Not sure how I totally missed this forum on livestock. Just when I thought this forum couldn't possibly get any better ... it does!
We currently raise ducks. We've got a flock of 9, and way too many of them are males. Most of them are too old to probably be culled, but one of the new hatchlings (we only had two from the clutch we incubated ... off season hatching will do it) is a male. We have Buff Orpington's and Indian Runners (although one of our males has a dark mallard pattern) and they all seem to weigh about 5-6 lbs. Mostly we have them for the eggs -- our matriarch duck lays well over 300 days out of the year (close to 350, I believe), and it looks like her offspring have picked that up, too.
Now ... I've never slaughtered, well, anything before. I helped a hunter clean up some breasts from some mallards once and am quite okay with dealing with offal -- we feed our dogs raw, so I'm pretty used to seeing some gross stuff (ever stick a spleen in a food processor? fun!) -- but I've never had to do the executing. I think I'm up to it, but I was just wondering if there's anyone else out there with ducks who has a recommendation on a quick and painless way to do it.
I saw some video of a fool lady whipping the duck around by it's head (thing still looked alive after that, so not sure what she was going for), but I'm wondering if it won't be easier to just take a cleaver to the head before the duck has any idea what's going on. My girlfriend thinks a sliced throat is cruel, so she's angling for the quick chop. I think I might agree.
After that, is a paraffin dip really that useful? Is hand plucking that much of a pain?
Any other tips? Should a bird meant for eating have a special diet?
If this works well, I'd like to use some of the birds for making either a duck prosciutto or sausage (if I can get enough meat off of them). The Orpingtons are pretty large birds, but the Runner stock we have isn't traditional and tend to be a bit heavier than normal.
Thanks! And, since it's Lundi Gras (day before Mardi Gras) and I had to drag myself into the office, this forum has kept me thoroughly occupied and my mind off the fact that 90% of the city is out partying. Thanks for that, too!