The last few weeks in a meat bird's life?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Dusky Beauty, Nov 17, 2011.

  1. Dusky Beauty

    Dusky Beauty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    DH and I have picked out two of our ducks to cull for Christmas dinner (no eggs, androgynous attributes, and mean to my other ducks.) The birds in question are black swedish and we don't know how old they are exactly. I understand the basics of the kill, the plucking, the processing, the "rest" period and the need to cook them low, slow and moist.
    What I'd like some tips on is how to best keep them and improve on them for the last 4 weeks or so before D day. I started keeping them in the pen 24/7 and they have clean water and free choice food all day. Any tips, or suggestions on what I could be feeding them for the most flavorful meat? I'm feeding a crumble/cracked corn/a little dry cat food and flax seed right now.
     
  2. Tracydr

    Tracydr Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'd make sure they get plenty of greens. Spinach, mustard greens, grasses.
     
  3. Fenika

    Fenika Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I personally would be very hesitant to eat anything that ate cat food, particularly regularly. Is it at least an all natural food? There is little regulation for pet food and while our pets can do just fine on it, I don't think I would want it once removed. I don't have many facts here, just stating my opinion mostly.

    Is this a common practice for meat birds out of curiosity?
     
  4. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

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    Quote:Not as far as I know. It does have high protien and I'm sure that's why the OP is feeding it to them.
     
  5. UrbanFarmerGreg

    UrbanFarmerGreg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Thats what I was thinking... although I am sure they could eat worse, I have seen my ducks eat poop that was in the pen... personally I'd stop feeding them the cat food because it just seems wrong to eat something that eats cat food... i'd feed them greens for sure and maybe some mealworms for protein or feeder fish, although I don't know what kind of affect the worms or fish would have on flavour.
    And it sound weird that I wouldn't eat anything that eats catfood but would eat it if they eat worms, bugs or fish... at least the worms. bugs and fish are natural...
     
  6. annageckos

    annageckos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I have to agree. I won't even feed my cats cat food. There are a couple of bad preservatives that are commonly used, and other chemicals too. Also red dye in particular can cause allergy issues and it is stored in the liver, and the fat too, I believe.
     
  7. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

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    After watching my girls eat snakes, toads and lizards, nothing they eat fazes me. I'd eat a bird that ate cat food. But again, all of this is pure opinion.
     
  8. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    The cat food is fine. It contains the same food that is in poultry food, plus the meat meal. It's not like poultry food contains human grade ingredients. There is some pretty unappetizing stuff in poultry feed; you wouldn't catch me eating any of it.

    I suggest that you don't feed anything that contains fish between now and butchering time. I don't know if it will flavor the meat, but why take a chance?

    My Swedish tend to be lean, and fat on a duck is rather nice. Duck fat is stored below the tail. If your ducks have fat butts, they are going to be perfect. If they are lean in the butt, give them some cracked corn.

    Your birds are getting about what mine get, except I don't feed corn, because my little lard butts are fat enough. I'll be butchering 3 Blue Swedish this Sunday, if it isn't blizzard conditions out. They are 5-6 months old and I will get to see how much fat they have without the corn. I'll be back to tell the forum how it goes.

    You'll want to roast them slow and low. Save the fat that melts out of them. It is very useful for cooking, being very mild flavored. Ask me for directions on how to make duck fries if you don't already know.
     
  9. Dusky Beauty

    Dusky Beauty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:This was my thought. And it's not like even half of the food is cat kibble, it's like 1 cup :: 10 cups of chicken feed. It's just in there to ramp up the protein content and overall condition as is recommended for a pre-show diet. Since they're not free ranging anymore they're not getting all the bugs. And I've been keeping up the greens and duck-edible kitchen scraps.
    Their butts look pretty good, I'm just hoping they are large enough to feed 8 people for Christmas dinner. I've always served 2 grocery store pekins before.
     

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