Where are you located?
We are in Valley Center, CA which is part of northern San Diego County.
What is the Duck Rescue and Rehabilitation?
Our family has always rescued and adopted animals. Since we now have the space, we have decided to share it with ducks and other waterfowl who need a safe home, help getting healthy, and a comfortable, loving place to live out their lives. We have recently partnered with the San Diego Humane Society and Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center in Huntington Beach to take in neglected, abandoned, ill, or injured domestic duck and geese.
How Do I Contact You to Rescue a Duck/Goose?
Fill out our Rescue Help! Form. On the menu is a tab for Rescue Help! On that page is an embedded form. When it’s submitted, we get an email. Or, you can use the Contact Us button to get our rescue’s phone number.
What types of chickens and ducks do you have? And what are Heritage Breeds?
All of our poultry are Heritage Breeds.
Heritage is an umbrella term that embraces pure breeds of livestock and poultry with deep histories in the United States. These are animals that were bred over time to develop traits that made them suited to specific local environments. Because these breeds have been developed and selected over time, they tend to have better disease resistance, are well-adapted to their environments, and thrive in pasture-based settings. These are the traditional livestock animals you would find on your forefathers farms. Heritage breeds store a wealth of genetic resources that are important for our future and the future of our agricultural food system. (source: The Livestock Conservancy)
In the case of our ducks, we have Welsh Harlequin, Swedish Blues and Blacks, Silver Appleyard, Cayuga, Buff Orpington, and Runners. The Silver Appleyard breed is considered “threatened” meaning that there are fewer than 1,000 of these breeding birds in the U.S. Our other duck breeds are in the “watch” category meaning there are fewer than 5,000 of these breeding birds in our country.
The hens are mostly Rhode Island Red and New Hampshire Red, both of which are in the “watch” category. We also have Araucana, which are in the “study” category, meaning they are of genetic interest but lack the historical documentation or genetic definition. Our two newest additions are a hen and rooster that are Bantam Cochins.
Our guardian goose is an African goose, which is also on the “watch” list.
We are members of The Livestock Conservancy and have our poultry registered with them. They are an excellent educational and informational resource regarding Heritage Breeds! See website: https://livestockconservancy.org/
Are your eggs certified organic?
Yes! We have been registered and inspected. Our CDFA Organic Registration Organic ID: 37-010849. All of our poultry eat organic-certified feed, and are given organic vegetables and fruits as treats. Additionally, we are beginning to organically farm our own mealworms and soldier flies to feed to the hens and ducks as well.
What do you mean by farm-fresh, pasture-raised eggs?
We collect our eggs daily, so they are fresh! All of our poultry are free-range and we meet the USDA and industry standard for “free range.” By this we mean that our hens and ducks are do not live in coops. They are allowed do what chickens and ducks are meant to do: to freely roam (range) outside on our pastures during the daytime, foraging for bugs, greens, and leftovers. This gives them a natural and varied diet. For their safety from predators we do lock them up into hen houses and coops at night.
We supplement with organic feed and are attempting to now grow our own organic feed. Since “you are what you eat” we believe the healthier our birds eat, the healthier their eggs will be.
Recently, Mother Earth News did an egg study comparing free-range eggs to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrient data for commercial eggs. The findings showed that free-range chicken eggs produced the following results:
- 1/3 less cholesterol
- 1/4 less saturated fat
- 2/3 more vitamin A
- 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
- 3 times more vitamin E
- 7 times more beta-carotene
Why do some of your eggs have dirt on them?
Our eggs are collected daily, usually right after being laid, and we do not wash them. This allows the bloom (the protective outer layer) to remain intact and protect the porous eggshell from being contacted by bacteria. It is actually much healthier to consume unwashed eggs with the bloom intact. The only reason to wash an egg is to remove the dirt or bird poop. We find that by keeping our egg boxes extremely clean, our hens and ducks mostly lay eggs that are dirt-free. While our birds regularly lay in their boxes and nests, occasionally one of them decides to lay her egg in an unusual spot in the pasture. After our impromptu egg hunt to find these eggs, we still decide not to wash them so as not to disturb the bloom. This is why some of our eggs may occasionally have dirt on them.
How are duck eggs different from chicken eggs?
Duck eggs are generally about 50% larger than chicken eggs. Duck egg shells are also thicker, which does make them a bit more difficult to crack. But this thicker shell also allows duck eggs to have a longer shelf life. The real differences lie on the inside! The yolks of duck eggs are also larger, and the egg’s white tends to be transparent. Partly due to the larger yolk, duck eggs are significantly higher in both fat and cholesterol than chicken eggs. But they’re also higher in protein and have a higher concentration of omega-3 fatty acids. Many bakers and chefs believe ducks eggs are better to cook and bake with. Our friends and family report that duck eggs actually taste a bit more “eggy” than the chicken eggs.
We will take in any domestic duck or goose in need! We are able to travel San Diego County, Orange County, and Riverside County to pick up the bird. Our ranch has coops, brooders, and other facilities to rehabilitate the ducks from hatchling through adult. We will also accept drop offs provided you contact us in advance to be sure someone is on site. We can also provide limited veterinary care from our on-site Veterinary Technician.
Can we come tour your farm and interact with the rescue animals?
We love visitors! Anyone is welcome to tour the property to interact with the rescue animals, learn about heritage breed ducks and geese, picnic under the oaks, collect eggs, and pick fruit. Currently we do have some areas under construction. We simply ask that you contact us in advance of your visit either by phone or email.