We got ducks this weekend. Why, you ask? Because I felt we needed to. When I think about how much chicken we eat, and how much junk is in that chicken, it makes me feel sick. Have you ever seen pictures of a poultry factory? It's inhumane the way the birds are treated. And to keep them alive, they are pumped with antibiotics and growth hormones. Guess where that stuff goes when you eat it. Yep. In your body.
In an effort to clean up my family's food sources, I decided that we needed to get some poultry. Chickens are normally the choice for back yard farmers, but after counseling with a friend, we decided that our first birds would be ducks. We have a pretty large feral cat population in this neighborhood. So I worried about chicks being eaten.
It's funny how I've fallen in love with these ducks. I go outside in the morning and take them the scraps from the night before. Then I turn on the sprinkler and watch them take a shower and root around in the mud puddles for insects. And you know what? They don't quack. Did you know there are quackless ducks? They're called Muscovy Ducks. They love to eat mosquitoes and flies. BONUS! In about 3 months we'll be able to collect their eggs, and since I got 2 hens and a drake, we'll also get some chicks.
Having pets you may eat some day is a tricky subject to take up with the kids. I've explained how chickens on a poultry plant spend their days, in a box, with all those nasty chemilcals. Our birds wander a grassy back yard and get lovely scraps from the kitchen and bugs to eat. They get to play with other ducks. And when we do kill them to eat them, it will be done in the most humane way possible, after they have stopped producing eggs, or if more drakes are born, they will be allowed to grow to maturity before being killed.
Not surprisingly, We've been eating a lot less meat, and more beans lately, which is a good thing all around.