I added a new wikipage for ducks ( http://www.permies.com/Permaculture/Ducks ), and am now looking for people who could write a little text to introduce the subject...
As an example, here is the introductory text for chickens:
Chickens in permaculture systems are kept for various functions: egg production, meat production, pest control, heat generation, manure production, animal tractors,...
Different breeds of chicken are better at one or another of these functions. Mainly one can distinguish layers for egg production and broilers for meat production.
Some breeds forage more intensively than others and can obtain a large portion of their food from this, reducing food costs.
The structure can be almost identical to the chicken one, I just need it to be written by a person who has experience with ducks, because I know even less of them than I do of chickens...
Anyone feel up to this?
Or a combined effort, each one improving on the previous?
Ducks in permaculture serve various functions: pest control; egg production; meat production; production of feathers and down for insulating bedding and clothing; manure production; cleaning ponds of unwanted weeds.
There are quite a few breeds of ducks, and most of them are useful in all of the above functions, but some are specialists in egg or meat production. Some are better foragers than others, but all are pretty good at picking up at least some of their own feed much of the year, depending of course on the climate and the time of year.
Ducks have both advantages and disadvantages. Disadvantages include the messes they make with water and mud; the management required to make sure they don't eat things you don't want eaten if you allow them in your garden; the protection that they need from predators (they are more vulnerable to predators than chickens because most breeds of domestic ducks don't fly well if at all); it takes longer to pluck ducks if you want the feathers and down.
Advantages include: they don't scratch the ground up like chickens do (this could also be in the disadvantages list if you want a patch scratched up); some breeds lay better than any chicken breed; their useful egg-laying years last longer than a chickens; duck eggs are more nutritious than chicken eggs and are also better for some kinds of baking; their meat is fatty -- an advantage if you are trying to raise all your own cooking fat; they love snails and slugs for dinner; they lay most of their eggs before eight o'clock in the morning, so if you want to be able to find the eggs, just keep them in their house until after eight; most ducks fly little if at all so are easy to keep fenced; ducks can be herded, which makes it a little easier to move them where you want them to go; they are much cold-hardier than chickens.
What other kinds of information do you want for the page?
What more info do we need? Anything that could be useful for owners or prospective owners. But most of this will probably go on sub pages. We could for instance have a page on duck breeds (with some pics), one on housing/shelter, food needs... I don't want to dictate anything, knowing so little of the subject. I think how far and deep it goes is largely up to the enthusiastic people knowledgeable in any given subject.
I'll put up the basic text you (Kathleen) wrote, and then if anyone cares to supply pictures or further info of the breeds or functions (slug hunting, egg production, down, whatever) or anything interesting duck related that would be fab...
Thank you all!
Saskia, somewhere I have a copy of Dave Holderread's book on ducks, but it's packed -- we are trying to sell this house, so I've already packed up a lot of stuff. If I can find it later without having to unpack too many boxes, I'll add some information from that on the various breeds.
I'd be glad to help with the chicken pages, too, but it will have to be a little bit at a time because I'll be pretty busy for the next two or three weeks.
If they were uploaded to the wiki I would be able to have a look at them though, there everything seems to work as it should for me...
I took it up with Paul, hope a solution is forthcoming, because this problem is starting to impact me severely. Strange thing is, I could view Burra Maluca's purple chicken photo on the wikipage:Chickens thread without issues, maybe because it's an inline image, not an attached one?
Kathleen, when you have time, of course. With the possible exception of Paul Wheaton, this forum and the wiki are not life and death priorities for any of us, so it will take you, me, others, the time it takes, and that's fine... No stress, there's enough of it around already
Kathleen Sanderson wrote: Saskia, somewhere I have a copy of Dave Holderread's book on ducks, but it's packed --
Here ya go:
"Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks" by Dave Holderread
And a bonus article:
"Raising Ducks: Choosing Breeds, Feed, Housing & More" by Liz Wright (Mother Earth News, excerpt from "Natural Living")
I have a short blog article on the making of a duck shelter (inspired by Dave Holderread's book above), but note that the shelter is specific for South/Central Texas temperatures - it rarely gets below freezing here:
DIY Duck Shelter
Weeds: because mother nature refuses to be your personal bitch. But this tiny ad is willing:
For the Love of Paw Paws Mini Manual - Kickitty-Kickstarterhttps://permies.com/t/76624/Love-Paw-Paws-Mini-Manual