Lisa Bondurant

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I spend my time raising kids, gathering eggs, cutting wood, scoping out trees for tapping, making syrup in the last days of winter, watching my garden NOT grow in the summer, writing, wishing that there were more hours on the clock for sleeping.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

M R Ducks!

M R Ducks!
M R not!
O S A R, C M E D B D I's?

   So, my son is obsessed with ducks! Ever since last spring he has been asking me for a duck. He saw them at the tractor supply store when we went to buy chickens and has been in love with them ever since.
 Just when I think he has forgotten about them, out of the blue he will ask "Is today the day we will get my ducks?" or suddenly say "Let's go mommy, time to go get them ducks!" or my favorite, he waits till the whole family is in the car and announces loudly to his sisters, with the excitement and voice of a used car salesman... "Guess what girls! We are going to get the ducks-Right now!. Isn't that great?"
"No! We are not getting a duck!," I tell him, "We don't need a duck. A duck would be a pain in the butt! A duck would have no purpose or use for us. No Ducks!"
 But he is undeterred, just tells me I am wrong and waits for another day to ask for ducks.
  Does my son know something I should  know? I guess he does! My garden has been over run with non stop, plant devouring," if I catch you, all you will see is my shoe coming down,' I hate you, you little ...bugs for three years.
I pick bugs off plants by the handful.I spread ashes and buy expensive organic bug repellents. I stomp and grind them into the ground, I scream and shake my fist at them...and they don't care!
...and then I remember something about ducks and bugs and happy gardeners and I feel all calm and giggle like a woman that has lost her mind.
"I need to get some ducks," I say dreamily.
My son looks up from his hole he is digging in the garden and smiles.
"I know," he tells me calmly.

"You don't need to worry no more, Momma!"

No more worries about slugs! Yes that is a slug on his finger, not a booger! ( this time)
No more worries about snails and stink bugs!
So, I ordered ducks! Mail order ducks from McMurrey Hatchury. Khaki Campbell are one of the best foraging ducks. Let's explain foraging ducks! The idea is to choose a duck that will not migrate when fellow wild ducks fly over, but instead  ignore the call of the wild and hang out in the garden happily chomping up snails, slugs, squash beetles and Japanese beetles, that want to happily chomp down your garden. That is what we call the foraging duck! The Japanese have been doing this for years. Khaki Campbell are a cross bred duck that originated in England, where it was raised for egg laying and does an excellent job as a bug hoover as well. The plan is to let them loose in the garden after the plants are bigger and watch out bugs! Some supervision is required to insure that they don't decide to eat the plants. That said I understand they will not mess too much with plants that are bigger and because they don't scratch like chickens, they will not rip up the beds. When the bugs have been decimated, they are easily herded back into a pen to play in a kiddie pool and await till next pest invasion.  
Yesterday the ducks came.

Oh the excitement!

"I can hear them peeping," he tells me. "Hey, why are they peeping? Them are suppose to be ducks", he exclaims.
"M R Ducks! C M E D B D I's?", I tell him.  He gives me the look, he only gets that mom is talking strange again.

Box full 'O ducks take their first look around the new digs.

Fresh home made electrolytes and they are up and running. Soon they will be moved to a chicken tractor in the garden.
 Size will matter, in a few weeks they will be big enough to take on the big slugs!

For now the garden awaits! The snails are unsuspecting!
I will update when the sluginators are released.

My son is so happy!


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