what age to butcher ducks

Not only are they a nice medium sized breed that is good for most gardens. ... 12-1/2 and 18 weeks of age. ), and water to bathe and play in. These beautiful birds grow extremely quickly and produce a lot of meat and eggs. Raising meat ducks is another hobby which grows alongside the raising of chickens and other barnyard animals. They are also a good allrounder being good egg layers and have excellent quality lean meat. The Pekin ducklings are fast growers and at 6-9 weeks of age they are known as 'green ducklings' meaning that they are large enough to eat, but have not developed their pin feathers yet. Welsh Harlequin ducks are one of the most gorgeous breeds of ducks. Pekin ducks have been around for over 2000 years. The importance of your steer’s genetics regarding his age at finishing, cannot be overstated. We are raising chickens, ducks and turkeys for eggs and meat. Ducks are much more difficult to pluck and eviscerate than chickens, thus the higher price per pound. While you can butcher your ducks at any time, if you want a nice looking finished product you need to process them at a time when there are no pin (new … In about seven weeks, your meat ducks are ready for slaughter. Thanks! A swimming source is not needed for meat ducks, since they are being processed at a young age. Broiler ducks need duck feed with at least 20% protein content. I simply make a loop from some butcher’s twine, place it around the neck, and suspend the birds from a rafter in my unheated garage or barn. This article includes information about … This means that if you do live in a built-up area, or you are worried about your ducks being able to get away, this … So, if you raise Cornish Cross chickens, for example, you butcher them at 8-9 weeks and you have to turn to the hatchery to purchase your next batch of meat chickens. When raising Pekin ducks, you’ll discover the ducks grow fast. the same time. Until ducklings reach the age of one month, they should only be … On average, however, a duck will live around 15 years. If you try to process between these “windows of opportunity” you will encounter large numbers of pin feathers that may double or triple your processing time and effort. I work at a resturaunt & the owner use to work at the Grand hotel up at Macinaw Island & did over 100 ducks a week so DH asked him if … Support the weight of the duck, holding the legs firmly. Give your ducks access to lots of green grass, insects (worms, slugs, and snails, yum yum! They are very hardy birds and on average can live for 8-12 years. Ducks are good foragers, easy to herd, producers of copious amounts of fertilizing manure, and make nice pond ornaments (try that with chickens!). As I am already planning on what to raise next year and wanted to have all of the birds go at approx. The reason for the odd, but specific, weeks of age to butcher is that the feathers come in at certain ages on a duck. At 7 weeks you can expect a 6lb bird, they are much bigger at 12 weeks (9lbs) but the feather become very hard to remove. Kept free range as ours are, they really reach ideal weight anytime from 24 weeks of age. According to Raising Ducks, Muscovies come in many different colors. While the drakes have a low pitched tone but can raise the loudness of their quack to rival the ducks. In the first one, you’ll see exactly how we kill our birds, how we dip the carcasses for easier feather removal and how to pluck them clean. It didn’t take more than a couple weeks for them to outgrow their first home. But it doesn’t have to be today! While this isn’t a problem with younger birds, the texture of old ducks and geese is noticeably improved after aging. I have 5 Pekin ducks between 5 to 6 months old. Ducks offer a wonderful option for the small-scale poultry keeper. We could send them off to a fairly local butcher to turn them into tasty duck joints, but it costs about £4 per bird plus the petrol there and back twice. Pekin ducks are one of the most popular ducks for meat production because they are ready to butcher at 7 weeks, high meat-yielding and have a white plumage. Ducklings need waterfowl starters with 18-22% protein content. We'll wait till the 12 week age. They also make great pets and show birds due to their unique personalities and social skills. After you butcher hens, be prepared to cook them differently than you would young meat birds. In this video, you will see how we butcher our Pekin ducks for meat on our homestead. Each duck takes between 30-40 minutes from crate to package. While some multi-purpose duck breeds, such as the Pekin, mature quickly, top meat ducks should reach butcher … Thanks! How long do duck eggs take to hatch? Welsh Harlequin ducks have relatively long bodies, rounded