Author Archives: theranchmenagerie

About theranchmenagerie

The “Ranch” incorporated in 2008 as a non-profit in Ohio. Our main purpose is to provide homes for abandoned, lost, or owner surrendered farm animals such as chickens, ducks, goats, sheep, pot belly pigs; and working class dogs, like Australian Shepherds, Collies, Border Collies, etc. The Ranch Menagerie is a no-kill facility.

You Can Help, It’s Easy!

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What’s New at The Ranch

Wintertime Duck Quarters

As Fall sets in, Nick has been working hard winterizing at The Ranch Menagerie.  Each year the duck population at The Ranch Menagerie grows. This year their winter housing wasn’t large enough to protect everybody, so Nick’s been enlarging and improving their shelter.

Everyone’s home or stable or bed is being winterized in one way or another. This time of the year the animals need plenty of hay and straw. The dogs and cats homes and beds have to be insulated too, of course.

Fortunately the sheep, goats, and our mule have plenty of food and lots of good grazing land. This along with their feed will help to keep them warm and healthy even if the winter is harder this year. Of course a mild winter is always preferred!

The good news is the price of corn has gone down, and our eBay sales are up.


About mid-October, the sunflower fields near The Ranch Menagerie were still beautiful and bright. Now that it’s mid-November, they’re gone, not forgotten.


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What’s New at The Ranch – eBay

The Ranch Menagerie on eBay – What Sells?

If you haven’t heard, The Ranch Menagerie is now selling donated items on eBay. So far, after a few weeks of listings we’ve been pretty surprised at what sells and what does not.

For instance, pristine stamp collections haven’t done very well (so far) while a used pair of vintage Ray Bans sold almost as fast as we hit the LIST ITEM button. We were expecting this antique horseradish jar to sell quickly, but so far no takers.

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We’d Appreciate your Help, and Advice

Even with some items not selling (or selling more slowly than expected) we’ve still made a profit. A small profit, but it’s a beginning.

Do you have something you don’t need anymore that you’d like to donate? If so please let us know! But even if you don’t have anything to give away right now, maybe you have some eBay experience or advice you can share. If you have an idea what sort of items we ought to be looking for, please comment or send us an email. We appreciate any an all helpful suggestions.

We’re feeling really optimistic about our new eBay venture, because The Ranch has always received a lot of support from our community. Remember: check our auctions often.

We’ve been receiving some really interesting items lately. Keep watching; we’ll be listing 3 to 5 things each week.

If you live in the area and have some interesting or even quirky items you’d like to donate, please email us at

CATNIP Will be Harvested Soon!

Local cat lovers look forward to The Ranch’s catnip harvest each year.

This year everyone can share in the excitement even if they don’t live in or around Yellow Springs. While plenty of our all natural, organic catnip will still be available to locals, this year we’ll also be selling bags of our excellent catnip for $5.00 on eBay and also on Watch for updates.

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Animals of The Ranch – Muscovy Ducks

This is the first in a series of blogs featuring all the animals who live here at The Ranch Menagerie.  Muscovy Ducks are first because at The Ranch they outnumber everybody.

Muscovy’s are a large breed of duck and they are much quieter than many other types of duck. They are easily distinguished from other breeds by their faces which are featherless, bright red, flashy and carnunculated (lumpy). The drakes, when alarmed, excited or angry, will erect the feathers on the top of their heads.

Although they are often raised for their meat and their eggs, Muscovy’s are very often feral. They often settle in parks or around private ponds. They’re fast breeders. When they find a place they like, they’ll stay and their population will quickly grow. Unfortunately some cities still round feral ducks up and exterminate them.

Our Muscovy’s are protected and  free-range. They really help control flies and all sorts of other insects. They’re quiet enough to be raised and kept in backyard farms, but if you’ve never kept ducks before be sure and do some research first. Ducks — all ducks — can be very messy, especially when kept in a small area. Muscovy ducks are fine if they don’t have a pond. They are fond of puddles and are very happy with a small wading pool.

Although I try to collect as many eggs as I can, Muscovy’s are very good at hiding their nests. This spring alone our Muscovy’s have hatched more than 30 ducklings.

Here's one of our Muscovy's when it was just a little hatchling.

Here’s one of our Muscovy’s when it was just a little hatchling.

They start out small and yellow, but ducklings grow up quickly.  For the first few weeks of their lives, Muscovy duckling feed on grains, corn, grass, insects, and almost anything that moves. Their mother instructs them at an early age how to feed.

Here's a young duckling who very soon will grow to be . . .

Here’s a young duckling who very soon will grow to be . . .

. . . an older duckling. And then it's not long until the duckling grows to be . . .

. . . an older duckling. And then it’s not long until the duckling grows to be . . .

. . . a fledgling. Sort of the teenager of the Muscovy world.

. . . a fledgling. Sort of the teenager of the Muscovy world.

Muscovy’s make very good parents. They’re friendly and seem to get along well with just about every species here at The Ranch.  They’re protective of their nests, but never attack people (the way many geese will).  These ducks can get a little loud when they’re mating, or fighting about mating. Otherwise, most of the time Muscovy’s are just one big happy family.

muscovy mom and brood cropmuscovys out for walk crop - Copy happy muscovy family with friend - Copy

It’s very lucky for the Muscovy’s at The Ranch Menagerie Animal Sanctuary that they live on a no-kill facility. Muscovy meat is very popular.

Still, as a birth-control method we do collect Muscovy eggs. The eggs can be used exactly like chicken eggs. They have a good flavor and a slightly firmer texture when cooked. We do sell the eggs when we can, so send an email if you’d like to try Muscovy eggs.

Muscovy ducks are a sturdy, self-sufficient breed, but we supplement their insect-filled diet with duck feed, cracked corn, and leafy vegetables.

If you’d like to help us keep our Muscovy ducks happy, healthy and well fed, please donate today.

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Muscovy ducks are happy to be friends with anybody. Especially if that friend might share his or her food.

Muscovy ducks are happy to be friends with anybody. Especially if that friend might share his or her food.

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