Dreaming Of Ducks 

Dreaming Of Ducks 
My love of poultry started when I was about three years old when a family in Tlautlauquitepec, Puebla, gave me a pet chicken that I named Miss Bopper. Most of my family’s chickens were used for food at that point in time. My parents allowed me to keep Miss Bopper on as a pet, and so began my interest in keeping chickens.


It wasn’t until I was 12 years old though that I developed an interest in ducks. I remember it almost like it was yesterday. My family had gone out to a smoked chicken restaurant after church. Since we were living in Mexico, livestock often roamed around behind the restaurant and sometimes directly in the restaurant itself since the restaurant was an open air place.

We had moved, from Tlautlauquitepec to Ixmiquilpan, Hidalgo when I was about six or seven years old. The people in the area where I now lived were people who were of a different group than what I had been with before. I think that the people who gave me the chicken were probably Nauhuatl.

When Mom sent us kids off to go wash our hands, I met a little old Otomi lady who was attending a flock of ducks, chickens, geese, and turkeys. I complimented her on her flock, and asked her about her ducks.

Her whole face practically lit up. After we were done talking, she told me to wait a minute, and she went and got an duck egg out of a nest.


She gave me the egg and told me that if I incubated it, I could hatch a duckling. I was so excited! I was ready to start my own flock of ducks!


My parents on the other hand, were not nearly as exuberant about the idea. Unfortunately, since we didn’t have a place to keep ducks at the time, and no longer had a flock of chickens at that point, I was told that I needed to eat the duck egg rather than try to hatch it because we didn’t have anywhere to keep a duck.
I was pretty bummed about the idea. However I didn’t entirely give up on the idea of eventually having ducks. In 2001, my family had to come back to United States.
We bought a 4 acre piece of land in the state of New Jersey. I was 14 at that time, and still had ducks on the brain. I talked to my parents, and by the time I was 15 we began researching what type of ducks we would get.
We chose to get Muscovies. they are good eating, excellent layers and excellent mothers.


Plus, since we chose to get the white Muscovies, the feathers would not show up nearly as much if you missed a feather while you were plucking.
When I say that Muskovy’s are excellent layers, and excellent mothers, I mean think as in reproduces like multiple rabbits!


We started out with just a handful of Muskovies and have had 88 Muskovies hatch out over the course of a summer. We can easily become overrun by my ducks!

However, the positive is that Muskovies especially ones that happened to be specifically bred for eating, sell very well! We don’t seem to have any trouble finding buyers for our ducks. They are also absolutely scrumptious eating! I can’t think of many meats that I like better than eating a good plump duck!

Until next time,

Emily 

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