Ducks! Should have done this AGES ago!

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by EggsForIHOP, Dec 12, 2011.

  1. EggsForIHOP

    EggsForIHOP Songster

    Apr 18, 2010
    After watching the very first batch of broiler chicks grow and grow and GROW...I didn't really think anything could top that. I thought maybe duck people were just bragging [​IMG] But no, really, these little pekin ducks we ended up with last week grow like WEEDS!

    It hasn't even been a week, and I swear they have already outgrown the same accommodations that held the same number of broilers for 2 weeks!

    I have been impressed with them, and how well they have done already. I was all set for ducks to be a challenge of some sort...but surprisingly, they are no more so difficult than a broiler chick...dumdumdum...SO FAR [​IMG] It has only been a week after all [​IMG] PLUS I had a TON of good tips I picked up here on BYC to follow!

    They might be a PITA to process (though i don't mind plucking a duck anymore than a chicken or turkey really)....but it's going to be worth it I can tell already!

    Ducks...should have been raising them all along...we have been missing out!
  2. Brunty_Farms

    Brunty_Farms Songster

    Apr 29, 2007
    Processing them will change your mind. We did 50 of them this year and for the time it took to do 25 ducks I could have done 200 chickens. They are that bad to pluck. I e-mailed Metzer, one of the big time duck hatcheries and the response I got back from Jon Metzer was to process at either 7 weeks or 12 weeks, otherwise it's going to be a nightmare.

    I did 9 weeks because I had to move them out, needless to say I only did 25, the other 25 I waited to do at 12 weeks. Night and day with the pin feathers, however if you do them at 7 weeks you avoid the feathers all together and just deal with the "fluff" or down and it's much easier.

    Good luck with them, processing is definitely the deal breaker because they are such a breeze to raise to processing age.
  3. TDM

    TDM Songster

    Quote:That is why I charge $2.50 to process a chicken, and $6.00 to process a duck. I don't lose any sleep if I lose a customer over price. Also reserve the right to not process if there are too many pin feathers. When a customer gives me non-white ducks to process, I warn them that they will still be able to see the pin feathers that are embedded under the skin's surface.
  4. Jay262

    Jay262 Songster

    Apr 21, 2009
    Ducks arent really that hard to process if you have the water temperture right. As for the pin feathers if you get the odd one just burn them off with a blow torch. I wouldnt give my ducks up for broilers anyday.
  5. sydney13

    sydney13 Songster

    Mar 11, 2010
    I knew I shouldn't have clicked on this thread, now you got me wanting ducks lol
  6. EggsForIHOP

    EggsForIHOP Songster

    Apr 18, 2010
    Quote:See...that's what I thought - not that bad at all...we have a few times happened upon ducks cheaply when 4H/FFA kids were done with them, and I wasn't bothered by the plucking at all. I just always figured they would be more challenging to raise, don't know why...I guess I was picturing them as somehow more delicate, or fragile...but they are hardy little critters!

    I also am not running a business, or trying to sell perfectly dressed carcasses for someone elses table...a few pin feathers on our table don't bug us none [​IMG] I know that makes a big difference too though...
  7. gallorojo

    gallorojo Songster

    Oct 15, 2009
    Plucking ducks is a nightmare. I did one, took me 45 minutes, never never again. I've skinned all waterfowl after that, way easier. I can pluck 10-15 chickens by hand in the time one duck takes. If you only have one, and it's for a special holiday meal, and, your time is not valuable-lol-, it's ok to pluck a few, but, if you are raising a bunch for meat-skinning is better. I'll be processing a batch in 3 weeks, they will be skinned.
  8. platedheart

    platedheart In the Brooder

    Dec 13, 2011
    brevard fl
    where'd you guys get the ducks from?
  9. vfem

    vfem Yoga...The Chicken Pose

    Aug 4, 2008
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    I gotta say, the one duck we processed last year was delicious! Planning on getting some just as meat birds one day. Was definitely worth it. [​IMG]
  10. flowerchild59

    flowerchild59 Songster

    Apr 25, 2010
    Southern IL
    One of the funniest things I ever witnessed was an over bearing neighbor of mine attempting to process a goose. He was working so hard to pluck it (in december) that he was profusely sweating and he scooped out the liver and stuff like that and placed it in a bowl. Next thing I saw was feathers stuck to his face while he was chasing a barn cat around the yard, who had ate most of what was in the bowl. I think I actually wet myself laughing.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2011

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