meat ducks, can you grow them not-too-fatty?

patandchickens

Flock Mistress
12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
12,520
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Ontario, Canada
I am posting here rather than in the ducks and waterfowl part of the forum so as not to horrify the pet duck crowd


Does anyone know if you can grow not-so-fatty meat ducks? Could I do it by some particular method with common feed-store Pekins, or would it require having some funky breed that I would have to find a breeder or hatchery for? What would it entail? Anyone doing this?

Thanks for any info,

Pat
 

lisahaschickens

Songster
10 Years
Feb 25, 2009
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Vancouver, WA
are you interested in the meat for yourself or to sell?

I ask because duck fat is all the rage in the culinary world these days and it sells for a pretty penny. It is incredible for cooking all kinda of things - full of flavor. There's even a famous, high-end restaurant called "duck fat." So, for traditional French cooking and/or modern haute cuisine, the fat is a very desirable part and you wouldn't want to forego it... even a nice seared duckbreast from a high-end restaurant should have a beautiful layer of fat under the skin.

On the other hand, if you are looking for meat for yourself and you'd prefer it less fatty, that's all cool and a personal choice. I thought I'd post because I know about the food end of things and wanted you to know that duck fat is valuable these days. I don't personally know anything about raising ducks or duck breeds, sorry.
 

patandchickens

Flock Mistress
12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
12,520
253
341
Ontario, Canada
Just for myself


Yes, I know that duck fat is a valued culinary thing, and I am not utterly opposed to it or anything, but the few store-boughten ducks I've had over the years have been SO MASSIVELY GREASY that I am concerned that half my feed bill would be going to produce duck-lard rather than meat! Much as I like a little dab o duck fat for some things, or even a whole bunch for confit, I really do not want to be paying for and growing it
You know?

Pat
 

patandchickens

Flock Mistress
12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
12,520
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Ontario, Canada
Could I keep muscovies contained while I'm growing them, though? I don't have a pond, but I do have half a zillion raccoons, and I am concerned that anything that does not wish to get herded back into a locked duck house at night is not going to make it to my freezer.

Pat
 

sandspoultry

Everybody loves a Turkey
11 Years
Feb 10, 2008
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Eastern NC
Muscovies are not really "water ducks" like other breeds, ours are happy with a kiddie pool. And like the others have said they are a very lean duck.

They can be contained, but the hens can fly, the drakes are to big. I don't see why you couldn't herd them or get them used to going in a house at night. Ours usually sleep under and around the chicken house.


Steve in NC
 

jvls1942

Free Ranging
11 Years
Oct 16, 2008
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wausau,wisconsin
Quote:I do anything I want wih my scovies

they are easy to train to go into a coop. I have two hens that just cannot get over roosting with the chickens.. they sneak in whenever they can.. When left outside at night (rare) they roost off the ground like the turkeys do..

My DW found a hen curled up with our blue healer dog on the deck night before last..

be careful if you get muscovys, if you cannot butcher a "pet" or you will have way many more than you want to keep.. right folks??
 

Brunty_Farms

Songster
12 Years
Apr 29, 2007
2,305
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Ohio
be careful if you get muscovys, if you cannot butcher a "pet" or you will have way many more than you want to keep.. right folks??

That's funny because I have butchered thousands of chickens and turkey's.... I've done my fair share of ducks too but I always get attacthed to the ducks... every stinkin time!!

They are so cool and have such a great personality... Mine get too freindly and follow me everywhere... I just hate when that day comes!!

At my new place I have a pond and I can't wait until I get some baby ducks form TSC for just pets. Yep... pets.... ducks are my kryptonite....​
 

patandchickens

Flock Mistress
12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
12,520
253
341
Ontario, Canada
Ok, so I will consider muscovies


What if anything are my other options? Any way to get a similar result with feedstore Pekins?

Thanks all,

Pat
 

Brickman House

Songster
10 Years
Feb 24, 2009
352
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Yes, you can get leaner meat from Pekins. Matter of fact, I was just reading this section of Holderread's book yesterday.

Apparently, according to him, Pekins can become quite fatty and greasy when overfed and grown too fast. But if you grow them slower (lower % protein food) and limit their food, they stay leaner.

Keeping them leaner is apparently healthier for them, if you keep them around, but the meat is healthier for you if you elect to butcher them.
 

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