The Duck Chronicles

In this episode, the ducks find their temporary home for the next few weeks. Jack covers the heater, the feeder, the water situation and more..

Jack Spirko has made and shared on his Youtube Channel, The Duck Chronicles. This series is all about his moving from chickens to ducks as poultry to work his property.

Jack illustrates in this series, how to over come hurdles he encounters, how he has the ducks work on his property and answers questions people ask of him.

50 Ducks in a bath-tub.

Jack Spirko also hosts The Survival Podcast, which is, a daily online audio show about self sufficiency and self reliance in the modern world. He conceived and created this podcast because over the years he has come to realize how fragile the human condition and the United States economy really is. Jack now runs the show as his full time business and record it each morning in his home office.

Jack Spirko

Spirko founded The Survival Podcast aka TSP in June of 2008 while still working with his partner Neil Franklin. During the first 18 months of the show (June of 2008 - Dec. of 2009) Spirko did the show during his 55 mile commute from his personal mobile studio a 2006.5 Jetta Diesel TDI. The show quickly grew in popularity attracting about 2,000 daily listeners by the end of 2008, by the end of 2009 the show was being listened to by close to 15,000 people daily. At that time Spirko made the decision to take the show to a full time endeavor. Today the show attracts over 100,000 daily listeners and is referred to by Spirko as his "life's work" and his "true calling".


    1. I can’t really say about actually doing oil, what I can say is get a group together, let them get wet and as soon as one preens they all do. This is actually critical to teach by experience as early as possible. I generally swim them at day 4-7 so they will learn this.

      Right now we have a poor lost duckling a family brought to us. She was filthy and ragged, they were feeding her grapes for pete sake! So I swam her and she sat there like an idiot shivering. I had to hold her, dry her, keep her warm until she fluffed. Why, in the group she simply would not have been one of the first.

      We now call her Barbie because I had to “buy her friends to play with in her house”. Ducks don’t want to be alone ever. So next day Dorothy went to the feed store and got 4 friends. That day I swam them again, soon as they got out of the water, one little rouen began to preen, 10 seconds later everyone was doing it, including Barbie.

      There is an important lesson there, frankly I would not ever try to raise less then say 4-5 babies. If they don’t preen, they stay wet a long time and will die from being cold, sitting 10 inches outside of the warmth of a brooder lamp.

      Another reason in itself to keep the brooder dry as possible and keep them in it as little as possible. By day 7 my birds are on grass in a tractor, they come into the booder at night, by about day 15-18, they stay outside.

      I have never lost a bird in a tractor from dying from cold or being crushed by flock mates, etc., I have lost them to both in the brooder.

  1. I am sorry to say this. But birds are complete beings. The ducklings are calling for their mother. They should be aloud to stay with her. It is important in permaculture to respect animals and have high ethical standards. This is cruel. I am sure your intention is the best, because you put a lot of effort to provide for them, keeping them warm and clean and close together.

    Permaculture news is a nice place with high standards, let us keep it that way, and help each other to be more aware.

    1. Hi Sissel,

      I’m sorry but I do not see what you are saying in the article or the videos. I can only see this an example of a lot of time, effort and care for the animals and this continues throughout the series.

      I can appreciate your advocacy for leaving the ducklings with their mother’s and Jack has sourced these ducks from a reputable farm who would not of separated them from their mother’s unless it was fine to do so. I do hope you view the entire series so you can see Jacks dedication to his ducks and how he sets the bar very high for others raising ducks.

      Regards – Web Team

    2. Some years ago Larry Santayo coined the phrase “purple breather” to describe, what I refer to as, the “Drainbow Hippey” segment of the permaculture world.

      Since such time many of us have embraced Larry’s term. We often use it in discussions at conferences directly in front of said purple breathers, who look on confused as to what it means, having no idea it means THEM.

      So if anyone is confused by the term purple breather, read the comment above by @Sissel Helgsen, it alone explains it.

      Purple breathers are in love with their idea of permaculture, but when you look to what they have gotten done on the ground it is always the square root of f*&k all! They complain about land access, they whine about what others are doing but, they themselves, make excuses and actually do nothing.

      They know nothing of animal husbandry, running an agricultural concern at a profit, getting shit done, etc. They are infatuated with the idea that if everyone thought the way that they do, that the Garden of Eden will just materialize for the entire planet. However when you say, where is your Garden of Eden, they always have an excuse and talk about social justice and what they would do if only someone would give them an opportunity, etc.

      These ducks are hatched and have never seen a “mother duck” and trust me I wish I didn’t have to raise them as babies by hand. However that is what it takes to establish a flock. The level of care and love and devotion given to these animals is extensive and I feel the videos speak for themselves in such regard.

      Good luck Sissel creating a mental utopia, but until such time as you actually do something, might I refer you to this image,

  2. Mister Spirko.

    I will give you an honest apology for my comment on your work. It was way out of line, and I deeply regret it. I missed out on the fact that ducklings were hand-reared, and jumped to conclusions based on their calls.

    Please accept my apology.
    Sissel Helgesen

    I will like to explain to the web team, since it seams like they do not know what I am talking about.

    There is a science called Ethology, the scientific and objective study of animal behaviour. This science is based on observations of animals in their natural habitat. It was Ethology that lead me to Permaculture: Because, for me, it seams to appeal to common sense and believing in what you see.

    And I think that some of the science according to agriculture and animal behaviour tend to be taken out of context and monopolised behind closed doors.

    When I say that the ducklings are calling for their mother, I take for granted that you all are familiar with what I am saying. (And I am quite sure that mister Spirko is). The exact term would not be calling for their mother but distress calls or lost calls. The mother, in this case mister Spirko would then respond in an appropriate way.

    It is nothing wrong with hand-reared ducklings. Most birds, an indeed anatids, have a short imprint window of only a few hours. They will connect to the being that they meet during this period. I am sure mister Spirko usually answer his ducklings, but that he coincidently did not when making his video because he was occupied talking to us.

    The most famous ethnologist work on birds is by Konrad Lorentz. He used his life working with anatids, a specially Greylag Goose. His work is well worth to look in to. (If you do so, you will soon find out that he had Nazi interference during World War two. This is not an easy matter, but I suggest that you eventually look in to what he had to say about it himself).

    I am sorry to have yelled out without thinking things trough and make the appropriate research before talking.

    I will now withdraw to my own piece of land above the Arctic Circle and mind my one business☺

    Sorry to bother you!
    All the best

    1. Interesting that you brought up the studies of Ethology. You’ll enjoy reading about the studies done by Ethologist John B. Calhoun and his term “behavioral sink”.

  3. @Sissel, who the hell in their right mind takes ducklings, chicks, etc away from a broody parent? I have never in 30 years of doing this stuff seen anyone from hick hillbilly homesteaders (how I grew up so I can say it) to advanced permaculturists do so.

    Not due to some weird ass concern for the psychology of a bird, but why the hell would you ever want to do the work of raising baby birds when you don’t have to? Right now I have two brooding muscovy ducks on eggs, I am stoked to have more birds this year that I don’t have to hand raise.

    I accept your apology but frankly dude you seem to be chasing a problem that doesn’t exist! Again not one time in 30+ years have I ever seen anyone caring for animals take a chick/duckling/gosling/polt/etc/etc away from a broody mom that was doing her job.

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