Monday, October 01, 2018 by Ethan Huff
Raising poultry at home is a great way to have a steady supply of eggs for eating, as well as to maintain plenty of nutrient-rich manure for fertilizing lawns, gardens, and orchards. But what are the best varieties for maximizing desired output of these natural resources while minimizing the negative impacts of raising poultry at home.
Marjory Wildcraft from The Grow Network explains in a recent video at her REAL.video channel why she believes that ducks are far superior to both geese and chickens. Having had both on her property, Wildcraft says that ducks are quiet, smart, and enjoyable to have around, which isn’t always the case for the other two types of birds.
“If you remember, I used to have geese, and I love geese,” she explains.
“And the main reason I had the geese is because I get these little pools of water, the geese go in there and they copulate and they defecate, and those are nice words for what we all know is really going on. That water gets horribly messy, but it’s this wonderful, wonderful liquid fertilizer, and I usually do it around my fruit trees in my orchard.”
“And I also do it, for example, in this lawn area here. I’m trying to establish this as a nice forage area for a rabbit tractor system I’m going to be putting in later. I was using geese, but my family was like, Marjory you have to get rid of the geese, they’re obnoxious, and they’re really loud.”
Be sure to watch the segment below:
Wildcraft had similarly tried to raise chickens for eggs and fertilizer, only to run into many of the same problems she experienced with the geese – not to mention the fact that chickens, for lack of a better words, tend to be dumb animals that are highly destructive if they’re not constantly confined to cages and coops.
“We also had a free range flock of chickens for eggs, which was awesome,” Wildcraft says. “But one downside of free range chickens … is that they do tend to tear everything up, and until I convert to a paddock system, which is what, ultimately, all of us are converging on as the best way to keep chickens, I thought, you know, why not get rid of the chickens and the geese, combine it into one bird, and voila, you’ve got ducks.”
What sets ducks apart from geese and chickens, in Wildcraft’s view, is the fact that they’re far less destructive, don’t make much noise, and get along well with everyone. They’re also trainable, believe it or not, because they’re smarter than both chicken and geese.
“They’re great egg-layers, and they’re also much more mild-mannered and friendly than geese, and they are quite prolific with the stuff coming out of their rear ends, just like geese are, so getting the same fertility. So basically I’m able to combine the two animals into one,” Wildcraft explains.
“One thing I have to say for sure is that I believe they’re much smarter than chickens. I really have trained them, like I got upset with them being on my front lawn where I’m trying to introduce some native grasses, and I said, no, you get, get, and they wanted to come eat my grasses and I kept chasing them off of it, and now it’s so funny that they won’t cross that lawn anymore, they will take the road and go all around it. I’ve never seen chickens as easily trained as that.”
Be sure to watch Marjory Wildcraft’s full video segment on the superiority of ducks at REAL.video.
Sources for this article include: