We also got our first goose egg:
Ducks and geese don’t need nesting boxes like chickens do. They’ll just dig a little depression in the straw in the corner of their house. I suspect some of them are also laying their eggs in the reeds around the pond, though I haven’t yet found any.
I thought it might interest some readers to see our current duck and goose yard setup.
In the middle of the yard is a hugelkultur herb and vegetable bed around which I’m slowly building a lashed fence made from tree branches I harvest from our woodlands:
Spent straw bedding is used for mulch in the garden bed.
We had grand duck house dreams but ran out of time and had to settle for repurposing a Rubbermaid storage shed for now:
We removed the plastic windows and replaced them with hardware cloth. A bungee-corded fan helps with ventilation.
The rabbit hutch is also in the duck yard:
The duck yard is not covered, but does have an 8-foot fence around it. The bottom four feet are hardware cloth to prevent raccoons from reaching through and grabbing sleeping ducks.
There is a semi-dwarf peach tree that provides shade and fallen fruit for the ducks and geese. In turn, their droppings fertilize the tree.
We took a second piece of hardware cloth and attached it to the bottom of the fence and made a skirt on the ground that extends out several feet. We then let the grass grow up through that hardware cloth skirt. This discourages digging predators from getting into the duckyard..
We also strung two strands of hot wire, one at four feet and one at the top to discourage climbing predators:
…directly behind the duck yard:
The duck eggs we are currently getting are about the size of a large chicken egg:
I was uncertain about how cooking duck eggs might be different, so I followed Carol Deppe’s directions:
I use a heavy pan, which is covered and off the heat for the last part of the cooking. I scramble the eggs, adding a little salt, cayenne pepper, and oregano. (You can add milk if you want. I don’t.) I start the cooking on medium-high and stir the eggs with a spatula a few times initially until they start chunking up. When I have mostly big chunks of egg dispersed in some remaining liquidy egg, I turn the heat to medium-low, cover the pan, and cook 2–3 minutes—until the eggs are lightly brown on the bottom. Then I use a spatula to turn the eggs over in spatula-sized sections, then cover the pan, remove it from the heat, and leave it for 3–5 minutes to finish cooking the other side of the eggs. I end up with sort of hamburger-patty-like slabs of eggs. These make great leftovers, hot or cold, and make good sandwiches or finger food.
Added the seasonings:
And used my trusty cast iron skillet that we’ve had for 25 years:
Served on a slice of fresh sourdough bread with a few remaining cherry tomatoes from the pot on the balcony:
The duck eggs tasted richer and did not have that “chickeny” flavor. Yummy!