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Nine Mile Farm - Free Range, Non GMO, Non Soy Fresh Duck Eggs from Happy Birds

The Visible Difference Between Duck and Chicken Eggs

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, well in this case it sure is.  People ask us all the time about the difference between chicken and duck eggs, well you can see it below in color and richness alone.

Recently we did a class for about 50 students and staff members who were at our farm for four days.  We served them a full breakfast two mornings.  As out demand is so high for our eggs we could not feed 50 people eggs from our ducks two days in a row.  So for the first time in a very long time I had to buy eggs.  The eggs on the right are top quality organic chicken eggs.  See the beautiful deep yellow orange in the bowl on the left, those are our pastured duck eggs.

This is why I often say while duck eggs beat chicken eggs no matter how you cook them try them sunny side up, poached, basted or say over medium with soft yolks.  They will simply blow you away.  When cooked over medium the yolks are almost like yolk butter, they are that rich and wonderful.


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S2 – Duck Chronicles Episode Ten – Let the Integration Begin

Charlie Guarding the Flock

Charlie Guarding the Flock

In Season Two – Duck Chronicles Episode Ten – Let the Integration Begin, the baby girls get to meet the main flock. It will still be a while before we put them in the holding area with the adults over night but everyone seems to be largely ignoring each other.

I may have to do a rain dance soon, we really and I mean really need some rain.

Sweet Girl is now out and about with her three tiny babies. We visit her and another Muscovy that seems to want the job of “Aunt Ducky”, but we will have to wait and see if Sweet Girl accepts the offer in a future episode.

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A Simple Pond Fountain for Under 25 Bucks

Simple fountain total cost less than $25. Take this pump and use half inch PVC pipe.

Dry fit is all you need no glue so easy to clean and service. Install a strait piece of pipe the length you want, wire tie the pump to a broken piece of cinder block, put an end cap on the top of the pipe that you have drilled a series of holes into in the pattern you want, done.

Our small pond really and I mean really needed this. We think all the catfish died, we stocked way too soon.  I knew better but the stocking truck was at the feed store and I gave it a shot.

No bodies but no fish coming for food any more and I did see a huge great blue heron down there. So it will be gold fish for the next round after about a week of this running.  The video is only 10 seconds but you can see how good it works for a small pond.

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S2 – Duck Chronicles Episode Nine – A New Fodder System, Just In Time

Today on the S2 – Duck Chronicles Episode Nine – A New Fodder System, Just In Time, we go over the new sprouting/fodder system I built for the ducks.  While there is nothing wrong with my low tech bucket system with the growing in population we need to produce a LOT MORE sprouts so it was time for an upgrade.

We also visit with the little girls who are learning to hone their hunting skills and developing pack hunting techniques.  We note the loss of one more baby that didn’t make it and get an update on the container gardens.

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S2 – Duck Chronicles Episode Eight – Three New Baby Mallards Doing Great

babyducksIn Season Two – Duck Chronicles Episode Eight – Three New Baby Mallards Doing Great we start out with morning bath time with the main flock in the three quarter acre food forest.  We see that both the Brothers Green and the Mini Brothers Green are coming into full on fall beauty.

Buddy and Joe show up for Goose Cam but they just don’t have any mean really left in them so it is more look at the camera then attack it.  We take a stroll over to the other side of the property and see the damage the Two Assclowns (Charlie and Max) did to the baby duck enclosure last night in a full on run.  No ducks or dog were harmed, just one more thing to fix as always.

The baby girls are doing great and likely only three weeks away from  full flock integration.  The quail are at least half way grown now, doing well and loving the extras after micro green harvest.  Going to have to find a way to allow Dorothy to move the quail tractor when I am gone though.

Lastly we check in on Broody Mama Muscovy (AKA Sweet Girl) who is now no longer sweet and defending her babies with the care only a mom can.  After a bumpy start with her first brood she has it down now.  It appears all the eggs she hatched and kept babies from are from “Little Browns” clutch we found hidden in the bushes.  So we have three new baby mallards.

The end got cut off here due to too much video on the phone and needing to delete some.  What got left off is basically that we are doing our work on a very difficult property to show what can be done and we are doing it at a large scale.

One Note – the actual cubic yards to cover 3 acres in 4 inches is about 1500, don’t know what I was thinking when I said that crazy large number.  Still 1500 yards at 10 dollars a yard is 15,000 dollars.  Think about that.

Many of the “all you need to do” suggestions are given with good intention but don’t address the reality of where we are, the scale we operate at and the time and money constraints everyone has.

I actually feel there is a big danger in Permaculture with what I call “over simplified all you need to do is thinking”.

I will have a video out soon (not part of the chronicles) to address that.  Because I think this does a lot of harm to permaculture’s credibility.  This is from well-intentioned individuals, who simply do not know, what they do not know.

Sometimes in the micro and often even in the macro view of the complex design considerations of permaculture, specifically at broader scales then the quarter acre suburban gardens most permies are working in.

