- Duck is the common name for a large number of species in the waterfowl family Anatidae. Swans and Geese are also part of the Anatidae family.
- There are more than 40 different breeds of domestic ducks. The most common is the Pekin duck.
- The male duck is called a drake. The female duck is called a hen. A baby duck is a called duckling.
- Ducklings are precocial. When they hatch they are relatively mature and mobile and can find their own food.
- It takes a duck about 2 weeks to lay a nest full of eggs before she starts sitting on them. The first egg may be 2 weeks old before it is warmed up and development starts.
- Duck eggs typically take between 28 and 35 days to hatch.
- Ducks lay between 60 and 300 eggs per year depending on the breed. The average is 180 eggs per year.
- Duck eggs are good in the refrigerator for about 6 weeks.
- Duck lives between 2 and 12 years depending on the breed.
- Ducks do not have nerves or blood vessels in their feet. This allows ducks to swim in cold water, walk on ice or in snow because they don't feel cold.
- Ducks have 3 eyelids. In addition to having an upper and lower eyelid, ducks, as well as all birds, have a third eyelid called nictitating membrane. The nictitating membrane is a thin fold of skin that is nearly transparent and whitish in color. Its purpose is to moisten, clean and protect the surface of the eye.
- Ducks have three types of feathers: contour, flight and down.
- Down feathers serve as an inner layer of insulation that traps warm air against the ducks body. Down feathers are used to line blackest, clothing and sleeping bags.
- Contour feathers serve as the protective outer shell. They overlap one another forming a barrier from wind and moi
- Flight feathers serve as an aid in the generation of both thrust and lift and enabling them to fly.
- Ducks waterproof their feathers by coating themselves with an ointment that’s secreted from the uropygial gland (aka. preen gland) at the base of their tail.
- During the egg-laying process, hens pull more and more down feathers from their body to create a bare patch on their abdomen called a “brood patch.” This allows the hens to more efficiently transfer heat from their bodies to their eggs. When they briefly leave their nest they will pull a layer of down feathers over the eggs with their bills to protect them and keep them warm while they are away.
Most days our ducks will freely roam the farm but due to Michigan weather there are also days they will not leave their coops.