So far there are 7 super tiny baby Khaki Campbell ducklings hatched out from my incubator experiment. After drying into little fuzz-kins, they went from the incubator upstairs to the brooder box in my bathroom, under a heat lamp.
They hatched last night, and Andrew and I actually got to watch one push it’s way out of that thick shell and rubbery membrane. It worked slowly to get a large fissure started, then the whole egg was rocking, and it burst forth into the world. AMAZING.
However, seven ducklings won’t be enough for the first harvesting workshop June 27th, so I put an order in for 20 Black Cayugas. This duck type is another heritage breed, mainly raised for their scrumptious meat. This breed of duck is actually on the Slow Food “Ark of Taste,” as a heritage breed who’s meat is uniquely noteworthy. This was actually the first type of duck I ate last summer. It was really, really, really good, but I think my first meat in 14 years would be pretty amazing – no matter what animal was chosen. I am so grateful.
One thing I want to address is the fact that the eggs I bring to market are not little baby ducks in a shell. That only can be the case after a small group of female ducks is kept with a male, and then the eggs have to be incubated. I don’t want anyone to worry that the sumptuous eggs we enjoy are baby ducks! The yolk in any egg is simply the nutrition packet for an embryo, if it were there at all, to develop after 28 days of 99.5 degree temperatures. Most eggs are not fertilized (no embryo present.) A duck egg is a packet of nutritious goodness. You can eat my eggs and not worry about a duckling in there- actually, it is not even possible. I collect all the duck eggs each and every morning, clean them and immediately refrigerate them. This ensures the freshest, purest egg imaginable. The eggs I bring to market are all laid within the last week. SUPER FRESH! That and the layers are outside, in the sun, fresh air, and eating good organic food, and foraging and happy- this all makes a huge difference in the nutritional content of an egg.
The eggs that hatched were from a group of Khaki’s I keep separated from the main flock, for collecting their fertile eggs for hatching. The females are my best layers, and this way I am propagating heritage ducks who will carry on this stellar attribute.