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S2 – Duck Chronicles Episode Seven – Freedom is Heaven

The Closest Thing to a Brooder Our New Ducks Will Ever See.Today on Season Two – Duck Chronicles Episode Seven – Freedom is Heaven we see that in the last week the young girls have gotten big enough to begin training them to free range and return to a holding area and they are out and about.

We also cover our new microgreens set up and show you the quail.

Sadly in the episode the broody muscovy has hatched two babies but one didn’t make it.  This is one of the true realities of keeping animals.

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S2 – Duck Chronicles Episode Six – The Ducks Get Their Playtime Fix

0b7aa595142ec7d01fe743fdda90fc0cToday on Season Two – Duck Chronicles Episode Six – The Ducks Get Their Playtime Fix we start out with a mishap where Farmer Jack left the water running for hours and filled up the bottom swale.  The mistake is mine but the ducks are very excited about it.

I also discuss quite a few questions from you guys.  I tell you how we manage the ducks at night for egg collection in the AM.  How we find the stray eggs the ducks lay when left out and best practices for that.

I explain the way we handle predators specifically hawks.  It is a combination of our dogs and the geese along with keeping our very small birds close to the house until they are flock integrated.

I also answer a question about saving a tree with blight, sometimes you can and sometimes you can’t.  We discuss cross breeding and what it does and when it produces sterile offspring (Muscovy x with any other duck).  I finish up with how we handle dirty eggs.

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S2 – Duck Chronicles Episode Five – Fall is Finally About to Arrive

d80cd6be6ba7f90f5c3a558c792fdbf1Today in Season Two – Duck Chronicles Episode Five – Fall is Finally About to Arrive we start out with the “Brothers Green” who are just beginning to really get all their colors back after the summer molt. Buddy and Joe are trying to timber sorghum during morning bath time.

Little Brown and the Mini Brothers Green make an appearance as we take a look at some of the growth in the food forest. The “dwarf” mulberry is now about 8 feet tall, really.

We discuss the harsh summer we just came out of, 4 rain events in if you can even call them that in over 4 months. By rain event I mean, say 1/10th of an inch if that per event. Basically less than an inch total in the last 90 days, this after 27 straight days of rain in May!

I cover the new container/wicking gardens that we are putting in for the fall workshops. We also take a look at the baby quail and ducks who are doing quite well with my new philosophy of SDB (short duration brooding). I also discuss the discovery that Goji Berries seem to just go dormant in the heat of summer, look like they are dead, then come back and do a second crop.

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S2 – Duck Chronicles – Episode Four – Baby Ducks Out the Door

ninemilelogoToday on The Duck Chronicles – Episode Four – Baby Ducks Out the Door we spend some times with the new babies.  They have now been outside for 3 nights and everyone is doing just awesome.

They are eating about 50% LESS feed then they did last winter in the brooder.  Today I also discuss more about SDB (short duration brooding) and why it works but why it isn’t for everyone or for every season.

I let you guys know the 5 breeds in this batch.

40 – Golden Layers
5 – Chocolate Runners
5 – Rouens
5 – Welsh Harlequins
5 – Buffs

I finish up discussing our plans for a large quail aviary made with cattle panels and how it will let us basically produce pastured quail and quail eggs and leak  bit more about the quail product I am working on for suburban environments.


Duck Chronicles – Season Two – Episodes Two and Three

ninemilelogoA two parter today guys, once you get over 10 minutes sometimes you have issues uploading direct to YouTube from the iPhone so I broke today into two episodes.


First in Duck Chronicles – Episode Two – Quails and Little Ducks it’s Outside for You we start off with the quail in the modified chicken tractor.  They are doing really well and just under one week of age.  I will explain how we are able to keep them outside instead of in a brooder.

Next we move over to the baby ducks.  On their second day here they are already outside as well.  They are housed in a 16×16 area and seem to be adapting very quickly to it.

I also discuss how we won’t just leave them out but instead evaluate them in the early evening, make sure they are okay and then let them out for the day.

I also explain out plans for a new duck water drain system with willow trees for the night time holding area.  This is a function stacking concept that will provide a ton of benefits.


In Duck Chronicles – Episode Three – A Pond the Ducks Have Yet to See I take you down to the new pond and explain how it will fit into our total system plan.

I also feed the catfish though only a few seem hungry and explain why the pond isn’t larger.  I talk about why I am not totally satisfied with how it turned out.

That said it will be a valuable asset for us as a tool for fish farming and we have some plans to create some bio filtration and grow beds using it.

We will also be planting tons of mint on the pond edges as it serves many purposes.  Including; holding the bank, habitat, handles the wet soil, great flowers for my bees and the ducks don’t eat it.

I also explain the plans for the west pasture and why we will be placing an excluder fence around the pond.   Why we filled the pond from a hose vs. waiting for rain and you get to really see what I mean when I say rock.  You will never look at my property the same way again when you see this!

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