Khaiti Hallstein

Published: 318 articles

i love those ducks

Since introducing the group of mom ducks to their youngsters, my flock has gotten VERY noisy. A bunch of rabblerousers….I am not sure how well my elderly neighbors can hear, but I can hear these ducks in the middle of the night, quacking away. They are usually just talking to each other, not sure what they are saying, but its a back and forth kind of deal. I like how it literally sounds like a big laugh, on and on!

three ducklings hatched from my lady ducks

three ducklings hatched from my lady duck

My ducks are just so beautiful, I really can sit and watch them and just be mesmerized for a long while. Their dark beady eyes always watching me. Even though my ducks are mostly a seal brown color, the patterns and undulations inside their feathers are jawdropping when you take the time to observe them. From 33 layers, I collected just 15 eggs today- production is dwindling with the shortened day length. Very sad. I will have one more delivery to Heartland, a couple of swaps to make good on, and then I stock up my own winter stash of eggs. Sigh. They’ll be back to laying in march.

In honor of my love for ducks, for breakfast I am having duck soup.
Tomato rice, mushroom, duck liver and gizzard soup with a duck foot/bone broth.

A beautiful day in the country….

Our extended nice fall weather has enabled me to get a lot of projects finished around the farm, as well as time to enjoy and observe the animals. Schatzi got her hooves trimmed today and she and her mom, Metallika, are still giving a good amount of milk. I have stopped the twice a day milking, so now I have more time to socialize in the evenings. For the past 7 months, I had to stop what I was doing and go home by 8pm to milk, and get up for 8am milkings too! I love it, but it is nice to have some freedom again. Love my goaties! I welcomed 3 new does last week, Rudi, Vanessa and May. They are Saanen goats, known for their excellent milk production. I’ll have 7 does kidding next spring- get ready for some crazy baby goat parties starting in March! Good times. Funny to already be thinking of spring time, but that’s how it goes with livestock…always planning. Sitting down to some crostini with feta, tapenade, and pesto for lunch. Yum!

fall on the farm means harvest time….

With a heavy heart, I bring my male ducklings to the chopping block tomorrow, full of gratitude for them and the nurioushment they will provide. I am raising a heritage breed of duck, the Khaki Campbell, which was developed for it’s excellent egg laying ability. Part of the responsibilty of raising a heritage breeds involves having a market for the males, which will not be laying eggs, to continue the breed’s existence. When I hatch out eggs, half of the ducklings are male. After my first taste of succulent Khaki Campbell duckling, I was ready to start spreading this taste sensation to others. After being a vegan for many years, and a vegetarian for 14 years, this has been a big shift for me. Embracing a fully self sufficient life on my farm, as much as can be, involves harvesting the male offspring of my animals. They won’t  be contributing to the farm on an ongoing basis, like my milk goats and lady ducks are, and in fact, the male offspring are a byproduct of the farm goods I produce here. Veganism addresses this by refusing to take part in egg and dairy production. And looking at the agri-business factory setting of raising animals, I completely agree with the vegan mentality. Don’t support that type of  agriculture. Small scale  farming is so important for many reasons but most importantly- the animals are cared for with love and respect for their role in the farm’s scenario.