A small flock of Shetland Ducks roaming the farm manage the waterways and are voracious foragers
a duck's life at achpopuli...
The small flock of Shetland Ducks here roam freely through the pastures, the shelter belts, burns and ditches. Free range to the extreme! Most of the year is taken up with slug munching in the pasture, though in the autumn there are also docken seeds - a popular menu item!
Water is very important to ducks - and luckily we have plenty here! They use the burns and ponds for washing and enjoy puddling around in the wet pasture, bogs, heath and ditches for various goodies. The pools they create with their activities are great habitats for wildlife, and a way of storing more water on the farm - a small contribution to helping slow water flow off the farm and decrease flooding downstream.
Slug training starts early, and the hope is that they will control the slugs in the veggie patch without eating my greens! But they are good at getting involved in anything that might reveal some worms for them to gobble down. Also providing gorgeous eggs and lots of manure and microbes for the compost heap.
Seasonally, delicious eggs are available usually March - July
'Regenetarian' note: These eggs are mostly from slugs, invertebrates, worms and greens, although they are supplemented with shell sand and a handful of wheat at bedtime. I am experimenting with growing different grains here to replace this ration, but currently this and salt are the only human foodstuffs fed to my livestock.
Did you think the slugs could be turned into something so yummy?!
As Shetland Ducks are a rare breed I also want to spread the joy about these gorgeous, hardy, self reliant ducks - so in time Shetland hatching eggs may also be available. Get in touch to find out.