To butcher, not to butcher?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by clucknpeck, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. clucknpeck

    clucknpeck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 5 ducks that I got straight run as ducklings. The plan was to keep the females for laying purposes and humanely butcher the males for us to eat. I ended up with only 2 females, and 3 males. I want to keep my cayuga male because he ended up being the only semi-friendly one out of the group, and possibly keep the khaki campbell because our females are khaki campbells and we may decide to separate them with the drake and hatch some campbell ducklings. That leave us with the blue swedish. Our swedish is by far the most nervous, the biggest so he eats the most, and the hardest to catch. The qualm I am having with butchering him though, is that he is beautiful. I was hoping you could look at him and tell me if you think he is sq so maybe I could pass him onto a 4-H kid. There is not much market for pet ducks around here but I don't want to butcher him if he could make a good sq duck for someone, it just seems a waste.
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    Sorry I couldnt get a great picture. Like I said, he is FLIGHTY. He has no color going into his bib.
     
  2. Spifflove

    Spifflove Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I still have a Swedish pet freeloading off my feed. I keep him because he a beautiful duck and I like him better than cayugas, welsh harlequins, buff, and everything other than Pekins and Muscovy, Appleyards and Saxony.

    I tried to butcher him once, but when I picked him up the green, iridescent feathers glistened in the sunlight....[​IMG]
     
  3. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm not that familiar with Swedish but.... Did you buy him from SQ lines? If you got him from a hatchery it is highly unlikely that he'd be show quality. Plus, if he is that flighty, he won't be much use as a show bird, even if his quality was good. They need to be able to be handled and deal with people walking by them for hours on end. Once you decide what is happening with this guy, keep an eye on your ducks and your chickens as 2 drakes are going to be alot for 2 ducks to handle and the drakes may turn to the chickens. If a drake breeds a chicken it is dangerous or deadly for the chicken. They are not anatomically compatible.
     
  4. clucknpeck

    clucknpeck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the feedback.
    He is from a hatchery. Looks like he will probably be dinner. It's a little sad but he has led a very pampered life.
    Jdy- we are switching the ducks to free range on our half an acre pasture so hopefully the two drakes won't be a problem. The chickens only free range in the pasture sometimes because they hop the fence. Do you think the drakes will still bother them? Plus, we are hatching ducklings soon to add to our flock.
     
  5. ducksinarow

    ducksinarow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would keep the campbells as a trio in one pen and put the cayunga and the swedish into another pen. You could alternate free range days. The cayunga is too big for your girls. That way both sets would not be lonely. I would not be in any hurry to butcher. Dead is forever. You might need a friend for your cayunga.
     
  6. clucknpeck

    clucknpeck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's a nice idea. I will definitely put thought into it. Sorry if I offend anyone by talking about butchering. I grew up eating lots of duck. I do love my poultry and totally spoil them, I am just one of those people that was raised to treat poultry right but also know that males are dinner and females make breakfast. I have yet to have anything butchered yet so we will see... I mean for crying out loud I still have 6 roosters! :p
     
  7. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would still keep an eye out on everyone. Some drakes are perfectly happy with one or two hens. Some seem to want to use their mating to conquer the world. [​IMG] More room to roam will certainly help but having 2 drakes with 2 ducks may result in your girls being overbred. It is very obvious if they are. But if you notice this, you will need to act right away as multiple drakes can kill ducks. Also, if the 2 drakes start fighting, the lower in heirarchy may turn to the chickens.
    It may be okay. But you will need to be observant to prevent any problems.

    This is one of the hardest things about straight run. You don't know what you get. When I got my first Muscovy, I got 5 ducklings. I ended up with 4 drakes and 1 duck!
    You could try seperating the extra drakes but because your space is limited it may result in them fighting. Bachelor pens are best well away from any females. With 1/2 acre I don't know that you would be able to have them out of eyesight of the girls and you would need to prevent them from ranging together.

    Your title is very obvious in what you were talking about. Many on the duck forum keep just pets but a lot of us also raise meat ducks. You can post questions on the meat bird forum but you usually don't get a lot of replies. Until we get a meat duck section, just make sure that you make it clear in the title what you are asking/talking about. That way anyone that may be bothered won't read it.
     
  8. ducksinarow

    ducksinarow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh, sorry if you thought I was upset over you eating your ducks. Most people here eat meat. If I were to hatch ducks I would want pure breeds. I think they might be easier to sell if too many hatched. Mixed ducklings are nice also but you might have a harder time getting rid of them. And one lone duck would not be happy. Just a thought. I have 3 campbell hens and 2 males and I am looking for a couple more hens. A 1 to 1 ratio might be a bit hard on the girls.
     
  9. clucknpeck

    clucknpeck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This has given me lots to think about. My drakes aren't trying to mount my ducks yet, even though they are about 9 months old so I hadn't worried too much about the ratio. I talked to my husband and he is going to make a pen for my Campbell's and we are going to get one more Campbell duck so it's 3 to 1. I am going to ask around and see if anyone is interested in other two drakes but of not I am going to see if I have the heart to make them dinner for the family. Since they aren't friendly with us at all I think it will be alright.
    I am hatching a batch of mixed ducklings soon just for our laying purposes, and my parents have asked me if they can have the drakes for butchering. This will be interesting to see if I can part with them because I am hatching them rather than getting them at a week old.
     
  10. Ranitameya

    Ranitameya Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh, wow. I didn't realize a drake would be dangerous to hens! I have an 8 month old Cayuga that has been raised with 4 of my 7 chickens since they were about 2 months old. He & the Roo are best pals. When we brought the 3 older hens home (from auction) in October, he did at first want to chase & mount them, but they scolded & shooed him, and I have not seen him try it again since about the first week they spent together. Was he too young then to do damage? At what age does this generally become a problem? We do plan to get him a couple of girlfriends, but the sites I've found Cayuga ducklings on won't have any available until mid-to-late Feb...
     

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