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Mixed Flock of Ducks

 
Virginia Ratliff
Posts: 34
Location: Bartow County GA
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chicken duck rabbit
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We are "new" to eating duck eggs, and ducks, too, unless you count a Pekin drake we had for years who thought he was a dog! I bought a mixed flock of 6 babies in the spring on a whim at the feed store...I am already hooked! Several questions...I have a matched set of Black Swedish, a matched set of Pekins and a female Cayuga and a female white crested...the Black Swedish and the Cayuga both have laid their eggs in an actual nest and tried to sit on them...the Pekins just don't seem to care! Since the Cayuga is "breeding" with different drakes...should I let her "raise" a flock of ducks? Her eggs are smaller and usually almost black in color. They are absolutely unedible scrambled or fried...they have no "egg cooking smell" but the taste was too much! I have not baked with the Cayuga eggs as of yet. The other eggs are divine and so far as long as I wait until after everyone has eaten...they do not know the difference! They are certainly earning their keep around here! Not to mention now that I learned their bug patrol potential...they will eventually get to access the whole yard with runs!

Anyone else have Cayuga egg experience? I am going to try baking with them and ice cream...we shall see!

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Tina Paxton
Posts: 283
Location: coastal southeast North Carolina
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I've only tasted Muscovy and K.Campbell eggs so far. I was planning to get some Cayuga next month for egg production. I sure hope they are producers of tasty eggs. Hoping someone will speak up and let us know the story on this. I'm also looking at Ancona and Hybrid 300's -- I want to get some egg production going for selling as well as my own use (I'm sensitive to chicken eggs so being able to eat duck eggs would be a blessing.) I also want interesting shells because I'd like to get into selling shells to crafters and trying my hand at eggshell carving myself.
 
Virginia Ratliff
Posts: 34
Location: Bartow County GA
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chicken duck rabbit
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Tina, The Cayuga eggs are amazing in color! I do not have any pictures! (I have heard that their eggs start almost black and then lighten as the season progresses...mine, so far, have stayed pretty black.) And, some days she actually lays 2 eggs and they have progressively gotten bigger! I haven't found an egg in about a week now...think winter has finally gotten here! I have even ran into a double yolk! It came from the Black or Pekin! I will bake this week with the Cayuga eggs...first up, chocolate cake! Let you know how it turns out!

I guess it is time to do some research on "mixed" duck breeds! Not sure babies would be practical at this point for me, but I sure do want to learn more about their life cycle, etc!
 
Tina Paxton
Posts: 283
Location: coastal southeast North Carolina
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One thing I know about "mixed" ducks: if you mix a Muscovy with any other duck, the offspring are sterile. That is fine if your purpose if meat production. Not so fine if you propose is egg production. I haven't quite figured out if I want to keep pure lines (and how to achieve that in a mixed flock) or not worry about it. Mostly, I'll want the eggs so it wouldn't matter who is breeding whom but when I want offspring, it will matter...I might need a "breeding pen"...ummm...that could work.
 
Virginia Ratliff
Posts: 34
Location: Bartow County GA
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chicken duck rabbit
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Cayuga egg update...not a good one! I learned, I suppose, a very hard "lesson" about storing eggs. Lost almost a dozen eggs in a plastic egg container...still not sure what happened! Best guess...they were being stored in completely enclosed plastic...they looked fine but when I opened the plastic...the smell was atrocious! I will never store in anything else that cannot "breathe"! So, no baking updates! Everyone has quit laying now and seems to be settling in for their first winter very nicely! It will be interesting to pull a complete years worth of input/output data on them! I did notice a beautiful hawk eyeballing here lately since the leaves have all fallen...we extended their house with a 6'x8' "awning"...and I moved their swimming pool closer to the tree base! They are pretty good at paying attention to predators! I love to watch them watch that hawk!
 
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