9/27 Update: The girls gifted us with a double-yolker right out of the gate.

Don fried it up for us last night. Delish! The consistency of the egg white was extremely thick, but Don said it tasted just like a fresh chicken egg. 

As for me, my mind played games with me at first, thanks to my dear husband. After I took my first bite, Don said, “Why are you eating your grandchildren?!”

Aaack! Once I got past that, I agreed with him. It was a delicious, fresh egg. Not gamey or weird at all.

——————————————————————————————————–

9/26 Post: We irrigated our pasture yesterday for one of the last times this season. We’ve gotten into the habit of putting the ducks out in the pasture on irrigation days because they love being ducks.

We found everyone and got them into the pasture, but Izzy was nowhere to be found. Finally, Don found her under a holly bush near the house. I heard him gently shoo her from where she sat and then heard him exclaim, “Oh my!”

Here’s what Izzy was sitting on:

Once Izzy was out in the pasture being a duck, I collected the eggs and took them into the house. The three smaller eggs were cold, but the large egg was warm. I figured that means Izzy had just laid it.

Oh, the eggcitement!

Just look at what Izzy did:

Pretty impressive, don’t you think? Once I finished oohing and aahing over the eggs, I put them in an egg carton to store in the refrigerator. The lid didn’t close all the way on the corner where Izzy’s egg sat:

Thank you, sweet Izzy:

Thank you, sweet Hillary:

And thank you in advance, sweet Emmy:

Our next step is getting the girls to use the nesting boxes in Duckingham Palace:

Advertisements

We irrigated our pasture yesterday for one of the last times this season. We’ve gotten into the habit of putting the ducks out in the pasture on irrigation days because they love being ducks.

We found everyone and got them into the pasture, but Izzy was nowhere to be found. Finally, Don found her under a holly bush near the house. I heard him gently shoo her from where she sat and then heard him exclaim, “Oh my!”

Here’s what Izzy was sitting on:

Once Izzy was out in the pasture being a duck, I collected the eggs and took them into the house. The three smaller eggs were cold, but the large egg was warm. I figured that means Izzy had just laid it.

Oh, the eggcitement!

Just look at what Izzy did:

Pretty impressive, don’t you think? Once I finished oohing and aahing over the eggs, I put them in an egg carton to store in the refrigerator. The lid didn’t close all the way on the corner where Izzy’s egg sat:

Thank you, sweet Izzy:

Thank you, sweet Hillary:

And thank you in advance, sweet Emmy:

Our next step is getting the girls to use the nesting boxes in Duckingham Palace:

They grow so fast. Here’s Gus (on the left, then known as Augusta) with his posse on April 28 when they first came to Morning Bray Farm.

Here’s Gus on May 4.

May 11.

May 18.

June 30.

July 22.

Don’t blink. August 13.

Most of what I’ll share with you is adapted from Storey’s Guide to Raising Ducks. Being a tree duck, Muscovies roost in trees at night and spend hours preening on elevated perches after their daily bath. They’re classified as a heavy breed of duck; males (drakes) average 12 pounds, while females (ducks) average 7. In case you’re wondering, the average weight of a Mallard drake is 2.5 pounds; ducks 2.2 pounds.

The head of the mature Muscovy drake is massive, and its face is covered with red skin, called caruncling. Remember, Gussie hasn’t stopped growing yet.

Their long toes are webbed, amazingly strong and tipped with talon-like claws.

Compared with other domestic ducks, their bodies are flattened, heavily muscled and extra wide across the shoulders. Their wings are very wide and moderately long, with the tips being more rounded than in other breeds. The tail is long and broad.

As I mentioned above, the size difference between drakes and ducks is remarkable. By adulthood, females weigh 45 to 50 percent as much as the males. For comparison, in other domestic breeds and wild species that nest on the ground, ducks typically weigh only 8 to 12 percent less than drakes at maturity. (Muscovies prefer to nest on large branches and cavities in tree trunks.)

Here’s Isabelle on August 13. Much smaller than Gussie.

Look at her beautiful blue eyes. By the way, Isabelle would like to let the world know that she adores tomatoes.

While we gave everyone female names at the start, and not long ago we were certain we had an even mix of drakes and ducks, we’re positive now that we have four boys and two girls.

1. Augusta is Gussie – drake

2. Isabelle is Isabelle – duck

3. Hillary is Hillary – duck

4. Hazel is Jake – the drake

5. Beatrice is Oliver – drake

6. Harriet is Alfie – drake

And we love them all.

Muscovies are the quietest of all breeds. Females occasionally quack weakly but mostly use a variety of soft chirps to communicate. The drake’s primary vocalizations are hoarse, breathy exhales (hisses) of varying lengths.

Most females are fair to good flyers and will perch on fences and buildings. Here’s Hillary up on the front porch.

It’s always a madhouse here, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Augustus, a.k.a. Gussie, a.k.a. Gussie Boobala.

Izzy’s still smiling.

Beatrice is never far from Gus.

Their house.

We had to separate Harriet from the rest of the flock for a while because she wasn’t being very nice. She’s behaving much better now.

Sweet Hillary. Based on her size, she’s definitely a girl.

Izzy’s definitely a girl too. She and Hillary are the smallest of the flock.

Izzy loves taking long baths and basking in the afternoon sun.

We love little big baby ducks.