A Living Lab
Ethnobotany in Action
Ethnobotany in Action
I have hatching eggs, ducklings and goslings, and adult birds for sale. I ship eggs, but, ducklings, goslings, and adult birds are pick up only. Contact me for details.
Exhibition Rouen eggs cost $120 a dozen. I do provide extras depending on how lays what on that particular day.
I have really great Aylesbury's and if you are interested in a great duck, this would be it. Hatching eggs are sold for $120 per dozen. And I always have extras.
These big boys lay some big eggs. I have about 95% fertility here. I have now idea how because they are so big Im not sure how they mate. I sell Giant Dewlap Toulouse eggs for $40 per egg, and you can order as many as you like.
My flock is 80% silver mallard and 20% natural colors mallard that carry silver. So the hatching eggs will give you 90% silver mallards and 10% wild colors mallards that carry silver. Eggs sell for $50 a dozen.
Cream legbars are easy to hatch and easy to raise. These eggs sell for $30 a dozen.
I first encountered Aylesbury ducks when I lived in England. I studied herbal medicine in England and did my PhD in herbal medicine there too. I fell in love with these big fat mild mannered ducks in their native terrain. When I came back to America, I tried to find Aylesbury ducks and that proved quite challenging. I managed to get ahold of a starter flock of 5 ducks and 3 ganders and was off the races. Operation big butt duck went well for two years but in year three I ran into trouble. My hatch rate dropped to about 10% and I had a large number of hunch back and sway back ducks. I have been doing this long enough to recognize inbreeding depression. My ducks were inbred and I had to do something about it.
I got with some people in England and figured out what to do. I outcrossed my ducks with Grimaud Freres jumbo Pekin ducks. I then spent the next couple of years breeding back to type. So, I now have a healthy flock that lay upwards of 200 eggs a year. My fertility is 95% and I have no deformed ducklings.
What I have seen is this. Americans import 10 ducks, or cats, or geese from Europe and then start a "breed" in this country. But the breed was started with 10 or sometimes fewer foundation animals. Surprise surprise, when you breed back to the same animals, for generations and generations, you end up with inbred birds or dogs that teeter on the edge of extinction. Inbreeding works until it does not work. And since it is very difficult to import birds from Europe, whatever breed you are working with, you better be thinking about outcrossing to maintain the health and vitality of your flock.
I bought a flock of silver Ameracaunas with hens that did not lay eggs and roosters that were sterile. I had hook bills that laid four or five eggs a season and dropped dead walking across the pasture. All evidence of inbreeding that had gone too far.
So, I repeat myself. If you are breeding anything in America, there will come a time when you have to outcross or watch your birds or cats decline. I get a lot of emails from these purists and I just laugh at them. It's my experience that when you start with a very small gene pool and making smaller over time, bad things happen. Start planning your outcross plan.
My Aylesbury's are fantastic. Big, healthy, heavy layers, pink billed and pink skinned ducks that are a pleasure to keep. I think they should be good for another five years but then I will outcross again. Yes, outcrossing and breeding back to type takes some time and energy, but that is what breeding is all about.
Silver mallards are a bit of a mystery. It's virtually impossible to find anything online about them. The only thing I have been able to find is that hunters occasionally shoot one and that they are super popular with taxidermist.
I managed to get a small number of silver mallards from two different breeders. For several reasons, I know they are unrelated to each other. But, because I had so few, from both breeders, I decided to outcross the few I had to hatchery mallards. The result would be natural colored mallards that carried silver. I have now bred the silvers back to the natural colored mallards who carry silver to produce silver mallards. By introducing the new genes from the hatchery mallards, I know the birds are not inbred. They may not have been inbred, but you just never know when you are getting birds whether they are or they are not inbred. Better safe than sorry. It took an extra year but now I know I have genetically diverse silver mallards. These are very pleasant ducks. They are not messy and or nervous, and are very quiet for a duck.
This year I am mating some silver mallard drakes to some standard Rouens. If they manage to mate, I will have Rouen's that carry silver. I will mate them back to themselves, and, with any hope, next year I will have silver Rouen's!