An Economical Duck Feed?????

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by goosemama, Oct 16, 2009.

  1. goosemama

    goosemama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 11, 2009
    Forestville, New York
    I feel horrid as I read many of these posts, to know lots of folks treat their ducks as their pets. I love to watch them on the pond but I bought 4 Pekins and 5 Rouen ducklings with the thought of them hopefully raising their own ducklings and putting a few every Fall in the freezer. Now I'm feeling guilty!!!

    My ducks and chickens both free range but come into the henhouse through the day to eat grain. I have l6% layer mash in a 3 gal. hopper set up which costs me $l5.00/l00lb bag. I think its the ducks that are eating me out of house and home! I have 20 chickens plus the 9 ducks and I fill that baby every other day! Am wondering should I separate the ducks and feed them down at the pond on some other cheaper feed like cracked corn? Have 2 males & 2 female Pekins and 3 Rouen males and 2 females. plan to put all but one male of each breed into the freezer for duck dinners. Anyone doing the same out there? Huh Huh?
     
  2. goosemama

    goosemama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 11, 2009
    Forestville, New York
    Reread my post and I meant to say am keeping all the females 2 Pekins and 2 Rouens and keeping only l Pekin male and l Rouen male - the excess 3 males will be the only freezer candidates. I usually take them to an Amish family for butchering but thought I would try one myself first (I have done chickens before). Are ducks any more difficult being water fowl?
     
  3. Le Canard de Barbarie

    Le Canard de Barbarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 19, 2009
    How old are your ducks? Pekins are the fastest growers of the duck family, and consume a lot of food in a short time. Their feed conversion ratio should be about 2.7, meaning that it will take 27 pounds of feed to produce a 10 pound duck. They should slow down on the feed later.

    I thinks ducks are easy to process. I do a two stage plucking. First, I scald the duck in 150 degrees F soapy water until I can easily pull out a tail or wing feather. Then I will hang it by its legs and pluck as much as I can over a garbage can. Then I dip the nearly defeathered duck into a 160 degree F water and wax bucket several times. After cooling, I peel the wax off the duck and it is smooth as a baby's bottom.
     
  4. goosemama

    goosemama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 11, 2009
    Forestville, New York
    Thanks so much for the details!!! I was planning in using a large deep bucket w/hot water between l50 - l70 w/a little dish detergent - swish a lot then start plucking. Had heard about removing pin feathers with wax but wasn't exactly sure how to do it. Do you melt some block wax in with the hot water? presume the wax will float on top so as you draw it out it clings to the carcass then peel it off when cold?

    Actually I think I've left them feed too long - this is my first year with ducks. I have no idea what they weigh but the males especially look heavy. I bought the 4 Pekins as day old ducklings April 25th and the 5 Rouens on June 3rd. So the Pekins are almost 6 months old and the Rouens are 5-l/2 months. I'm sure I've probably waited too long. Will that cause any problems with processing - other than that they've eaten more feed than was economical?
     
  5. Le Canard de Barbarie

    Le Canard de Barbarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 19, 2009
    A pekin should generally be slaughtered at about seven or nine weeks of age. After that, it just isn't economical to feed them in regards to the weight gained. A rouen, on the other hand, is a slow growing duck and reaches market weight at four to five months. Metzer farms suggests processing ducks at 7, 12.5 or 18 weeks to avoid a carcass with a lot of pin feathers. If it looks like you might have a problem with pin feathers, you always have the option of skinning the duck.

    Yes, the wax will float on top of the water. I've been using about an inch thick of wax on top of my 30 gallon stockpot with good success. Manufacturers suggest an 80/20 mix of water to wax. Save the wax peelings, because most of the wax can be recovered by straining it through cheesecloth. I buy my wax from here: duck wax

    Remember that a duck will take longer to process than a chicken. I saw one advertised processing plant that did chickens for $2, and charged $6 for ducks.
     
  6. nettie

    nettie Enslaved by Indoor Ducks

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    Nov 20, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    you can do half feed (pellets or crumbles) and half scratch grains/cracked corn. i wouldn't give them only cracked corn, there isn't enough nutrients in there.
     
  7. goosedragon

    goosedragon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2009
    Central NC
    Quote:I agree with both your posts with some additional notes. First the feed does not decrease much after they reach full size they still eat like pigs they just don't convert it to meat. second the younger the duck the more tender the meat. Third be careful with your heat and dip times you want to loose the feathers not cook the skin. when wax dipping keeping it cooler will build the wax layer faster and you want a nice thick wax layer. I have tried the block wax used for sealing jelly jars and the duck wax is much much better. Important waterfowl have an oil gland just slightly forward of the tail on the back that should be removed without breaking! it tastes bad! All poultry should rest at least overnight at cool temperature (refrig or on ice) before eating or freezing it gives the muscles a chance to relax and is more tender. Duck is not chicken and should be cooked according to duck recipies, chicken methods usually leave duck greasy. ~gd
     
  8. goosemama

    goosemama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 11, 2009
    Forestville, New York
    Thanks for all the great tips - chalk up another mistake today - I cooked it today after finished plucking and cleaning - oh well I'll know for next time. And definitely will try the duck wax next time.
     
  9. Le Canard de Barbarie

    Le Canard de Barbarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 19, 2009
    Quote:Oh gosh, are you telling me you ate rigor mortis duck? And yes, as you have found out there is a reason why they invented duck wax. You aren't the first, and are not the last.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2009
  10. goosemama

    goosemama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 11, 2009
    Forestville, New York
    Isn't that the dumbest? but you know for some strange reason it wasn't tough. I was only concerned because of the multitude of pin feathers and the small amount of meat available for the size of the bird. Only my husband and I ate it and we finished off the leftovers tonight. This would never have served 4 people - this isn't normal is it?
     

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