Plucking ducks...any advice?

Hummingbird Hollow

Songster
8 Years
Jul 1, 2011
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So yesterday I butchered my first duck. It took me over an hour to pluck the darn thing. I can usually pluck a chicken in about 15 minutes. In this case I had most of the feathers removed in about 30 minutes and then took another 35 to remove the down. Does anyone have any pointers on how to speed the process? I have 6 more to do and while I may skin one or two, most I want as roasters.
 

Granny Hatchet

Tastes like chicken
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7 Years
Sep 26, 2013
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Did you dip it in steaming water first ? I dont know if this is right or not but seems like i remember my grandmother burning the soft down off them after she plucked the hard feathers.
 

madamiec

Chirping
6 Years
May 4, 2013
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Process at 12 or 16 weeks and you need to scald them a little longer....detergent in the water helps get through the oil on the feathers. Now you know why processors don't like to do ducks and when they do it's double the cost of a chicken. Good luck!
 

Rock Ranch

In the Brooder
Apr 9, 2015
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I've never raised ducks but when hunting them I was raised skinning the birds due to plucking being messy. Just a thought
 

Hummingbird Hollow

Songster
8 Years
Jul 1, 2011
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Colorado mountains
I've never raised ducks but when hunting them I was raised skinning the birds due to plucking being messy. Just a thought
I had a friend come help me butcher and pluck this past Friday and I now understand why meat duck experts say to butcher at 7 weeks. The one I did last week was 7 weeks old and took me about 75 minutes to pluck. We each started an 8 week old bird on Friday and two hours later we said, "screw it, this will have to do". Once the feathers were off they looked like hedgehogs with row after row of closely spaced pin feathers poking through their skin that had to be pulled pretty much one at a time. Then there was still the down to deal with. The third duck we simply skinned, as you suggested. I have three more to do. If at week 9 they are still as hard as at week 8 we are going to skin at least one and then smoke the other two. I figure since we always remove the skin after we smoke chickens and turkeys it won't matter if we do a perfect plucking job.

Unless these ducks are unbelieveably tasty, I'm never raising ducks again.
 

Rock Ranch

In the Brooder
Apr 9, 2015
16
0
21
They are dark meat however in my opinion the greasy part is how it's prepared. I personally love eating it cubed and sautéed in bacon with onions and garlic. I have also had what they called duck jerky. Both ways are great and not greasy.
 

Hummingbird Hollow

Songster
8 Years
Jul 1, 2011
1,499
152
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Colorado mountains
isnt the meat dark and greasy? I have never ate one .
I love duck. We've served roast duck (or once or twice goose) for every Christmas dinner for something like 10 years. If I'm at a good restaurant and there is duck on the menu I almost always order it. It is a fattier meat than chicken but rich and flavorful. I'm thinking smoked might be awesome because sometimes chicken and turkey get sort of dry in the smoker, but with the extra layer of fat under a duck's skin, it should stay nice and moist and juicy. I'll report back if you like.

However, as enola said above they are indeed messy, dirty creatures and if I can't figure out an easier way to brood them and to pluck them, I probably won't bother again next year.

I'm actually very fortunate. I was planning on ordering 15 ducks but then I saw they had them at Tractor Supply. There were only 7 left and I took them all. I'm so very glad I only had 7 to raise instead of 15.
 

Granny Hatchet

Tastes like chicken
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Sep 26, 2013
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madison Indiana
well, you guys sure make it sound good. My sister baked one with cabbage and by looks alone i wouldnt taste it. LOL I do have a duck, just one. she is pet not food.
 

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