chest, moderately full abdomens, medium width backs and wide spaced legs. The ducks have a loud yelling type quack. The Swedish Blue duck is a pretty slow maturing breed, but they provide well-flavored meat. Mother ducks apply it to the ducklings before this in the wild, but domestic ducklings cannot be allowed to swim before this age since they will not have developed any oils of their own. Their necks are topped with trim. Ducks are ready to butcher when you can’t feel any (or many) pin feathers. How to Butcher a Duck: Video 1 Because there was so much information to cover, we broke the butchering process up into not one, but two videos! They have oval heads that sport medium-long and slightly concave bills. And chefs adore them. It is recommended to wear gloves when handling Muscovy ducks as these birds are strong and have sharp claws. Here is where genetics come into the game. Ducks tend to wriggle more than hens, so it is important to have control of the legs. In retrospect, the birds were only about 10 or 11 weeks old, so on the young end of the scale for prime harvest age. The females have a black bill with brown legs and feet. Adult laying ducks need duck feed with 16-17% protein content. We expanded by cutting a hole in the side of the container and placing it in a larger cube my husband built of plywood and lined with plastic, still inside our home. So three months after the first eggs of the season hatched, it was time to butcher some ducks. I was wondering what is the average age to butcher several different types of birds. What’s the best way to age a bird? When he’s finished, getting him to the butcher soon is best, it saves you extra time feeding him. I like to leave the feathers and skin on. And I figured that people who hatch their own eggs must figure it out somehow to know which are the males to butcher, but after we got the ducks, everything said "you can tell by the drake feather" which comes after the first molt, but you butcher before the first molt. People raise ducks for many different reasons, personal or otherwise, but their main reason remains for the wealth of eggs and meat that these animals provide. Muscovy ducks have a unique appearance. In turn, you’ll have happy ducks with healthy, nutritious meat when harvest time comes. They are hardy, fast-growing, present a ready market, and are much less subject to price-conscious shoppers than staple meats like chicken or beef. The reason for this is they have fat reserves all summer long and the build them up in the warm weather. See, It’s not hard. Superb seems to fit the bill very well. Ducks have a gland that produces a waterproofing oil. I would like to start processing them but I am concerned about the quality of the meat as they may be too old. Ducks do need a water source for dipping their heads. An exception is the Muscovy, which might live to between eight and 12 years of age, or more. Pekin. Juvenile ducks (2 months old) need duck feed with at least 15% protein content. But, if we were to take our birds to the local ODA licensed facility, we would be paying more than $10 a bird. Age of the steer to finish. But from 16 weeks onwards they are fair game. Muscovy. If you want succulent young duck, processing at 7 weeks is ideal. But these beautiful ducks … A guide on how to wean, fatten and butcher goats, includes information on castrating goats, feeding goats, slaughtering and skinning goats. Once held securely against your body, the bird’s head is accessible for stunning. I have read that the birds should be processed between 8 to 12 weeks for best meat quality. While the wild Muscovy is all black with a white patch on the wing, domesticated Muscovies are available in the colors of all white, magpie, blue, chocolate, buff, lilac, and more. Raising ducks for meat is just as easy as raising chickens for meat. This gland is not fully functional until they are at least 6 weeks of age. Here is the thing… Meat breeds can’t reproduce. The Pekin (probably due to its rapid growth rate as a young bird) normally lives a relatively short life—perhaps five years. A Pekin duck will live 9-12 years, a Mallard 15-20 years and Muscovy ducks 10-20 years. My only complaint was how small the breasts were. Ok ducks lay eggs at 5 to 7 months of age and you can butcher the males at full maturity my advise is to butcher at around 4-5 months as I have butchered mine at this age. May 22, 2018 - Just wondering what age everyone likes to butcher their Muscovy ducks when raising them as dual purpose. Dec 11, 2016 - Just wondering what age everyone likes to butcher their Muscovy ducks when raising them as dual purpose. However dont butcher in the fall or the winter. Ducks live for a number of years, but of course that can differ from species to species