My first processing (graphic pics)


11 Years
Jul 7, 2008
Today I processed a duck without any help, other than the actual kill. Before we continue on to that, the duck:


Thank you.

Anyway, processing the duck went less smoothly than the chicken. Chris said he stuns the ducks before killing them, since they're so strong and have so much potential to injure. He held the duck's humongous giant clawed feet in thick leather gloves and had his 13 year old son clock him in the back of the head with the handle of a knife sharpener. The first time didn't work, so he got whacked a second time. This was *DEFINITELY* the most distressing part of the whole process.

You can see from these postmortem pics that his toenails are dangerously long!


Once he was stunned, he and his son swapped places and he held the duck's head while the son held his feet. The stunned duck fluttered a little while having this done to him but "a little" on an animal that size still knocked Chris' glasses right off his face. The throat slitting process didn't go as smoothly, either, taking multiple strokes to get through and eventually decapitate the poor animal. He thrashed about as he died, but I was prepared for that and wasn't upset by it.

After we ran out of time processing the chicken, I took the duck home and put him in my freezer overnight to chill rapidly. This afternoon, I took him out to work on. As you can see, he's fairly long, though I didn't have a ruler to measure him with.


The first step was to skin him but there was such thick down and feathers that I had to start by removing some of the feathers to get to the skin to see it well enough to slice it off without wrecking the meat. I started...


And went on more than I really needed to, finding the action very soothing. Given how anxious I've been recently, anything relaxing is good, even if it's wasted time.


I made an incision by the keel, or breastbone:


I didn't take any photos until I was done dismantling the duck, since my hands were gooey. Here are the two boneless breasts:


The leg thighs didn't come out as neatly and the wings, to be perfectly honest, are still covered with feathers. Then I went for the neck, which came off neatly, though there was an organ attached to the trachea that I couldn't identify... voicebox? It looks like a balloon but was hard.


And then it was time to eviscerate it, getting heart, gizzard, liver plus (imo most important) the frame, which had all of the meat that I was too inexperienced to know how to get off neatly. I loosened up the packaged up bundle of organs inside the bird, peeking in to make sure it was okay, and the top of the frame had come entirely free, so I removed that for this photo:


There's lots of fat which I could render, a huge liver and heart. Then here is where I botched it. You can see the green bile spilled allllll over the inside of the duck, rendering *everything* else inedible. I know when I did this, I missed the breastbone and poked the guts earlier on and felt a squoosh. OOPS. You cant see the green in the earlier photo because it's all underneath.


Not tooooo shabby for my first time, especially since I spent most of the last 20 years vegetarian!

(Edited for a typo)
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Staff PhD
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
13 Years
Jan 25, 2007
Everett WA/Corvallis OR
Looks good! With large birds, like a 40 lb turkey, I find stuffing them into a feed back with their head out a hole in the bottom works wonders for controlling flapping.

Those cuts of breast meat made me drool. I wish I had a duck to eat! Sucks about the internals though, at least you knew enough to not try and eat the stuff with bile all over it! That would have been a nasty surprise.


11 Years
Apr 9, 2008
excellent job ~ the first time is always a little long in going, but it gets faster & easier every time. (well it did with chickens, anyway, lol) One thing I was surprised at though ~ you didn't do a hot dip for the duck? Are the feathers no longer any good if you do a hot dip, or what? I guess I have only processed chicken, and the hot dip makes the de-feathering a snap.


12 Years
Oct 27, 2007
regarding the strength of ducks. i felt like that when processing geese. like OH MY GOODNESS. i knew they were strong but.....

i feel okay about my chicken method but the stronger animals....... i'm still not fully fond of my aptitude.

sandra, you make me laugh. i was vegan for like ten years.

but, better that they have it done lovingly.

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