Processing ducks: what age, what kind, mixed breed at atwoods?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Beka123, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. Beka123

    Beka123 In the Brooder

    Jan 31, 2012
    Hey everyone, I was thinking of ordering some pekin ducks for eating, does anyone on here process their own ducks? And today I was at my local atwoods and they just got some chicks and ducks in, the guy said to me, "they're just ducks. A duck's a duck." so I said "so they are just mixed breed ducks?" and he shrugged and said "yeah." lol, what an intelligent conversation... Anyways, has anyone ever had mixed-breed-atwoods-brand ducks b4? Would they be as acceptable as a pekin? I have only read that pekins are the best for eating, I have no true preference, so if anyone has better ducks/ any advice, on age, type, how-to's... Anything, all help welcome! Thanks!

    Edited: the reason I was thinking to get these mutt atwoods ducks is bc my daughter just loves our chicks and chickens, and these are all diff. colors of black and yellow and brown and grey... Spotted and speckled... I think she would have a blast picking some out all by herself... That's the only reason! Thanks!
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2012

  2. jdywntr

    jdywntr Songster

    Oct 31, 2009
    Somerville, AL
    Different breeds have different qualities. Muscovy are DELICIOUS!! Like a nice roast beef.

    The biggest problem I could think of in not knowing what you are buying is that you may end up with a small breed that may not make much of a meal.

    Processing is also somewhat breed specific. Ducks molt more often than chickens so you will find more specific processing times for ducks. Pekins 7 or 12 weeks (typically) muscovy 14 weeks or 6 months. These ages prevent alot of pin feathers.

    I have never processed a chicken but have processed several ducks. Muscovy and 1 muscovy mix. Process should be similar to a chicken except scalding is higher temps and soap added to get through their oily feathers.

    I don't have atwoods here but I would be leary about anywhere that said a ducks a duck. A chicken is not a chicken.

    Also, ducks have more specific dietary needs than chickens. Visit over on the duck thread. Oh also, ducklings STINK they are filthy little pigs. But so adorable.
  3. Beka123

    Beka123 In the Brooder

    Jan 31, 2012
    Ok, thanks for the info! I may actually just steer clear of them if they stink, i already almost gag on our baby chicks, they stink so bad! They are so precious though. Thanks again!
  4. mominoz

    mominoz Songster

    Feb 17, 2009
    North Georgia
    Interesting,I have raised ducks and chickens and I prefer ducks. I think chickens are smellier and you "have" to have more protective/elaborate housing. They get way more diseases, and more likely to peck each other.They don't need as much heat as babies or nearly as long. Ducks can eat any kind of flockraiser, don't need medicated feed, they do need more niacin than chickens, but this can vary by breed. Then all you do is sprinkle some Niacian capsules on their feed bin or water, or a little bit of brewers yeast. Give them a bit of greens or grass... They love water pans, but don't 'have" to have them. They do need water in waterers deep enough to immerse their whole face to keep eyes and noses clean. They drink alot and if have swimming water you'd want them outside, which they are much happier to be anyway.

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