Who raises ducks to eat

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by jruhle, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. jruhle

    jruhle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 16, 2012
    I have a nice flock of 10 Rouen ducks and am thinking about breeding them and putting a few in the freezer. I've only eaten domestic duck once when I was a kid but I do prefer dark poultry meat. Just wondering if raising ducks for meat is worth the effort. I love homegrown food!
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
  3. CelticOaksFarm

    CelticOaksFarm Family owned, family run

    Sep 7, 2009
    Florida - Space Coast
    We have Silver Appleyards and French White Muscovy both for meat, eggs and to sell to others.
  4. Spifflove

    Spifflove Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 13, 2012
    I raise them for meat although I might have to stop because of the Mrs. So far I have noticed that:

    Not worth the effort:

    Welsh Harlequin

    Worth the effort:

    Jumbo Pekin

    Tasty King with lots of breastmeat:


    I have not tried Saxonies or Appleyards but I plan to a few months into the future.
  5. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    I felt the pekins I had were worth the effort. I still want to try muscovies this year!
  6. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 31, 2009
    Somerville, AL
    I raise muscovy for meat. They are great. Drakes are big, forage well, great bug catchers and delicious.

    I had a rouen/muscovy cross once. He grew quicker then the muscovy drakes but just as big. He tasted good too. ;)

    I think ducks are well worth it. If I had to choose and could only keep one I'd take ducks over chickens for sure.
  7. Grassman 52

    Grassman 52 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 2, 2012
    Ludlow Mass
    I raise Muscovys and Geese for meat - I think it is worth it. Muscovys have a great meat to bone ratio and more breast meat than most ducks. If I could only raise one breed it would be Muscovys.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013
  8. Valntyn

    Valntyn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 11, 2012
    Central Maine
    We raise Muscovies for meat. 2012 was our first hatching/freezer camp year. We only let one clutch hatch, "just in case" we didn't like duck. Next year we plan to let several clutches hatch. [​IMG]
  9. DayOldChicksNY

    DayOldChicksNY Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 11, 2013
    New York

    If you are raising ducks as meat birds Aylesburys, Pekins,Rouens and Duclairs make good table birds weighing in at 4-5 kg for an adult Aylesbury drake. Pekins are the fastest growing bird out of the 4, although don't weigh as much and Pekins and Aylesburys are the only 2 breeds that produce white meat. However, neither Pekins or Runners make good sitters, and you are probably better off with Muscovy ducks or Aylesburys, my personal favorites, as they are good dual purpose birds. Muscovy drakes will weigh 4.5 kg at maturity, and females will weigh 3 kilos.

    Another reason why I like Muscovy ducks is that they don't quack, and so therefore the perfect bird if you live in the suburbs and you are worried about annoying your neighbors. However, they are a bit flighty, so it is prudent to clip one of the wings regularly.

    Just remember to keep the right ratio of ducks to drakes if you are breeding ducks. One drake to 2 ducks to start with or one drake for every 5 or 6 ducks will keep him happy.

    If you do keep ducks for meat, make sure that you like duck! Even 1 duck can hatch 25 - 30 ducklings in a season, as they hatch ducklings twice a year. If it is your aim to raise ducks for meat then you will be provided with tasty duck meat from spring until late fall.

    You can start slaughtering your ducks after week 9 or 10. Usually but week 10 they are fat enough, but you will need to determine this by examining your ducks carefully. There is no point at slaughtering at this age if they don't have enough meat on the bones. However, something else to consider here is that at about this time your ducks will start to moult. No matter how much you feed them after this period, they won't put on much weight and whatever weight they do gain will be done very slowly.

    If you are allowing your ducks just to forage for food without any additional feeding your ducks will take a lot longer than 9 or 10 weeks to gain weight for slaughter.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by