Culled my first duck today. May be Verbally Graphic.

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Lute, Apr 8, 2012.

  1. Lute

    Lute Chillin' With My Peeps

    296
    9
    103
    Feb 25, 2012
    Socorro, NM
    It wasn't easy.

    Not emotionally. I held the duck in my hands and told him he was a good, delicious little duck. I petted him, calmed him and tried to snap his neck.

    An 8 month old Pekin is HEAVY and the neck snap method we wanted to use didn't work. I just don't have the hand strength (surprisingly, neither did my boyfriend). So we wound up scaring the living daylights out of the duck instead (he froze in fear instead of being paralized), which sadly made it easy to use the machette to remove his head from his neck.

    I have to give Lola some credit. He didn't bleed no where NEAR as much as I was expecting.

    We moved on in the culling process.

    We dipped the duck into the scalding water (next time I'll be raising the temperature, 150 degrees sure didn't feel like scalding temperatures to the touch) and attempted to remove the feathers. The neighbor lady wanted the feathers so I saved as many of them as I could (which was most of them). It was the longest process I'd ever done. The next Pekin we cull I'll be skinning instead of plucking (because I don't like skin on my poultry). Since it's an older duck there were fine white hairs that had to be burned away as pulling them out didn't work.

    A small kitchen torch will be part of my arsenal in the future.

    Once that was done, I removed the wing tips, neck and guts. It was a much simpler process then I was expecting and just like culling a chicken (just bigger). The guts were clean, the liver was a beautiful mahogany colour. Since I don't eat liver (of any sort) I chopped it up with the heart and fed it to the dog (it supplemented her supper).

    The chest cavity was smaller than I expected but I was still able to get my hand in there to scoop it all out. Good thing I'm a small person. I don't think Xander would have been able to get his hand in there so I guess I'm on gutting duty in the future.

    We'll be cooking Lola up tomorrow. I'll let you guys know how it was. [​IMG]

    -Lute


    Lola, my friends, was a male that was supposed to be a girl. We acquired him and Joe together as a breeding pair. A month later she appeared to throw a very minor drakes tail and was a raspy little drake that from then. Since he was rude to my chicks and tried to hurt my ducklings I had acquired, we decided it was a trait we didn't want to breed into the future stock with our little Helen.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2012
  2. Mum

    Mum Chillin' With My Peeps

    872
    19
    128
    Dec 23, 2011
    UK
    Thank you for sharing your experience. Apparently, the broomstick method is better for ducks and geese.
     
  3. Tahai

    Tahai Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you. It's not pleasant information for me to dwell on, but I'm sure I'll need to know this stuff at some point in my future.
     
  4. billw

    billw Chillin' With My Peeps

    159
    6
    91
    Oct 25, 2011
    WA Coast
    We did our first five in late February. I don't recommend doing five back to back for first-timers. ;)

    Like you, we tried neck-wringing unsuccessfully. Throat cutting was just too barbaric as far as I was concerned. Messy too.

    The old standby, the hatchet, was the perfect thing and what we'll be sticking with in the future. I wish that I'd tried it first, but none of my neighbors recommended it. I wonder if that was some kind of hazing ritual.
     
  5. Lute

    Lute Chillin' With My Peeps

    296
    9
    103
    Feb 25, 2012
    Socorro, NM
    I believe I'm in agreement with you, Billw, I'll be using the hatchet in the future.

    I was surprised that no one mentioned how little ducks bleed. Believe me, I scoured the internet for a month before we started the idea of culling. Lola bled maybe a cup of blood, total. Not much blood afterwards was found in the body. I expected a pint or more.

    The duck is in the oven now on a slow roast. So far not much fat is coming off. We'll know for sure when I turn them in about an hour.
     
  6. rainplace

    rainplace Interstellar Duck Academy

    You'll get much better texture in the meat if you let it rest in the fridge for 48 hours. Personally I like using a cone and a scalpel or a knife to make a quick cut and let them bleed out while hanging in the cone. I culled my first set of drakes a couple of years ago, and I found it emotionally difficult but necessary.
     
  7. Lute

    Lute Chillin' With My Peeps

    296
    9
    103
    Feb 25, 2012
    Socorro, NM
    Thanks Rainplace, I'll remember that for my next culling. This one rested for 26 hours before I tossed him into the oven so it should be okay.

    The next culling isn't for several months (though I may keep two drakes once the baby grows up) so I have until then to finish putting together my culling set up.
     
  8. CowgirlJules

    CowgirlJules Chillin' With My Peeps

    449
    18
    131
    Mar 26, 2010
    Atwater, CA
    Did you use wax when you scalded the bird? I've never done a domestic duck before, and I do like the skin so I'd prefer not to skin them. I'll be doing seven Pekins in a couple of months.
     
  9. Lute

    Lute Chillin' With My Peeps

    296
    9
    103
    Feb 25, 2012
    Socorro, NM
    Nah, I was a little leery of the wax method. Have you used it before?
     
  10. rainplace

    rainplace Interstellar Duck Academy

    I've never waxed, but have thought about it. Plucking was a pita even with a mechanical plucker. I always cook them with some of the smaller feathers still on them. You can torch those things off too. When I was in spain I ate a lot of duck and it was all skinned. In the future I think I will skin them.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by