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Free Ducks

Posted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 6:44 pm
by WhiteWolf
Not sure if this is the right place but......

Has anyone seen this ... story.html

WW :cooldude:

Re: Free Ducks

Posted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 7:21 pm
by Green Aura
That's terrible. I know nothing about poultry keeping and had no idea that too many male ducks would be so catastrophic for the flock (gaggle?).

Are ducks like hens - good laying birds aren't best for eating? I don't really understand why he didn't get rid of the males. I suppose by the time he realised the damage was already being done.

I hope he manages to re-home a decent number and can sort the supplier out.

Re: Free Ducks

Posted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 10:48 pm
by ojay54
2 probs I have with this.I) large suppliers of day old ducks CAN supply them sexed(it's more expensive,as it's a complex art,in China,it's a well-paid job),so presumably this guy went with the cheap option,which seems ludicrous on this scale,....and
2)It's bloody obvious after a few weeks which are males from the sound they make,and he should have separated them then,before they became fully mature.

I could add more about his costings,the ,by the pictures,God awful conditions the birds are kept in,the insanity of having any Tom, Dick or Wayne turn up on your holding and walk amongst your stock,the cruelty of giving birds away to people that have even less experience of keeping stock than he clearly has, infinitum.What a mess.
People seem to watch some scripted and massively edited fluff on the telly,and think''Well if Hugh/Jimmy/some other friendly telegenic half - wit can make it pay so can I'',not realising,as the Matt bloke on Countryfile clearly does,it's more likely to work if a TV company is providing a massive subsidy.

Me ?..Grumpy??

Re: Free Ducks

Posted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 7:45 am
by Odsox
Well if you're grumpy OJ, then so am I.

This is obviously someone who thought they had come up with a nice little "get rich quick" scheme, without any thoughts as to how much food would cost. Only 10% of his 4,000 birds are males, and he is still keeping (and feeding) those 450 males, instead of culling them immediately he discovered them and not even separating them from the females. The man's and idiot.

If he didn't allow for an extra 10% feed cost in his overheads, how on earth did he think he was going to make a profit ?

Re: Free Ducks

Posted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 8:52 am
by ina
As usual, I don't think a short newspaper article can cover all the facts of the issues, so I would be very wary to judge on what I've read. Most news writers don't understand anything about farming, either, so they make what they see fit what they think it should be... I've seen enough fact distorting reporting on science issues, for example, to take anything I read with an extremely large pinch of salt!

Re: Free Ducks

Posted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 9:25 am
by Green Aura
You see, I told I knew nothing about poultry-keeping.

The question of the non-separation of the males is a concern. It said something (this is my understanding of it, grant you) about too many males in a flock trying to out-breed each other leading to distress and even death of the females. If it's as easy as OJ says to tell their sex before maturity then that's not just incompetence, it's horrible, or worse.

I have even less idea about the economics of keeping livestock (other than 3 cats :iconbiggrin: ) but could he not just turn them out into a field, to supplement their diet. My understanding is that they're fantastic slug hunters - although I'm guessing they'd need a lot! But I much prefer the idea of them being in a field, rather than a shed.

I agree wholeheartedly, OJ, about the conditions in the photo. Trouble is you can't guarantee it even was a photo of the farm in the story. Ina's right about being wary of a short piece in the press. I have had some experience, fortunately at arms length, of the media and their desire to create a story at the expense of facts.