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Waterfowl

Waterfowl grace many homesteaders ponds and yards. Geese are used to weed orchards, and make great watchdogs. Ducks are used for meat, eggs and of course pets. Ducks and geese have a way of tilting their heads to look at you that makes them seem to be much more intelligent then other birds, and the little fluffy yellow ducklings and goslings are adorable.

Ducks

White Peking ducks are a favorite farm duck, they will mature in about 8 weeks to a 5-6 lb duck. These ducks are so heavy bodied they cannot fly, but they love to be in the water to swim and dive. We usually raise 6-12 Peking ducks each year for the Animal Farm.

We have a small flock of Indian Runners. Indian Runners are prolific egg layers. They originated in the East Indies, but their egg laying qualities were developed in Europe. Indian Runners have a upright slender appearance, and are quite small only averaging about 4.5 lbs.

Indian runners are used extensively for training sheep dogs because of their ability to move around quickly unlike most ducks. You may remember seeing some Indian Runners in the movie "Babe". While they may be good egg layers and excellent runners, they are not suited for meat production.

Indian runners will set on eggs, they make a nest of 6 to 8 eggs, and set on them for 28 days. The resulting little fluffy yellow ducklings are the cutest thing you ever saw.

Geese

Domestic Geese come in many varieties and colors. We chose the Toulouse Goose. Toulouse geese have a broad, deep body and are loose feathered giving them a large appearance. They are dark grey on the back, gradually shading to a light gray edge with white on the breast and the abdomen. Toulouse geese were developed in southern France near the city of Toulouse. They are considered a superior meat bird in Europe but the demand for goose in United States is not very high. Geese will lay about 50 eggs per year, if not inclined or allow to brood the eggs. Our Toulouse geese love to get out and flap their wings in the morning and sometimes even fly out of the pen to visit us! Geese are very territorial and will lower their necks and hiss at strangers. The flapping wings which are very strong and stout beak can inflict many bruises on the unwary visitor, which, along with the racket they produce, makes them excellent watch dogs.

Our gander is an African Goose named Jake, Jake comes to us from a fellow spinner who gave him a home for 14 years. Jake is happy having two girls of his own, and hopefully some goslings.

African Geese are noted for the distinctive knob on the base of the black bill. The coloring is similar to the Toulouse shading to brownish rather then gray. The head is a light grayish brown with ash brown neck back and slightly paler breast and underside.

They are supposed to be good layers, although we may never know with Jake, and are not used for meat production much because of the dark pinfeathers. They are a very graceful beautiful bird.

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