Sunday, October 16, 2011

ducks versus mosquitoes

You might not be aware of the fact that ducks eat mosquitoes. I had no idea! Slugs had been mentioned as a delicacy for ducks, but never skeeters.

Homer's sister Pat kept Muscovy ducks for a long time. His parents had what began as a couple of Pekins, and became quite a flock. When his parents farmed on the eastern shore of Maryland, Homer observed the ducks catching mosquitoes. The ducks ran around all day and most of the night with their mouths open, swallowing mosquitoes the entire time.

We have buff ducks. Small, sort of golden in color, they are quiet and take good care of themselves. Our perimeter is fenced so the ducks are free to roam the entire farm. Their favorite spots are the ones with shallow bits of water..sometimes rainwater collects, or a hose drips, or with the record setting rains we have had this year, the water table meets the surface of the earth!

Here is what the flock of ducks do all day long, at every patch of water they find. It has been a good year if you are a duck. Lots of muddy spots all over.

Not so great for growing root vegetables. Carrots and beets have taken a beating.

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