We have really had a good time with these ducks. They are extremely hardy and require less supplemental heat than baby chicks. I think if we watched closely enough we could actually see these guys growing. They greedily run from the food back the water..and back to the food again. The sound they make when they drink is kinda cool and entertaining to the kids. They cannot help themselves and jump into the bowl of water the minute you place it anywhere near them. We try to keep a clean drinking source available at all times, but these guys are messy. I can’t wait to get them out into the yard and see how they like jumping into their little pond. That is another project on the list.
The Khaki Campbell has been selectively line bred for increased egg production, and I have read they can average anywhere from 250-330 eggs a year without artificial lighting…WOW! The white eggs are considered large to extra large.
The basic idea of line breeding starts with choosing a breeder pair, preferably with the desired characteristics. You then select only their offspring showing the highest percentage of the specific qualities you desire. By doing this for multiple generations you should eventually have a flock with those genetic properties being dominant. By focusing more on one trait over the others, some or all of the other original ones are sacrificed.
In the case of today’s Khaki Campbell, the line breeding led to an increase in egg production and ability to forage, at the expense of reducing their natural instinct to go broody, which would get in the way of optimal egg production.
We will be placing them on garden “slug and bug” patrol periodically. Although they are friendly and we handle them quite a bit, they are noticeably more skittish than our chicks. Some say they can be a bit on the wary side anyway. Hopefully this is true, and will help to keep them on the lookout for any predators that get past the guard dogs once they are out on their own. If they don’t slow down on their growth rate…that could be any day.