Which came first? The Duck or the Egg
I guess in my case it started with the first taste of a delightful duck egg, the ducks soon followed suit! Let me introduce two new members to our little clan. Their names are Confit and Marie and they are 8 weeks old females. Can you guess which one I named?
They are Silver Welsh Harlequins and are great egg layers. Confit has the yellow bill, sadly the lack of a black bill makes her not show quality, lucky for me I only care about healthy ducks and healthy eggs!
You thought I was kidding when I said I was diggin’ duck eggs so much that I was thinking about owning my own, didn’t you? After boiling, frying and baking with them, I decided I needed a source a little closer to home, say in my backyard!
First step – find a local breeder. Through a poultry expert at Colorado State University, I found out that a breeder of some beautiful ducks, Clare, lived about 20 minute from my house. After visiting Clare’s farm, I knew that the Silver Welsh Harlequin was the breed for me. Clare also has Call, Magpie, Golden Welsh Harlequin and Cayuga ducks as well as American Buff Geese.
Next step – I went down to the City of Lakewood’s permitting office and applied for a permit to own 2 ducks. I found out I was the first person in the City that had applied for a permit to own ducks since they started allowing chicken, ducks and dwarf goats in the City in April 2013.
The Biggest Step – Building a place for the ducks to live! My friends Doug and Julie donated their old dog house to the cause (and their handy work). Start to finish, the pen and house took us about 10 hours to complete.
From the time I decided I wanted ducks to actually getting the ducks took about 3 weeks! It is amazing what I can do when I am really motivated. If only I put this much effort into all aspects of my life!
So why go to all this trouble for duck eggs you ask? I’ve decided duck eggs are the answer to baking at high altitude. Often an extra egg can be just what that cookie or cake recipe needs to bake the perfect treat. With duck eggs this extra is built-in with their slightly larger size and the higher yolk to white ratio makes for a richer, tender baked good.
Addison and I picked up our ducks last night, it was super fun. Before leaving I learned as much as I could from Clare about how to care for our ducks as well as the best way to pick up and properly hold the ducks. She let me practice on her Magpies.
These little ladies won’t start laying until early next year so I’ll have to wait a bit before I can bake with my ducks’ eggs but luckily I have bought several dozen from Clare and have many stored in the freezer and refrigerator for later. Come Spring she’ll even have goose eggs for sale.
I hope you will allow me to update you on these cute little creatures and the adventures of raising ducks in the city. I promise to keep posting recipes that include duck eggs. Before you know it, you will be wanting to find out where you can purchase duck eggs for all of your baked goods too! Or maybe you’ll even be as crazy as me and get some ducks of your own.July 12, 2013
This entry was posted in baking, cookies, dinner, Duck eggs, egg dish, favorites in Colorado, gobbledygook and tagged baking with duck eggs, building a duck house, Confit, duck eggs, ducks, Marie, raising ducks, Welsh Harlequin.