Controversy! Meat Duck Quality Standards

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by chicken_boy_Kurt, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. chicken_boy_Kurt

    chicken_boy_Kurt Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 20, 2008
    For those of you who don't know, I am trying to get a Muscovy meat duck project started in my 4-H club. I'm the club's vice president, so my club leader put me in charge of it. I proposed the idea at tonight's meeting and there was enough interest that the club leader will now contact someone (no idea who it is, she didn't tell me exactly) to see if it's even a possibility. So now that we have interest and a possibility, I have some more questions.

    Does anyone know of any standards (as in "Standard of Perfection" only this would be for production qualities) for meat ducks? As in, this much breast meat, this distance between such and such, etc. Because if I don't find these, we can still do the project, but the ducks would be judged entirely on uniformity and condition. Which, to me, isn't as fun.

    The head of poultry sciences at Penn State says that they don't exist. I may just have to make them up.
  2. yinepu

    yinepu Overrun With Chickens

    I know that there are (or at least were) standards for meat ducks.. they were in my Animal Science book when I was in high school (mid 70's)

    When searching online I came across this.. it's for Thailand.. however it can give you a basis on which to make your standards should you be unable to find the American version

    where are you located (State)? Your local Agricultural Extension office might be able to help as well as the International Muscovy Breeders Association
  3. Smiles-N-Sunshine

    Smiles-N-Sunshine Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 19, 2008
    Palominas, Arizona
    From the USDA at

    "USDA Grade A ducklings are the highest quality available. They are plump, meaty and have skin free from cuts, bruises and tears. There are no broken bones, no missing parts and few pin feathers. Grade B and Grade C ducklings are not usually found in supermarkets."

    Hope that helps a little!

  4. chicken_boy_Kurt

    chicken_boy_Kurt Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 20, 2008
    Thank you for your input. I forgot to mention that I need standards for live ducks...
  5. yinepu

    yinepu Overrun With Chickens

    I'll PM the link since in a round about way you could possibly go to another forum.. which we don't want ya doing! lol..
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2012
  6. yinepu

    yinepu Overrun With Chickens

    oh.. also with Muscovys you would need to be prepared to pinion the wing or tattoo the webbing of the feet or band the bird to be in accordance with federal laws.. unless they change them.. but it's better to be safe than sorry

    (or at least be prepared to comply with the regulations if need be)

    I pinion all of ours when they are babies.. easier to do then and also keeps them from flying.. however when we butcher the pinioned wing needs to remain attached to the bird
    I also have the equipment to tattoo older birds should we ever acquire any that haven't been marked as domestic

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