Country View: Messuri Duck Farm
Everything is just ducky on the Messuri family farm in Clarksville, Ohio. Michael and Teresa Messuri once raised chickens. But when they visited a farm store and saw ducks, they decided to bring some home. The ducks laid eggs and the Messuri's were so hooked by the taste and richness, they switched from chickens to ducks.
Michael says they now provide duck eggs for two local specialty stores.
"Usually when we start up at a new store we wind up going in and doing some demos," says Michael. "You have to do quite a bit of education on the duck eggs. We've had some people walk in and say, ducks can lay eggs? I don't know what it is, maybe they're used to the chicken eggs. The big thing is the difference in flavor, and then they want to know how does it translate into cooking terms since the duck egg is bigger than a chicken egg."
Duck eggs have a slightly higher fat content and more protein. Some people like to use duck eggs for baking, because the extra protein provides additional loft in cakes. Duck eggs are also more firm when cooked.
The Messuris sell eggs and meat on their farm. They are USDA-inspected to sell to customers who will use the meat for their own consumption. The couple also raises turkeys. Michael says all the birds are fed an all-natural, locally-grown grain, and they roam free to nibble on grass and bugs. The Messuri ducks are pretty easygoing. Michael knows them so well, he has them trained to go to bed at night.
"I walk outside and start clapping and tell them bedtime, and they all get in a little line and march into their little sleeping quarters," says Michael. "Except for the turkey, she wants to decide if she wants to be carried in. Every once in awhile she'll just kind of plop her little butt down and say, nope, not going anywhere, you have to carry me. So here we are, picking up this 20-pound turkey, carrying her into bed."
The Messuris are writing an e-book for people who want to raise ducks for eggs.
Learn more about raising ducks on a small farm.
Radio interview source: Michael Messuri, Messuri Family Farm
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