Host: C S Wurzberger, the Conservation Girl
Guest: LaDonna Foley
LaDonna Foley lives in Wyoming on her family farm and she has been raising Welsh Harlequin ducks since 2005. She also volunteers with several livestock and poultry organizations in addition to 4-H, the county fair, and local farmer’s markets. And I love this part, Her teenage children never complain of boredom since LaDonna can always find projects in need of free family labor.
Bio for LaDonna:
I have been a member of The Livestock Conservancy since the mid 1980’s. I have a BS and MS in Animal Science from UCDavis, so I have always been interested in animal genetic although I didn’t become involved in ducks until 2005. I have been raising ducks for about 9 years, my family became involved with poultry through y children’s 4-H projects. Our first WH ducks were “hatchery quality” and were not good representatives of the breed (APA standard) , however we took the best male down to a showmanship clinic put on by the Rock Mountain Feather Fanciers (the local poultry group) and met Clair Shier, one of the people instrumental in getting this breed admitted into the American Poultry Association Standard.
A few years later when we wanted to concentrate on the WH breed we bought show quality breeding stock from Clair, she has been incredibly helpful over the years in what to select for and management/hatching. I strongly encourage everyone who is raising animals to find long time breeders and ask questions! My children are older now and they no longer raise poultry, however I fell in love with the WH breed. I maintain a flock of WH ducks and sell eggs and feathers at the local farmer’s market. The number varies between a low of 5 ducks to about 120 ducks depending on the year. (I was taking care of an ill family member in another state so currently I only have 6 ducks at home, I’m planning to hatch out about 60 this spring!). WH are very nice breast meat ducks also, currently we keep the meat for our own use as the closest USDA inspected slaughterhouse for waterfowl is to far. I sell ducklings to 4-H students and local producers in addition to volunteering with local 4-H, county fair, school, farmer’s market and cooperative extension programs.