't exactly livestock,
we would like to include them here as they do require attention, care
and feeding just like other animals. Stay tuned for more bee raising
info including honey recipes!
We are collecting Beekeeping
stories, tips, and favorite beekeeping supply companys that you
have personally purchased from that we can share with others on
If you have something to share
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CHECK THIS OUT!
Beekeeping info link: http://www.masterbeekeeper.org/
Cornell University related web
site; has a new Master Beekeeper program for learing how to be just
that, a master at the art of keeping bees. Also, links to honey
recipes, beekeeping tips and articles.