Raising Ducks for meat

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by homesteader, Jul 25, 2007.

  1. homesteader

    homesteader In the Brooder

    Jul 25, 2007
    Has anyone here ever raised ducks for meat? My wife and I are getting ready to raise 6 white Pekins for a possible Thanksgiving dinner. We'll try one and raise the other 5 for Thanksgiving.

    How long do they typically take to grow to slaughter weight? I've heard at 12 weeks they should weight about 8-9 lbs. How does duck taste? I've heard if you like dark meat (I love it) that you will like duck.

    Anything especially different about raising ducks? Our ducks will be raised with our Cornish X, and will receive a little more protein than is recommended. Does anyone think this will be a problem?

  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    I've never raised ducks. But know that ducks and chickens in the same pen = terrible mess. I would raise them sepearte due to the whole water tolderance and need issue.
  3. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    I wouldn't share the pen with ducks and cornish unless you have no other alternative. Waterfowl are messier than the cornish (which is hard to believe) and need a LOT more water than the chickens will. With the chickens in there, they'll just fowl the water and make things difficult for the ducks.

    10 or 12 weeks sounds about right. You want to time it for just before they molt, or else it will be a tough job dressing them. Google it for more precision.

    How does duck taste? Delicious. Once you start eating duck and goose, you'll find yourself only able to tolerate turkey if you get the dark meat. It really changes your perspective on what the flavor of meat should be.
  4. spock78

    spock78 In the Brooder

    Apr 21, 2007
    I'm with everybody else...Don't raise them with your cornish.

    I can't imagine anything worse than the mess I've seen with my cornish x, but I've never raised ducks, YET.

    As for taste. I have not liked one store bought duck that I've bought, but, I used to hunt mallards & those were the best eating birds I've ever had. Dark meat lovers delight!!
    The only farm raised duck I had was a muscouvey & it was good tasting but a little dry. Could have been the cooks fault. LOL!!
  5. cbohn80

    cbohn80 Songster

    May 2, 2011
    i raised chickens and ducks together last year. it can be done as long as you give them enough space and only for a few weeks. i suggest getting the ducks when your chicks are about 2 weeks old. they ducks grow much faster and will pick on the chickens if you put them all in as day olds together. once the ducks are 3-4 weeks old they will be significantly larger and need to be put on their own, if you raise them mid summer they will be fine on their own outside as long as they have shelter and plenty of bedding. plus they reach butchering size by 8-10 weeks so mid summer is a good time to start so youre not feeding them for too long before thanksgiving. i know cornish x's are suppose to grow quick so the times i used might be slightly diferent than what you need. personally i wont raise the cornish crosses because of the health issues they have and i think its cruel. best of luck though and i hope this helps

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