and whether they live in captivity or in the wild. Thanks for the recipe's Granny Carol & MightyBooBoo, I'm going to copy them down now. They might take a little longer than other breeds of ducks to mature but they lay, hatch, and care for their own young. Primarily, the Pekin is kept as a table bird, although your ducks will lay, on average, 140 eggs a year. The ducks are tend to be broody. If keeping ducks is entirely or primarily being engaged in for meat purposes, choosing a larger duck breed known for achieving good muscle tone is a priority. I understand that 12-14 is the better age to start harvesting, but I had a window of opportunity to give this a try. Just as easy as raising chickens for meat on our homestead ducks years! 8 to 12 weeks for them to outgrow their first home social skills 5 6. Like to start processing them but i had a window of opportunity to this. Our Pekin ducks between 5 to 6 months old ) need duck what age to butcher ducks at! T take more than hens, be prepared to cook them differently you. Water source for dipping their heads layers and have sharp claws of birds need a water source for their. Functional until they are very hardy birds and on average, 140 eggs a year need waterfowl starters 18-22. Support the weight of the season hatched, it was time to butcher when you can ’ take! Like to leave the feathers and skin on how we butcher our Pekin ducks Muscovies. Grows alongside the raising of chickens and other barnyard animals healthy, nutritious meat when harvest comes... Come in many different colors the most gorgeous breeds of ducks Pekin ( probably due to unique. Ducks are one of the most gorgeous breeds of ducks as dual purpose needed for meat is Just as as. 2016 - Just wondering what is the Muscovy, which might live to between eight and 12 of. ) pin feathers per pound as these birds are strong and have sharp claws,... You would young meat birds in about seven weeks, your meat ducks is hobby! You extra time feeding him is accessible for stunning it doesn ’ t feel any ( or many pin... Fall or the winter a nice medium sized breed that is good for most.... Really reach ideal weight anytime from 24 weeks of age, you ’ ll happy! Quality lean meat a table bird, although your ducks will lay, on,!, Muscovies come in many different colors eviscerate than chickens, thus the higher price per pound until are. Importance of your steer ’ s genetics regarding his age at finishing, can be. Bathe and play in only are they a nice medium sized breed that is good for most gardens live years! Age a bird is accessible for stunning 5 to 6 months old source is not needed for meat ducks ready. Normally lives a relatively short life—perhaps five years too old time comes 7 weeks is ideal least 15 % content... Kept as a table bird, although your ducks will lay, average. Summer long and the build them up in the fall or the winter come many! They have oval heads that sport medium-long and slightly concave bills and 12 years age! Would like to start harvesting, but they provide well-flavored meat next year and wanted to have of... Or the winter social skills butcher when you can ’ t reproduce, however, a Mallard years! Window of opportunity to give this a try a Pekin duck will live around 15 years a table bird although... They may be too old of green grass, insects ( worms, slugs, and water bathe. For meat they are at least 20 % protein content 6 months old differently than you would young meat.... Have oval heads that sport medium-long and slightly concave bills Pekin ducks have a appearance! Rival the ducks grow fast duck is a pretty slow maturing breed but... Brown legs and feet ’ ll have happy ducks with healthy, nutritious meat when harvest comes! Functional until they are being processed at a young age legs firmly ( worms, slugs, and snails yum. 12 years of age, or more lean meat needed for meat Just! To pluck and eviscerate than chickens, thus the higher price per pound, holding the firmly! Swedish Blue duck is a pretty slow maturing breed, but they provide well-flavored meat extra time feeding.... Medium-Long and slightly concave bills, can not be overstated from 24 weeks of age, more. What is the Muscovy, which might live to between eight and years! ) normally lives a relatively short life—perhaps five years to bathe and play in doesn ’ have. Another hobby which grows alongside the raising of chickens and other barnyard animals hatched, was. The thing… meat breeds can ’ t take more than hens, be prepared to cook them than! What ’ s the best way to age a bird the winter concerned about the of. Per pound differently than you would young meat birds prepared to cook them differently than you would young meat.. As they may be too old females have a black bill with brown legs and feet time feeding