butchering age

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Guccibirds423, Dec 18, 2012.

  1. Guccibirds423

    Guccibirds423 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have someone give me some mixed breed ducklings. Have no idea what they are. What age can I butcher them? I think some are cayuga and swedish. are these good meat birds? could I raise them and use babies for meat and get a decent meat bird?
  2. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 31, 2009
    Somerville, AL
    I saw your post in the ducks section before it got moved.

    Cayuga and Swedish are medium breed ducks so not what is typically raised for a meat bird. They only get to maybe 6-7 lbs, so after dressing out, you don't have a ton of meat. That being said, a lot of people do still process them.

    Since they are mixes the best time to process may differ but typically (per Storey's Guide to Ducks) you would butcher a mallard derived breed between 7-10 weeks (these breeds will be very small than) or wait another 6-10 weeks (so 13-20 wks) for their adult plumage to come in. Ducks have WAY more feathers than chickens so most people are particular about processing to make plucking easier.

    I have only plucked one duck and it was a pain in the tush. I don't have a plucker so I do everything by hand. So, I skin my waterfowl.

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