Pekins From Hatcheries

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Oregon Blues, Jul 22, 2011.

  1. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Crowing

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    I am wondering what experiences have been with Pekin ducks from the usual hatcheries.

    I got some Pekins substituted for ducks I ordered. I wouldn't have had them otherwise. They are marvelous. Very calm, very fast growing, overly friendly so they are so easy to work with. They don't flap around spilling their feed and water, nor do they ever run anywhere, so they have eaten very little feed considering their weight gain.

    Here's the problem. Pekins are so obviously the duck to raise for the table. But do I save a couple of these for breeders? Or do I risk buying Pekins from a hatchery in the spring and risk not getting the same kind of duck at all?

    The difference between my show Swedish and hatchery Swedish is so enormous that they could be a different breed entirely. I am worried that the difference between these wonderful show Pekins and hatchery Pekins might make me think I've received a different breed of duck.

    My hatchery Blues are high strung and wasteful and have not had any kind of growth at all, considering what they've eaten and spilled. I don't want Pekins anything like that.

    Unfortunately, the ducks are marvelous but the breeder is too difficult to work with. I won't ever buy from him again. So no more ducks from the same place, which would be the obvious solution.

    So troops? What do you think?

  2. RareBreedFancier

    RareBreedFancier Surrounded by Broodies

    Nov 5, 2010
    Australia :)
    I'd keep some as breeders for sure.

    From everything I've read on this forum you'll almost certainly be disappointed with hatchery birds. I wouldn't take the risk if you don't want to deal with their breeder again, keep some of your nice ones around and I'm sure you'll be glad you did. [​IMG]
  3. Denninmi

    Denninmi Songster

    Jul 26, 2009
    I also think you should save the best of your own for breeding stock. They're not like Cornish cross chickens which die anyway no matter what you do, with rare exceptions.

    If not, your next best bet would be to buy from the same hatchery next year.

    In reading just a bit about them, there are different strains with different attributes, depending upon purpose. You sound really happy with the ones you've got, so save the genes if you can.
  4. TDM

    TDM Songster

    I find hatchery Giant or Jumbo Pekins to be of excellent quality for your purposes. They will use selective breeding to combine a fast growing large male with a good layer to provide meat birds for the commercial market. Some hatcheries even import their breeding stock from Europe (Grimaud in France) where they have been genetically selected for the desired purposes. The drawback is that they are relatively expensive for the small flock owner.

    Here is a great link that may help you: Hybrid Pekin&BirdType=Duck&ID=GRH

    Our pekins were selected for the egg market. The drawback to our birds is that they do not grow as large and fast as what can be purchased from the hatcheries.

  5. carress

    carress Songster

    Mar 26, 2008
    Orange county NY
    I would think you could get more from the same place, but things happen, so while you have birds in your hand it's better to take advantage and breed them.

    where did you order these pekins?
    Please pm me if you don't want to post the name.
  6. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Crowing

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    I didn't order Pekins. That's part of the problem. I ordered 16 Blue Swedish ducks. I received 7 Swedish.

    On the plus side, all the ducks are super lovely, and I'm glad I have them. The Swedish I did receive look really promising.

    But I ordered and had my check cashed in February and I suspect that I only received the ducks I did get because I harassed the breeder with weekly phone calls and letters complaining I didn't receive my ducks. He wanted me to take a credit for next year because he couldn't fill my order. In my way of thinking, if he can't fill the orders from February, yet continues to take orders and wants to fill orders next year instead of this year, then he is deliberately selling ducks that he doesn't have and can't possibly have. I would never give this guy a recommendation.

    I have exactly 1 Pekin that has quacked. I sure hope that everyone else is too young and I didn't receive all males. I paid for sexed ducklings.

    TDM, I have considered the Jumbo Pekins from Metzers. They sound awfully good. But they are a bit costly for ducks to be butchered, and they are hybrids, so not useful for breeding stock. They do sound good, though.

    You use Pekins for the egg market? That's a first.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by