Thursday, 7 March 2019

More new ducks


There has been a bit of a duck changeover on the smallholding. The Pekin ducks had grown into brutes, just trampling right over the netting I erected to protect my vegetables.
They had to go!

But ducks are an integral part of my slug control. So I turned to the interweb, typing in "best ducks for a vegetable plot".
The overwhelming winning breed was Khaki Campbells.
I hadn't realised that most Khaki Campbells actually reside in the West of Britain, but it didn't take me too long to locate an advert from over this side of the country.

In fact they were on a smallholding down near Lakenheath, along a road which I used to visit to see Britain's last remnant population of Golden Orioles. Sadly they have gone now.

We took the chance to take the dogs on an adventure, walking them along the river at Santon Downham. This stretch of river has otters and Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers but alas we didn't see either.

Onto the smallholding and there were about 80 Khaki Campbells to choose from, all ducks. They were in muddy conditions and it was all a bit smelly! They weren't tame either so we just took the first three we could catch. Fortunately nobody ended up face down in the mud!



Khaki Campbells are a small breed of duck. They are not fancy, but hopefully will do their job well in the veg plot without causing too much destruction. Here they are on their first day, desperate to hide away in their new house.


ed     A couple of weeks have passed now. The Khakis didn't come out of their house for a day or two and I eventually had to eject them. Then I had to fish them out of the pond as their feathers weren't in a good enough state to repel the water.
But they have now settled in, made friends with the two old ducks we have, and are enjoying life in the veg plot. Their feathers have improved so they can now use the pond. They have started laying eggs for us too.

Meanwhile we managed to sell four of the five Pekin ducks. Unluckily for him, the buyers didn't want a drake so he is soon destined for the table. The four females had just started laying whopping great eggs, so they were a good buy. They have gone to a smallholding where the owners do B&B so lots of people will get to enjoy them.

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