Q. Do you show your birds?
A. On a limited scale, but hopefully I'll be expanding this. I own a Flower Shop as well here in Independence and it seems we have a lot of wedding flower deliveries on week-ends which makes it difficult to get away. It's my true goal to breed the Show Quality birds and let others buy and show them
Q. Do you house your birds on the ground or on wire?
A. Mostly on the ground but I do maintain a few wire pens. Each pair/trio is housed in it's individual small house (which I built!!!) and has a grassy run attached. Because of our harsh Iowa Winters, I find it easier to maintain birds on the ground than on wire. Each building is locked up securely every evening for protection from predators.
Q. What do you feed your birds?
A. Pretty much all birds from day old ducklings/goslings to adults are fed a Nutrena Gamebird Feed. Protein percentage on this runs in the 18 - 20% range. In the Winter months the feed is topped with dried Kelp (Brice Wonders has this for sale www.wonderswaterfowl.com) and during the rest of the year birds have access to fresh green grass. I might also add the egg fertility here at the farm is 'through the roof' consistently!!
Q. Do you let females set there eggs naturally or use incubators?
A. All eggs are incubated. Call ducks are not particularly known for their 'mothering' skills so I prefer to incubate. I have invested in several Redwood Humidaire Incubators and have had extremely good results hatching eggs. I'm always on the look-out for another of these hard to find, no longer manufactured Humidaires!!
Q. Do you Sell/Ship Ducklings and Goslings?
A. I do not sell call ducklings. I do sell Giant Dewlap Goslings but they need to be shipped at less than a week of age. These little guys GROW SO FAST they won't fit into a box if they are over a week old!!
Q. How long have you raised Call Ducks?
A. Not that long.....5 years now. My family bred, raised and showed purebred Shorthorn Cattle for years. When I decided to get into the Calls I couldn't believe how extremely difficult it was to find breeders willing to sell me the quality of bird I wanted to raise!! I feel there is a definite need for breeding flocks that sell their high-end SQ birds, not just keep al of the best back for themselves. Yes, absolutely one must replenish the breeding birds in the flock, but as in the cattle business your reputation for producing and selling that quality product is extremely important, not only for you as a seed stock producer but for the buyer as well.
Q. Do you sell Call Duck Hatching Eggs?
A. Most definitely....when extras are available. Eggs are shipped fresh within a 5-day laying period. Eggs are individually wrapped in a 'small' bubble wrap, then carefully packaged in shredded paper/or Styrofoam peanuts. I have had excellent feedback from egg buyers, in fact over 200 of which I am particularly proud! Shipped eggs are always a wildcard anytime, but it also offers the buyer a chance to add new genetics at a reasonable price.