Silver Appleyards

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This is the first egg we got from our ducks. They started laying in early October when they were five months old. We have four females and there was one day when we got four eggs. That number dropped off and during the weeks of very short daylight we only got one egg a day. The past two days we’ve gotten two eggs each day so it looks like they are increasing production.

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The Silver Appleyards are good foragers. They spent the summer in our backyard and what we call the barn garden. It is the fenced in area between the backyard of the house and the barnyard.

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We have one of those black plastic ponds that they loved to swim in. We kept trying to get them to go out in to the pasture but they wanted to be where I guess they felt safe. Finally, they ventured out to the pasture and sometime in September they waddled down to the creek. Soon, every morning they left the backyard and headed off to the water and we wouldn’t see them until late in the afternoon. I don’t remember now how we discovered they were getting under the fence and heading to our neighbors pond. Boy, had they found paradise!

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Here they are headed to the fence and freedom. At first I was very nervous about predators. They seemed so happy though when they found a virgin part of the pasture full of bugs or when they were in the creek billing the banks for food that I decided I’d rather they live a short life happy than a long one penned up. Plus, we wanted them getting most of their food from nature rather than the chicken feed we give them. There were a couple of weeks in the late summer/early fall when they weren’t eating any of the chicken feed. That was cool. I feel very lucky that nothing has happened to them – I was sure by now we would have lost at least one of them. ┬áMy opinion of their foraging may change if anything happens to them. We still have a lot of winter to go and our neighbor says that is when the coyotes come around.

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