The Word-Nerd’s Homestead – Fall 2021: Blog Edition #4 – True Canards

Welcome back to the Homestead, Happy Readers!

Sometimes when I write up these little blog posts, I like to try to make catchy titles and play around with the words. I am a self-declared wordsmith after all. In this instance, I was trying to think of something pithy that had to do with ducks because, as you’ll see in moment, that’s the focus of this particular homestead update. I knew, in the cluttered recesses of my brain, that the word ‘canard’ had to do with ducks. I remembered that good ole Darkwing Duck lived in St. Canard and that it was a play on words, but the details had vanished. And the googling commenced.

Oddly, the first definition I came across for ‘canard’ was not what I expected. It was a hoax.

No, literally, it means ‘a hoax’. See below. Now I was familiar with the aeronautical related definition (which I figure probably derives from the other definition, or source, really). Canard is actually the French word for duck, so that made sense to me. But, the disparity in these two definitions I had come across made me even more curious. I know words are weird sometimes, but in this case. Canard means duck in French, but in English, canard means, basically, fake news.

So, naturally, I had to start digging into the origin of the word.

Side note: This process I’m describing is called a ‘Rabbit Hole’ (Rabbit Trail, Chasing Rabbits, or as one author friend of mine calls it… Mind Squirrels). It is how many authors’ minds work, and how they end up being completely unproductive while gaining lots of trivial knowledge at the same time.

Here’s what I found for the etymology of Canard.

canard (n.)

“absurd or fabricated story intended as an imposition,” 1851, perhaps 1843, from French canard “a hoax,” literally “a duck” (from Old French quanart, probably echoic of a duck’s quack); said by Littré to be from the phrase vendre un canard à moitié “to half-sell a duck,” thus, perhaps from some long-forgotten joke, “to cheat.” But also compare quack (n.1).
– Online Entymology Dictionary (

So, as you can see, in France, if it sounds like a duck, it’s probably a hoax. Yes, this is definitely the correct interpretation of all that information. *quack*

Now I know what you are all thinking… how do you half-sell a duck? Well, I squeezed a bit further down the rabbit hole just to answer that question, and here’s what I found on Hoaxes.Org. (Yes, an entire site dedicated to hoaxes… I forced myself to stop following the rabbit at this point because I had to finish this blog).

The story is that a duck seller is successful and contented being the only duck seller on the street and he sells his ducks for eight francs each. A new duck seller moves in across the street who steals all the business by offering his ducks for seven francs each. Then a price war ensues, back and forth, until the new duck seller is down to three francs for a duck. The original duck seller is beside himself with worry and frustration, but finally he puts up a big sign that says, "Two francs" and then in small print at the bottom "for half a duck." Thus, to sell the ducks by half meant to trick people with something that was literally true, but misleading. -

We currently live in a world filled with Canards & 1/2 Ducks… I mean, Truths. Trust me, I’m a writer.

Now that that’s settled, and you know about canards, hoaxes, and rabbit holes, let’s get to that Homestead Update, shall we?

True Canards

(See what I did there? True Canard… get it. *winky face*)

The first ducks have hatched. Three so far, and there is one hatching as I type. I’ve had to help it a good bit. I also determined that 2 eggs of the 11 I had were dead in the shell. I’m worried that the other five are also, but I’ll wait a while longer to decide for sure. For now, 3-1/2 ducks are all I have.

Here are the pics of the 3 I’ve transferred to the start-up brooder. They are so stinkin’ cute! They are all Blue Swedish cross, but one looks very Harlequinesque, so I’m excited to see what the colors turn out to be on them.

The Baker’s Dozen

The baby chicks are doing well. They are a week old now, but they have grown really fast. I plan to transfer them to the shop brooder tomorrow to make room for the ducks in the temporary spot I use in my master bath. Setting the ducks and chickens simultaneously, thus staggering the hatch by one week has both good an bad points. While I did get to hatch a few ducks before it got too cold, I have to juggle things around in the house for three weeks instead of two to accommodate the situation.

But, it’s not too bad, and as you can see in the pics below, the 13 chicks are floofing well.

Other Homestead Stuffs

The egg production is still off. I got 6 chicken eggs two days ago, but only 3 today. The ducks haven’t laid any for the last two days. I have no idea what’s going on with these birds.

I do have some ‘new’ layers starting though. I’m getting multiples of the chocolate & copper eggs now. And I got one really interesting one the other day. It was a pinkish/purple hue in good lighting, but… well, heck, just watch this video to see what I discovered.

But, if you want to skip the video, here’s a before & after on the egg in question.

Next topic…

And this is the setup for the next hatching. Since I saw a report that said we were going to have a mild winter and I really want more foo… um, chickens, I decided I’m doing a full load-out of (41) eggs. I’ll be putting them in the incubator as soon as the ducks are done. Probably the 15th, so they will be hatched by around November 5th. That means they will be coop ready by Dec. 17th. Late, yes, but not terrible.

OK, that’s it for the Homestead stuff.

But… since you’re here and you obviously love fuzzy animals… let me show you my…

Cat Herd!

They haz a photogenic! So picture! Much cat!

Thanks for reading! Until next time…

Happy Reading, Prepping & Homesteading!

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Coming Soon: Odyssey, Rumble

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If Science Fiction Space Adventure is what you crave, then you should check out my anthology, Horizons Unlimited: Volume 1.


Matter conversion technology—Matt-Con—has broadened the scope of mankind’s existence. It has opened up the real possibility of viable colonies on other planets in our solar system, and even space itself. Anywhere matter can be captured or energy from the sun can be felt, the possibility of expanding human habitation exists.

In this volume:

Quicksilver (short story)

The space station Chariot of Helios—on its way to Mercury to become a power collection station for Earth’s growing need for energy to power matt-con tech—encounters a strange anomaly that threatens ship and crew.

Null Gravitas (short story)

New crew and new relationships form above the skies of Venus. A post-prequel to Escaping Aurora.

Escaping Aurora (novella)

The sudden destruction of mankind’s first atmospheric terraforming platform leaves three unlucky exonauts struggling to survive in the skies of Venus aboard a cobbled-together airship. Meanwhile, the commander of the space station above battles obstacles that might keep her from rescuing her stranded husband and crew in time.

If you like intrigue, humor and a bit of speculative technological supposition, you should pick up a copy of my technothriller-comedy eConscience Beta from Amazon today!

Peacekeeper Incorporated’s breakthrough nanotechnology could bring repeat offense crime to an end, freeing society from the need for criminal incarcerations. But first, they have to finish testing it. With funding on the line, and time to prove out the project getting short, the lead scientist must find a way speed things up. That’s unfortunate for his guinea pig, and anyone who would stand in his way.

Can the goal of ending most crime justify committing one… even a few?
And what happens when you conflate altruism with egotism?

Find out in eConscience Beta, where two lab techs and an uncouth petty criminal must outwit a brilliant but sociopathic scientist who’ll stop at nothing to establish his legacy as the man who ended crime.


Oh, and check out these Corner Scribblers anthologies. I have stories in them all! Here are some links!