Meat ducks

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Darklingstorm, Nov 14, 2011.

  1. Darklingstorm

    Darklingstorm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm thinking about raising a few ducks next year for meat. I have a Khaki Campbell for eggs already.

    For those of you that have raised and eaten duck, can you tell me what your preference is in:
    1. ease of raising?
    2. feed to meat ratio (slower grower or fast)? When did you process them?
    3. ease of processing (any special trick you had to use)?
    4. Taste of the meat (Someone told me that Peking grow fast but meat isn't that good)?
    5. ease of acquiring?
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    For me there is only one choice - muscovies. Although somewhat slower to mature, they are excellent foragers, very hardy, have an outstanding flavor to their meat; however, they are a bear to process.

    Oops, there is a second choice - mules (muscovy/mallard derived crosses) but they are not readily available.
     
  3. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    Best feed conversion rate and fastest growth is the Pekin, closely followed by the Silver Appleyard.

    Pekin meat is delicious as long as the birds get some fresh air and exercise. If Pekin are closely confined, they get really fat.

    All ducks are about the same to process. They are all easier if you process in one of the time windows when they aren't covered with pin feathers.
     
  4. DUCKGIRL89

    DUCKGIRL89 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I say silver appleyard, pekins, and rouens! Although the rouens are harder to pluck, but are VERY tasty!
     
  5. CelticOaksFarm

    CelticOaksFarm Family owned, family run

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    We are raising our first meat ducks this year. Silver Appleyards and now white French Scovy. The Scovy can be processed at 12 weeks, will let you how they progress since they are 1 week old now.
     
  6. FarmrGirl

    FarmrGirl MooseMistress

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    Quote:2X. Very tasty, not really ducky at all, and extremely lean. Muscovy have the highest meat to bone ratio and if you go with an improved strain (I have White French Production from JM Hatchery) your drakes will dress out at about 9lbs in 12 weeks. Good feed conversion as they're extremely active foragers. Plus, if you keep a small permanent flock they'll make you lots of little babies to harvest... which saves you a lot of money.

    Really tough to process though.

    All ducks are a bear to pluck, comes with the territory. The thing about the Muscovy is that you pretty much have to cut the heads off of the drakes because they're just so strong that the cone method is out the window. I like to bleed out the birds rather than chopping off the head and that works with all my other ducks (including the Muscovy females). My rather low tech method: I sit on the drake (well, I hold him down between my thighs), then use a very sharp hunting knife to cut off the head. Usually takes me two swipes, which I absolutely hate [​IMG] But they have dinosaur vertebra and it takes all my strength to draw through it. It'll take two full minutes before I can get up off of him, then I put him in the cone for another 2 minutes or so.

    My dad (the master builder) is coming up with some kind of chopping/holding method for future harvests because I truely hate doing it this way.

    I also grow Cayuga for meat and they are reaaaalllly tasty (almost beefy)! Easy to harvest, decent feed conversion, don't pick as cleanly as white birds but still dress out nicely. In 12 weeks I usually get about 3 lbs out of the drakes. Not as much meat on the bone though so a 3lb roaster is a very nice meal for 2 adults.

    I might try appleyards next year!
     
  7. AuroraSprings

    AuroraSprings Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not that they are readily available, but we've processed a few of our Ancona drakes. They weren't as meaty as we would like (thus we are working on more muscling), but the taste was divine. Not strong, but very lean, very dark, very fine grained. Not chewy/fatty at all- they forage like nobody's business. We skinned them because we didn't want to pluck them, but I can't say it was any easier, lol.
     
  8. FarmrGirl

    FarmrGirl MooseMistress

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    Quote:I was definitely suprised at the meat to bone ratio on my cayuga's as well. What's your plan for improving the muscling? [​IMG]
     
  9. Cheapchicksfarm

    Cheapchicksfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Next year I plan to raise a few ducklings from my flock for meat I have Muscovies, pekins and appleyards the plan is to keep 2 or 3 males of each and put them in the freezer it will be interesting to see the difference in meat etc plus it will be so nice to have to clean a bird with some meat hubby hunts and brings me home wooducks or mallards I hate cleaning those skinny ducks [​IMG].
     
  10. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Quote:2X. Very tasty, not really ducky at all, and extremely lean. Muscovy have the highest meat to bone ratio and if you go with an improved strain (I have White French Production from JM Hatchery) your drakes will dress out at about 9lbs in 12 weeks. Good feed conversion as they're extremely active foragers. Plus, if you keep a small permanent flock they'll make you lots of little babies to harvest... which saves you a lot of money.

    Really tough to process though.

    All ducks are a bear to pluck, comes with the territory. The thing about the Muscovy is that you pretty much have to cut the heads off of the drakes because they're just so strong that the cone method is out the window. I like to bleed out the birds rather than chopping off the head and that works with all my other ducks (including the Muscovy females). My rather low tech method: I sit on the drake (well, I hold him down between my thighs), then use a very sharp hunting knife to cut off the head. Usually takes me two swipes, which I absolutely hate [​IMG] But they have dinosaur vertebra and it takes all my strength to draw through it. It'll take two full minutes before I can get up off of him, then I put him in the cone for another 2 minutes or so.

    My dad (the master builder) is coming up with some kind of chopping/holding method for future harvests because I truely hate doing it this way.

    I also grow Cayuga for meat and they are reaaaalllly tasty (almost beefy)! Easy to harvest, decent feed conversion, don't pick as cleanly as white birds but still dress out nicely. In 12 weeks I usually get about 3 lbs out of the drakes. Not as much meat on the bone though so a 3lb roaster is a very nice meal for 2 adults.

    I might try appleyards next year!

    Have you skinned any of you scovies? we're also thinking about raising up some scovies for meat next year and this year my dh skinned our extra roos, just wondering how different it would be to skin the ducks, he said it was much better to skin the roos than plucking.
     

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