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Archive for the ‘Animal Menagerie’ Category

Ducks in a RowLast spring we decided to get ducks. I had never spent a great deal of time around water fowl. Aside from the occasional park encounter, I had spent a summer at a friends’ farm in Big Sur where he had a few ducks and geese. I also really appreciated the way he would walk them to their pond everyday, and how they would laugh at him when he was working in the garden. I had no idea just how much fun they would be to have around!

Our duck tale started with tragedy; such a common element in farm stories. As ducklings, our dog Raven snagged one through their little fence. Then in the fall, a hungry bear broke open the duck house and managed to catch and eat two more. This left us with one male Indian Runner, 3 Cayuga females and 2 Blue Swedish females. These are all “Runner” ducks, so they don’t fly, but they do enjoy foraging and swimming. Somedays it feels like we have a wandering comedy troupe waddling around the farm cracking jokes and making fun of us all. Because ducks are FUNNY!

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And now, in addition to their comedic stylings, we get the wonderful bonus of fresh duck eggs. This led me to do some research on the difference between chicken eggs and duck eggs. Here is what I found:

  1. Duck eggs have a thicker shell and a longer shelf life
  2. Yolks of duck eggs are larger, and their is a greater yolk to white ratio
  3. Duck eggs are an alkaline food, while chicken eggs are acidic
  4. Duck eggs have higher caloric content, higher protein, and slightly higher levels of minerals (selenium, manganese, zinc, copper, potassium, sodium, phosphorus, calcium and iron)
  5. Duck eggs are also higher in vitamin content (thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, folate, vitamin B6, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin A, vitamin B12 and retinol)
  6. They are also higher in amino acids than chicken eggs
  7. Duck eggs also have almost twice the cholesterol as chicken eggs
  8. Anything a chicken egg can do, a duck egg can do better 🙂
  9. In fact, many bakers report that using duck eggs makes their cakes rise higher and provides them with excellent taste due to their high fat content

I’m looking at using duck eggs in Pi Creamery’s line of goat milk ice cream. I am excited to see if the texture is richer or if they contribute the creaminess of the ice cream. It may not be a standard, as they are harder to come by, but I will test them in some of the initial batches of ice cream do out at the end of April.

In the meantime, Lazy T Ranch is selling duck eggs, $4 for half a dozen. Contact us if you are interested (and live in the Rogue Valley!)

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The timing for this particular goat story finds me on the verge of saying goodbye to Scarlett.

Scarlett

Scarlett came to us after a successful dairy goat career that ended a little too early. While in residence with the Siskiyou Crest Goat Dairy, Scarlett suffered a mild stroke or seizure during a difficult birthing. Needless to say, that kidding was her last. (more…)

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When we moved to the ranch, we discussed which animals we were interested in caring for; goats were on the short list. When we found out that a local farm was dispersing their herd and looking for a good home for several retirees, we raised our hand to volunteer. Thus began our love affair with the caprine class.

La Mancha doeling goat (more…)

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Trouble was the matriarch of the  Siskiyou Crest Herd. This article was written by Dana Kristal, and posted in the Siskiyou Crest Herd Share Newsletter in September 2010. Trouble retired to the Lazy T Ranch in October 2011. She continues to prove herself a worthy leader and an incredibly special goat. Here’s her story:

Alpine dairy goat, Trouble

Trouble is a ten year-old Alpine with a beard as long as her dairy career. (more…)

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