I thought this was interesting. My ducklings are now old enough to be out of their night pen and loose in the orchard. They are happily padding around and harvesting seeds off the top of the grasses, and (I hope) eating bugs. Their commercial feed consumption has gone down. When they are confined, I can see them grow. As soon as they were turned out, their growth nearly stopped. I had to be away from home 3 days in a row, so they stayed locked up. I can see a great deal of growth for those 3 days. In the past, I've had very good luck with the Cornish Cross chicks. Never any health or leg problems. I raised them free range. Looking at how these ducks are growing, the free range Cornish Cross must have slowed their growth enough to avoid the health issues common to the breed. It's certainly something to consider. I know that commercial Pekin ducks are raised in confinement, under lights, and free feed, all for fast growth. By the way, my ducklings look great and they are happy, so I don't care if it takes a couple more weeks to butchering time. The ones that I will be keeping, my personal opinion is that there are fewer problems with breeding stock if they aren't force fed for growth.