S3- Duck Chronicles – Episode Seven – Answers to Questions and Spinach Heaven — 16 Comments

  1. Hi Jack. Im still in the planning stages of buying a small farm so there are many things I need to learn. So I was wondering why you buy all those baby ducks for like 7.00 a head (I checked out metzers duck catalog) instead of hatching your own. Is it not more cost effective for you to hatch your own ducks? That’s a lot of money! Also…. how come your buying baby spinach? I thought you grew your own microgreens. 5.00 for a little container is a lot of money compared to a whole flat for nothing. .. then again I really don’t know enough to rationalize this. I was hoping you could explain the benefits, cost, time, space ratio to make it worth buying it rather than growing it in your hot house year round… I appreciate all your info on all these techniques and ideas and enjoy you videos very much. Thank you for creating them. … .. from chrissy in Babylon Long Island, New York.

    • Growing spinach here is hard due to our climate, and I like spinach. I don’t buy it for the ducks, I but it for us and feed the excess to the ducks because there is so ever loving much we never finish it before it goes off. No it is not expensive frankly I can’t grow it for what they charge, those containers are packed tight and it is organic for 5 bucks. It is a win all the way around. I do grow arugula but man the amount of it in one of those containers boggles the mind.

      Hatch my own? Well first I would have to isolate breeds, then 60% or more will be drakes, I will feed them at least 12 weeks before I know who is a drake, now I either have an expensive pet or I have to cull birds. Our financial models are solid at 8 dollars a dozen with our methods a bird incurs a feed debt for 22 weeks while she doesn’t yet lay, in 2.5 months she has paid her debt back, at that point she will profit us 250 – 300 dollars a year or more.

      All our numbers and reasons behind what we do can be found here

      • I just noticed from reading both paragraphs above, Jack buys them for 8 dollars a dozen not 7 dollars a head (as Christine thought) that’s a big difference.
        Another though that came to me is does a drake taste any different than a duck, I mean if 60 % were good dinner meat than that would seem fine ?
        I imagine that breading could be an interesting challenge, maybe develop your own breed like horse and dog breeders try to do.

  2. Great stuff, and fun to watch. I still can’t get my head around what exactly a swale is? I think you done an an show an episode on Swales somewhere back but I never got to listed to it and I can’t find it now, anyone remember the number?
    Also just wondering, if the duck water soaks down through the base of the swale then is there a danger that the duck dung bacteria could soak into the ground water and contaminate your drinking water well?
    Would it be better to have some sort of either raised ponds or sealed ponds whereby the stuff could get pumped out and spread finely over a large surface area whereby it would get broken down by surface bacteria and thereby act as fertilizer, similar to how cattle farmers spread slurry ?

  3. Well thank you for answering my questions and helping that make sense. The catalog states that the males are not worth anything and even will give away an equal amount of them with every female order. I suppose that means they’re no good for eating? Im just going to now watch your link for the very first duck chronicle episode and I bet that will answer a whole bunch of other questions too. Thank you for all that info. It gives me a lot to think about before I start my out on my own….Thank you.

  4. I just remembered that when I was a kid and we had small chickens then we used to be sent out to collect dandelion leaves, we had to chop them up finly for the chicks, the dandelios were free

      • We were kids growing up on a small farm, the culture at time was ‘the devil makes work for idle hands’ so kids were given heaps of small chores to keep them busy and to develope a work ethic in them.

  5. I think he sells his eggs for 8.00 a dozen. The price is what metzers catalog states. He has lovely organic duck eggs that are a lot bigger than chicken eggs and a good niche, especially when everyone around you is selling chicken eggs. His marketing strategy really picks up on that and their happy healthy life and diet.

  6. I checked out a few other sites that charge 12.00 a dozen, but he charges only 8.00. So it makes good sense. Plus then the price of their meat at the end of their journey. If one duck lays 250 eggs in one year, thats 0.66 per egg = 165.00 so that’s really good. Im sure his numbers are much better crunched for food and materials.

  7. Ok, just finished watching 77 minutes of the very first S1 episode of duck chronicles. Awesome amount of info, but the most surprising was that “organic” can still be done on a factory farm level with ducks still living a miserable existence, where as although 9mile is not labeled “organic”, their product eccedes all those organic guidelines. When it comes to their diet, quality of life, natural behaviors, stresses, treatment and basically living their life as a duck, theres no comparison. I was so not aware of that. I need to do alot more research. It seems people are just buying into that buzzword without fully understanding the real differences. I feel like I’ve been totally scammed now. Thats why its always best to buy from a local farmer that you see their farm and how it’s run and you can trust.

  8. Do you not grow greens for them? Easy to do in your climate this time of year. Wheat grass works great when cold out. Actually forget that -looks like you already have green grass and sunshine there. Good day for them to get out on pasture. We’ve found getting them on grass immediately if you can helps them thrive – rather than out of sunlight in the relative darkness and artificiality of the indoor environment.

      • I think people wanted to see Jack labour through the forest and gather some wild greens for the ducks, that plastic pack of spinich with the 5 dollar label just doesn’t fit with peoples romantic view of self reliance. He, He.