Has getting to know your ducks changed your mind about the freezer?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Dusky Beauty, Sep 18, 2011.

  1. Dusky Beauty

    Dusky Beauty Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 11, 2011
    Upshur County, Texas
    I'm not sure if this should be a duck question or a processing question, but here it is:

    My initial plan was to get a duck egg business started because I saw a lot of market potential in my area. I ordered all female ducklings bred for laying and because all the layers were going to be keepers, I had no problem letting myself and my family get attached to my girls, naming them, playing with them, hand feeding them etc.
    My next duck order was supposed to be for meat ducks for processing, but I've become so impressed with the personalities and behavior of ducks, I'm not sure if I'll be able to disconnect from "duck mom mode" fully enough to want to eat any ducks I raise. I'm wondering now if I should just concentrate on ducks for eggs, and pick up some other birds entirely for food birds, like turkeys or geese. What does the board think?

    I'm not usually a sentimental person, I don't dwell on things, I just wonder if I'm going to like my great grandmother, who routinely RUINED Sunday chicken dinner for her family by saying things like; "Oh, you should have heard Henrietta, she positively sang when I took her to the block..." Do most people tend to emotionally disconnect from the bird after its been plucked?
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2011
  2. easttxchick

    easttxchick Lone Star Call Ducks

    Aug 3, 2009
    Well, I got the chickens to be dual purpose-didn't happen. We eat and sell the eggs ONLY!
    I KNEW I would never be able to eat my duckies-that wasn't even an issue so...we got turkeys and guess what? They have names. I told DH we would eat THEIR offspring and he just rolls his eyes.
    In answer to your question NO, I cannot detach from my birds at all...massive fail!
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    I knew that about myself before I got the runners. In fact, I like having a very thin duck - only a couple of people have asked if I'm going to eat them in the autumn.

    Raising animals for meat strikes me as a very complex dynamic. I know farmers and there is often a deep respect and a kind of love for the animals, but those raised for meat are seen differently.

    I can kill and eat fish, though it's been a while since I did.

    DUCKGIRL89 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 28, 2011
    I bought my self some rouen ducks for breeding and eating their offspring. But I dont know if I can do this? Lol.
  5. zzGypsy

    zzGypsy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2011
    we name and hand-raise our sheep, and we do eat them, even the ones we bottle fed. haven't quite got to the date to test the theory with our birds yet, they're too young, but that time will come. I always feel some angst, no matter what we're slaughtering, but I participate in the process, am there for the slaughter, and eat the results with great appreciation for the animal, as well as the meal. I have, on occasion, cried at slaughter time, or thinking about it in advance. it seems to be just part of the process sometimes. and occasionally an animal will work it's way out of the "dinner" pool and into the "pet" pool by dint of personality and social skills. I've got a goat wether like that now. his name's Pocket, because he's always in yours, and we really have NO need of a pet goat that doesn't provide milk or genetics. still, that one got to me so he gets to stay. it happens [​IMG]

    as long as we can afford to feed the extra pet mouths, and have the room, there'll be others I'm sure. still, the purpose of the animals is, in part, meat, so I can't lose my perspective entirely.

    as to turkeys or geese, that won't solve the problem. turkeys are goofy and have personalities, and geese are smart and have personalities... if you're not managing it with the ducks, you'll likely have the same issue with the turks and geese as well. either you can raise and eat them, or you can't, I don't think it's species specific. one way to solve it is to hire someone else to do the slaughter. doing that yourself can get personal and not everyone's up for it. it adds to the cost of the meal, but might still be the right way to manage it.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2011
  6. Dusky Beauty

    Dusky Beauty Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 11, 2011
    Upshur County, Texas
    Alright, I'm just going to go for it and try it. I suppose if I have reason to cull a campbell next spring I'll know sooner rather than later. Worst case scenario I sell them to someone else to eat, right? <_<
  7. cat1994

    cat1994 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 12, 2010
    Southeast MO
    I don't see how any harm could come from trying it out. I raise calls so not much meat on my birds which solves the problem of me eating them plus I have sold every duck I have ever wanted to so I have never had to eat one. But I think if I really had to I could eat the offspring, but not my breeders, I have gotten to know them very well and could just not bring myself to eat the cute lil things, I could sell them though if need be and I often do. I eat extra roos if I can't find new homes for them but I have never eaten a hen, not even if she is totally spent, I get pretty attached to my hens, I could eat their offspring. Now my geese are another story, I raised them from lil on and have grown very attached to them even though they are jerks, I could never eat them ever although they are for sale, but I won’t let them go unless I’m sure they are going to a good home.
  8. mommyofthreewithchicks

    mommyofthreewithchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 25, 2010
    Sort of... I KNOW I am a sucker for animals, I KNOW that by me feeding the flock I cant be the one who butchers them... But I twisted my hubby's arm to have the flock I have wight the thought some would be meat for our table. So I have taken the butcher lesson... Did not like!!! But I did it. Then I had hubby dispatch more- he did not like my tears and then we sent some to the butchers, butcher thought I was a bit nuts crying over my birds but over all that is a much better way to do it.

    So far I have eaten one of our birds and keep waiting to forget who was who... In theory I like that we are eating birds who were loved, as mine are, who have no extra hormones, medicine and are cage free and mostly free range. In reality I like my chickens, turkeys and ducks too much and KNOW each one personally and therefore know which ones I have butchered and can't get their little face out of my mind... Considering I have lots of birds in the freezer I am hoping I can get over it soon!

    I let my ducks be mommies this summer and now am faced with trying to get rid of quite a few. Anyone in mn want a few Welsh Harlequin?

    Good luck!
  9. bossynbella

    bossynbella Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 11, 2007
    We raised chickens for a couple years before getting ducks. No problems with butchering the extra roosters. Only once did it bother me and that was just because he was a rooster with a great personality. Then we got ducks. Neither of us can do it. Not sure what the difference is, but the ducks get to live.
    Good luck
  10. toadbriar

    toadbriar Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 28, 2010
    central massacheezits
    When the otherwise gorgeous drake was chasing my girls and making them scream, instead of doing the seductive headbobbing that my other, more suave drakes do, I found it easy to dispatch him. Now the ladies are serene again, and their necks are fluffy again, and it'll be easier next time. The flock is better without that drake and he wouldn't have helped another flock with his behavior.

    That said, i was still quite happy to sell six drakelets to a pet home.

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