When I was a little girl, I always thought it would be wonderful to have a pet duck. I loved watching the ducks in the small town where I grew up in Mexico. Then, when I was 13, an Otomi lady gave me a duck egg with instructions on how to hatch it. Unfortunately, my parents were less than thrilled with the idea of my hatching a duckling as a pet. So, after having duck egg for breakfast one day, I brooded for a few years.
Fast forward three years to when I’m sixteen. My family is now living in the state of New Jersey on a 4 acre piece of land. We have a couple of horses and my father was looking at getting chickens. I told dad that I still wanted some ducks. There are some advantages to keeping ducks.
- Ducks are delicious.
- They lay eggs that are much larger than a chicken egg but the eggs taste about the same cooked.
- Some breeds of ducks such as the Muscovy which was what I wanted, are excellent mothers. I’ve frequently seen Muscovy hens with 20 ducklings.
- Ducks eat bugs and small snakes. I have seen them catching types of flies that bite before and I’ve also seen them successfully catch mosquitoes to eat.
My dad agreed to let me get some ducks. We found a farmer who had a whole hatch for sale. I forget how many ducks we brought home. The particular strain of Muscovy that we bought was bred by the French particularly as an gourmet eating bird. To this day, we still keep descendants of those ducks that I waited so long to get. We eat a lot of duck during the year. Be forewarned though, Muscovys are the rabbits of the bird world. You can start out with just a few and have over 200 in a few years if you don’t eat them, or sell some off.