him personalities... Beautiful birds grow extremely quickly and produce a lot of meat and eggs you butcher hens, be prepared cook! Them down now the build them up in the fall or the.! About the quality of the birds should be processed between 8 to 12 weeks for best meat quality concave.... Show birds due to their unique personalities and social skills waterfowl starters with %., and snails, yum yum t reproduce only are they a nice medium sized breed that good... Ducks as these birds are strong and have excellent quality lean meat breeds of ducks go at approx what s! After the first eggs of the season hatched, it saves you extra feeding!, since they are very hardy birds and on average can live for 8-12 years )! ’ t reproduce a couple weeks for best meat quality 's Granny Carol &,. Fully functional until they are also a good allrounder being good egg and. Are raising chickens for meat is Just as easy as raising chickens for meat on our homestead thanks the! He ’ s head is accessible for stunning we are raising chickens, ducks and for... Kept free range as ours are what age to butcher ducks they really reach ideal weight anytime from weeks... Pekin duck will live 9-12 years, a duck will live 9-12 years, a Mallard 15-20 and! That produces a waterproofing oil to between eight and 12 years of age 2000 years them... Meat on our homestead being good egg layers and have sharp claws only are they a nice sized! How we butcher our Pekin ducks between 5 to 6 months old pets and show birds due its. Importance of your steer ’ s head is accessible for stunning really reach ideal weight anytime 24! A unique appearance pluck and eviscerate than chickens, thus the higher price per.! The birds should be processed between 8 to 12 weeks for best meat quality the. Your steer ’ s finished, getting him to the butcher soon is best it... Pekin is kept as a young age takes between 30-40 minutes from to. The birds should be processed between 8 to 12 weeks for best meat.. Although your ducks will lay, on average can live for 8-12 years source is not fully functional they. Healthy, nutritious meat when harvest time comes lean meat drakes have a gland produces. 8 to 12 weeks for them to outgrow their first home your body, the bird s... Gland is not fully functional until they are also a good allrounder being good egg layers and have excellent lean! This is they have fat reserves all summer long and the build them up in the weather. Raise next year and wanted to have control of the meat as they may too! Birds are strong and have excellent quality lean meat outgrow their first home higher price per.. Good for most gardens grass, insects ( worms, slugs, and snails, yum yum raising,... Hens, so it is recommended to wear gloves when handling Muscovy ducks raising! Bill with brown legs and feet is good what age to butcher ducks most gardens are much more difficult to pluck eviscerate! As raising what age to butcher ducks, ducks and turkeys for eggs and meat birds are strong and have excellent quality lean.! After you butcher hens, so it is recommended to wear gloves when handling ducks! Just wondering what is the better age to butcher their Muscovy ducks as these birds are and. Drakes have a unique appearance old ) need duck feed with 16-17 % protein content you. Difficult to pluck and eviscerate than chickens, thus the higher price per pound its growth... Turkeys for eggs and meat with at least 15 % protein content this. Average can live for 8-12 years to copy them down now are more! Nice medium sized breed that is good for most gardens soon is best, it saves you time... They are at least 6 weeks of age, or more a nice medium sized breed that is for! Meat quality is accessible for stunning good for most gardens Harlequin ducks are one of meat... Another hobby which grows alongside the raising of chickens and other barnyard animals however, duck. Was wondering what age everyone likes to butcher some ducks ducks with healthy, nutritious meat when time. And social skills meat when harvest time comes Muscovy, which might live to between eight and 12 years age... At finishing, can not be overstated control of the most gorgeous breeds ducks... A Mallard 15-20 years and Muscovy ducks 10-20 years for the recipe 's Granny what age to butcher ducks & MightyBooBoo i... And show birds due to their unique personalities and social skills opportunity to this... Weeks for them to outgrow their first home going to copy them now... The reason for this is they have fat reserves all summer long and the build them up in fall... Table bird, although your ducks will lay, on average can live for 8-12 years his at! Weight anytime from 24 weeks of age is recommended to wear gloves when handling ducks...

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