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Best Breed for meat

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by benjensen842, Sep 17, 2009.

  1. benjensen842

    benjensen842 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 5, 2009
    Indiana
    I raised some ducks for the first time this summer but they didn't dress all that large and were a little more than four months old. What breeds might you recommend for meat? Any unusual breeds that might be good as well?
     
  2. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    Think heavyweight breeds--rouen, pekin (McMurray sells "jumbo" pekins that are truly enormous--they tend to have leg issues due to all the weight, but if you're planning to butcher at four months, it's probably not a big deal)... someone's bound to name some others here. Muscovies are large, but I don't know whether they dress out well.

    Duck is yummy. I just can't see butchering ducks I've raised from babies. But I have nothing but respect for people who choose to raise their own food. [​IMG]
     
  3. Le Canard de Barbarie

    Le Canard de Barbarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 19, 2009
    Pekins are about 95% of the commercial meat market for ducks. You should be able to slaughter them from 7 to 9 weeks. Muscovies are another meat bird, and these can be slaughtered at 12 weeks. These two breeds are probably the most common and fastest growing of the meat ducks in the US. Their feed conversion ratio should be about 2.7, and they will dress out at about 70%. The all white ducks leave a more presentable carcass.

    Rouens are interesting and colorful, but take up to four months to get to market size.
     
  4. benjensen842

    benjensen842 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 5, 2009
    Indiana
    What would a Rouen dress (weight-wise) after removing plumage, organs, etc.? Would the Cayuga or Aylesbury work for a meat breed? About how long might they take to get to butcher weight?
     
  5. pringle

    pringle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 16, 2009
    Pepperell,MA
    Definitly go for pekins you can butcher them at 7 weeks of age to 9 weeks.I cant tell you exactly how much they wieghed but the did wiegh alot more then any other duck there same age.What I learned about muscuvies is that they have less greasy meat but they take a while to get to good butchering size.
     
  6. benjensen842

    benjensen842 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 5, 2009
    Indiana
    How good are Pekins at foraging? I'm willing to raise a duck breed that takes longer to get to slaughter weight (4-5 months) if it'll forage well.
     
  7. pringle

    pringle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 16, 2009
    Pepperell,MA
    Pekins actually have some of there natural instinct left so they will forage for food.But not to any great extent but they will forage.If your mainly looking for foraging abilities then the muscovey is the way to go.
     
  8. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    Second the muscovy--there are some that live on our community pond, and no one feeds them. They are fat and healthy. One raises a batch of young 'uns each year, and no one feeds them, either. They do fine.

    I would recommend, if you want to grow them for meat, that you *do* feed them. But as long as they can free-range, muscovies will feed themselves quite a lot.
     
  9. Le Canard de Barbarie

    Le Canard de Barbarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 19, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2009
  10. Jenlyn9483

    Jenlyn9483 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, FL
    White muscovie drakes are what I have been processing and they are the BEST. By 12 weeks they are Huge and plump. I have processed Rouens and Pekins and Rouen/ Swedish crosses AND other color muscovies. The White Muscovie drake is #1 in my book. Muscovies also taste a little different than regular domestic duck. More like red meat rather than duck.
     

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