Have to cull a full grown duck, anyone ever butcher?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Huny, May 7, 2009.

  1. Huny

    Huny Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 14, 2008
    Sunny Southern Arizona
    I tried over in Meat Birds, no one is answering. I have a 10 week old Pekin looks like it broke its leg, or the leg gave out. I dont believe in making it suffer, and I don't believe in just killing it and wasting the meat also. Has anyone ever butchered ducks, is it much different than chickens? I saw things about don't use an ax, and dry plucking. Please some help!
  2. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    As far as the actual killing part of it, I have no idea. But I have heard from friends that the best way to clean them is by dipping them in wax so the feathers are easier to get hold of, or just skinning them. Sorry about your duck [​IMG]
  3. gwennym

    gwennym Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 18, 2008
    Edwardsville, IL
    This sounds grim, but here's what I found on eHow.com:

    1Step OneTie the duck's legs together with strong rope, and hang it so that the head is waist high.

    2Step TwoHold the head with one hand and cut the jugular with a sharp knife. Stoop down beneath the wings. Know that the duck may thrash its wing as it is dying. Hold the head firmly downward so that the blood is not spattered about.

    3Step ThreeDip the duck in a pot of 140 to 150 degree water, and keep it there for a minute and a half. Move the duck around in the water a bit.

    4Step FourHang the duck up again and pluck the feathers.

    5Step FiveCool the duck once the feathers have been removed by placing it in a pot of cold water.

    6Step SixCut off the head and legs.

    7Step SevenRemove the neck by slicing the skin of the neck and cutting it.

    8Step EightMake an incision from the sternum to the anus.

    9Step NineRemove the intestines intact. Be careful not to pierce them. Just cut them away from the connective tissue.

    10Step TenCut out the heart and lungs.

    11Step Eleven Wash the carcass and place it in cool water until you are ready to either prepare the duck for freezing or cooking.

    12Step Twelve Clean the liver and gizzard. Remove the sack from the gizzard and dispose of it.

    13Step Thirteen Remove the oil gland that is at the base of the duck's tail. Again, be careful not to pierce it.

    14Step Fourteen Put the neck, gizzard, liver and heart in a plastic back and place it in the body cavity.

    15Step Fifteen Place the duck in a plastic bag and remove as much of the air as possible before putting it in the freezer. Of course, these final steps are unnecessary if you are going to cook the duck right away.

    Tips & Warnings
    Starve the ducks for 12 hours to make the process easier.

    ** this last part under Tips really kinda sucks, but if its necessary, at least you have a guideline to go by.

  4. headred

    headred Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 28, 2009
    Just a thought...mine also had a hurt leg at about 6 weeks old. Couldn't hardly walk at all and "pulled" herself along the ground, was very sad! But, after 2 weeks, she healed! Maybe if you can keep that one in a calm place, or partially on its own it could heal?? Hey, people survive with one leg, maybe the duck can too. I would give it a few days, or weeks even! I can't even tell which duck was hurt in my flock. Good luck whatever you do!
  5. crtrlovr

    crtrlovr Still chillin' with my peeps

    try splinting the leg with popsicle sticks and vet wrap. There's a good chance it could mend. there are several posts on here from people with ducks or chickens with only one leg.
  6. crtrlovr

    crtrlovr Still chillin' with my peeps

    You might also try sending a pm to terrielacy
  7. IthacaNancy

    IthacaNancy New Egg

    May 8, 2009
    I butchered the five of the seven drakes in my straight run flock of 18 total birds. I waited way too long to do it- almost a year - so the drakes were tough. But they'd been harassing the ducks, and needed to go. Actually I was reluctant to do it myself, so I enlisted some recent immigrants who were happy to share their skills in exchange for four of the ducks. (I think they were disappointed in the old Indian Runner ducks though.)

    I've read that it is easier to pick the feathers on a warm duck. It was very easy to pluck the duck I watched them dress for me (selfishly I kept the Cayuga drake for myself - we missed one very active drake though, since his tail doesn't have a curl - they are welcome to come back for him).

    You can find directions in Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks. Just don't wait too long if you want a tender duck.

    Good luck whatever you decide to do.
  8. goosedragon

    goosedragon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2009
    Central NC
    Just two comments to gwen's very good post.
    At step three try adding a little detergent to the scald water. Since duck feathers are almost water proof the detergent (NOT soap) helps the hot water get to where it needs to be.
    step 13 check for and remove pin feathers a pair of pliers helps to get ahold of them. Place the duck in a mild salt solution this will help remove any blood left behind and will help tenderize the meat. leave the duck in the cold salted water at least overnight (a full 24+ hours is better before either Freezing or cooking, this gives the mucles time to relax and removes some toughness. If Salt is an issue in your diet rinse one more time to remove it.
    The tip may sound bad but if you have ever busted the full gut of a bird you will know why it should be done.
  9. Huny

    Huny Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 14, 2008
    Sunny Southern Arizona
    We are going to have to go ahead and cull her this weekend. It's getting worse, not better, and I can't stand to see something suffer like that.

    Thanks for the good posts. I might be skinning it if it's not at the right time, I think it's 10 weeks right now, and I can't wait till 12.5. I am thinking duck might taste good, I just have to get up the nerve to do the deed.
  10. peterlund

    peterlund Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 29, 2010
    MA Cranberry Country
    Good luck with the sad chore ahead of you. I will offer you a firm pat on the back for thinking about the animals welfare. It is always a sad day when something needs to be culled, or butchered, as the end result is the same. Your duck is lucky to have such a caretaker. I think waiting longer could be an issue if an infection set in... rendering the bird not only dead, but unfit for the table as well.

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