Back to the duck story.
It turns out seven of our 12 ducks were most assuredly murdered. I found the evidence.
Needless to say, after two bloody nights, I was in a fowl mood, and I was faced with a decision: would I simply let my farm fall prey to villainous predators, or would I fight back?
My spirit roused, I resolved to lock up my remaining ducks—there were four hens and one drake, a viable combination to grow my flock next spring.
So after lunch, I spent the entirety of a Sunday afternoon finishing my duck enclosure. Dad and I had started it months ago, and I’d left it unfinished, because… well, honestly, the urgency wasn’t there until my ducks started being eaten.
The duck pen is in the pasture, near the pond. It’s a bit rough, but it seems to be predator-proof.
It still needs a gate latch, and a little patching of a few gaps, but overall, I’m fairly proud of it.
One of my ladies began laying eggs just a few days after I locked them up! Now I don’t know—it could be that several of them are laying. But either way, we get a single duck egg every day.
The only problem is that their pen isn’t really protected from the cold, and so when it’s very cold outside, the egg freezes and cracks. Also, these Khaki Campbell ducks place skittishness above every other quality, including motherhood. So they flee for their lives anytime I come near (or inside) the pen, which means they inevitably step on and kick the poor egg lying cold and alone on the floor of the pen.
But we have been eating, and enjoying, our duck eggs. In the eating, there’s no discernible difference from our chicken eggs (of which we’re now getting one or two per day). But there’s a deep satisfaction in knowing I have been victorious over my carnivorous foes. And the taste of that victory is rich and sweet.