The ducks have officially started molting, the period of time in which they replace their feathers. There are feathers EVERYWHERE. It looks like a down comforter was ripped to bits out there. The ducks themselves are looking pretty haggard. What feathers they do have are misshapen and sticking out at odd angles. I’m looking forward to this being over.
This also means that they have temporarily ceased laying… the protein and the energy that it takes to grow new feathers draws away from egg making. Our young ducks (the ones that Gabe purchased) aren’t big enough to lay their own eggs, though our Rhode Island Reds have started.
You can tell that these are from young pullets. Firstly, they’re TINY. Yes, chicken eggs are smaller than duck eggs, but as you can see in the picture above, these aren’t just smaller… these are dwarfed by the duck eggs. Secondly, there have been ‘mistakes.’ Some of them have wrinkles in the shells, and one of them had a double yolk. Once these hens get going the eggs will get bigger and the likelihood of getting wrinkles and double yolks won’t be so great. That’s one thing you’d never know if you’ve only ever had eggs from the supermarket: eggs are often funny shapes and sizes!
So for now, while we drown in milk, we aren’t getting much for eggs. That said, we’ve gotten our first peaches and cabbage:
It’s rewarding – somewhat. We’re finally at the point where all this toiling has borne fruit, but it’s very little. Still, we aren’t quite experiencing growing pains like we had been. And next year will certainly be greater; we have a lot to look forward too!