L.I. Duck Farms Struggle With Water Regulation

NEW YORK, US — Long coops, each housing ducks of a different age, hug the ground and form a courtyard at the entrance to the Jurgielewicz family property — believed to be the only major free-range duck farm in the United States.
calendar icon 27 February 2008
clock icon 2 minute read

Inside, on fresh straw bedding, ducks eat organic feed and sip fresh water from automated reservoirs. They breathe fresh air circulating through large windows and waddle outside, where they preen their feathers, shake their tails and splash in man-made puddles with a chorus of quacks.

This 47-acre swath of land in the coastal pine barrens of eastern Long Island, where the Jurgielewicz family has been raising ducks since 1919, is home to thousands of white Pekin ducks that roam the banks of a dammed mill pond. The plastic wrapper of a white Pekin duck raised on the Jurgielewicz farm boasts “Genuine Long Island duckling, South Shore brand, free range.”

In the 1960s, this region, wedged between the Peconic and Moriches Bays, was home to more than 60 farms that produced more than 60 percent of the nation’s ducks. That number has been whittled to two: the Jurgielewicz farm, operated by brothers Paul and Tom, and Crescent Duck Farm, operated by the Corwin family.

Source: NewYorkTimes
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