Today when I checked on my three baby ducks, two were dead! 😦 I don’t know what happened, other than that I fed them chopped cilantro as greens yesterday- I wonder if that is somehow toxic to them? I feed it to the big ducks all the time with no trouble, and couldn’t find any indication on the web that it’s toxic. But I did find evidence that people use it for detox measures, so maybe there was some issue there on those little bodies.

Anyway, sad to see such cute babies dead; and the one remaining one seems in distress neurologically as well as from being alone. Singleton babies are never good. I’ve given him some Nux Vomica in hopes that it addresses any toxicity, that’s all I can do! I imagine I could raise animals my whole life and always be saddened to see one perish; but I guess I would never want to see myself lose that compassion for animals either. Every loss is hard.

I’m afraid to try more incubation (though I’m going to have to get back in the saddle sometime and figure out how to do it); and I don’t have enough eggs coming in to make it worthwhile now anyway. So, I’m thinking of ordering a batch; as I really want to increase my flock to around a dozen birds.

I’ve been tempted by Metzer Farms’ “Golden 300 Hybrid” that is specially selected for superior egg production. But… their colors aren’t the best. I must admit, despite all the utilitarian reasons I keep them, I also like them to look nice!

I think I may stick with the Runner and Magpie breeds, though neither have been laying for me as well as the books say. I don’t prefer Khaki Campbells as much (the other good laying breed), I don’t like their color and they are known to be excitable (and my mom’s Khaki mixes certainly are!)

I may mix in some Blue Swedish at some point to improve carcass weight and robustness; but stay generally with the black/blue/silver colors. I’ve resigned to the fact that purebreds aren’t going to work for me, as none of them is designed for all the things I want: eggs, meat, foraging and hardiness for herding (and looks!). 🙂

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