Slaughter age for Jumbo Penkins

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Sylvanaqua, Aug 10, 2014.

  1. Sylvanaqua

    Sylvanaqua Hatching

    Oct 4, 2013
    Earlysville, VA
    Hello everyone!

    Back in March we bought a bunch of jumbo pekins because my wife really likes baby ducks and I was too tired to say "no" that particular day. Well now it's 20 weeks later. They're big as turkeys, they look delicious, and I really don't feel like wintering them over in the hoophouse with my flock of 150 laying hens that'll be coming in from pasture and free ranging from that space starting in November.

    My question is, though, are these big boys too old and tough for meat consumption now? They're the duck equivalent of the Cornish X, which I wouldn't even dream of eating past about 9 weeks. I've heard that regular pekins are slaughtered around 8 weeks and jumbos go a little longer; but 12 extra weeks is more than a "little".

    So... is their meat worth eating at 20 weeks? Any counsel is appreciated. Thanks!

  2. Fuzzy_Hat_Farm

    Fuzzy_Hat_Farm Chirping

    Jun 4, 2009
    Just my two cents, hope this helps. We’ve hatched out some pekins and ended up with more drakes than hens. We just didn’t get around to getting rid of the excess drakes until about a year later. I roast them in a hot oven on a roasting rack with no seasoning. There will be a lot of fat which I save by pouring off into a canning jar and putting in the fridge. It’s fantastic for frying, making biscuits or pie crust. I usually make Chinese pancakes, slice the duck thin and serve it up with Hoisin sauce. Haven’t had any complaints, and plenty compliments. Just don’t expect it to be moist and tender like chicken. It's more like roast beef-ish for lack of a better description.

    As a side note, we found that butchering them is a bit "tougher" than doing chickens. We ended up using the ol' hatchet method as they have pretty strong necks. I also pluck them into a pillow case (except large wing feathers), close it off with a zip tie (very tightly) put that through the washing machine with good hot water and bleach and voila! Pillow! 20 ducks would probably give you a small/medium pillow.

    Hope that answers your questions. Good luck.

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