We were down to just two ducks in the flock after the raccoons and the eagles got done helping themselves. And of course, as luck would have it, they left us with two hens that hadn’t laid a single egg in the past four months. And in creep those pesky moral decisions again. Do we let every animal live out its days here on the farm even when they’ve outlived their productive age? Some animals we may and others we won’t.
I hate to say it, but part of it depends on how good they taste. And we know that these ducks are delicious. So in the next few days we will slaughter, butcher, saute and indulge ourselves in them. We will invite our good friends over, regale them with embellished tales of their slug eating prowess and their bravery in the face of raptorial danger, and we will honor them as best we can. We will remember them through story and treat their flesh with the respect that it deserves as the centerpiece of a fine meal.
The passing of these two ducks doesn’t mean that we’re getting out of the duck business, though. We just picked up five new hens and one new drake. We’re hoping to get back in the egg business, and hopefully into the meat bird business as well. Our ground is good for fowl, and their lives here, whether short or long, will hopefully be a little slice of duck heaven.
…postscript: So I wrote this last Sunday night, anticipating to slaughter them the next morning. The ducks must have gotten wind of our dinner plans, because Monday morning an egg lay waiting in the coop as I opened the door. She either pushed like she’d never pushed before, or rustled up a wild mallard egg and brought it home with her; either way she bought herself some extra time.
We still had our friends over, and the pork lasagna was fantastic.
We participated in Simple Saturdays, HomeAcre and the Homestead Barn Blog Hops.
Good on ya. I see way too many people fall in love with their ducks and other farm animals that aren’t producing. Then they’re stuck with another mouth to feed and watch over. I can’t remember the last time I ate duck…
Well that just rounds out our next plan of action: sailing then a duck dinner! 🙂
Thanks for sharing your post on the HomeAcre Hop, hope to see you again tomorrow! – Nancy
The Home Acre Hop
Thanks for giving a funny take to one of the difficult parts of farmsteading. I have lived on a farm all my life (we won’t say how long that is, but I can see 50 from my front steps! LOL) any way, I was going to say that it never gets easier even though you know it’s part of providing for yourselves and is just part of life. You did a great job making me smile.
Thanks Rhonda, I think it’s a good thing that it never gets easier. But their lives make us smile. And there are many more days of of their life than there are of their deaths.
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