Ducks!

Keeping pigs or any other animals

Ducks!

Postby big_onion » Mon Mar 07, 2011 9:10 pm

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!
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killing a duck

Postby dorsets21 » Mon Mar 07, 2011 9:28 pm

the best way for a newbie is to stand on either end of a broom handle holding duck under it, and pull the duck up. But not too hard as you'll rip the head off. The head will pop off the neck but still be connected if you do it properly.
Pierce a small hole in the front of the windpipe and hang upside down to bleed out. Do not panic, IT WILL TWITCH!
Plucking is a pain, it's we find it best to skin it, depending on what you want it for.
If its skinned properly, you can still use the legs.
ask the question? where does my food come from
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Postby Sam Newman » Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:40 am

There is nothing wrong with the Cleaver. If you both LOVE your ducks as much as me and my partner do, you want to make sure your beautiful ducky never suffers. We don't kill our freerange pet ducks (42) indian runner malard parry mix, but I do enjoy a good shoot up on the wild ducks that have lived a healthy free life. I do kill my own chooks. Don't get me wrong, but make sure you don't name all 42 ducks. makes it too personal. . . As we are the NZ Far North Waterfowl Rescue rep's (just starting out) I am trying to maintain a sustainable wetland where nature produces more than enough Mallard breast. and many other wild meats. I have to admit, I can't think of anything yummier. hand plucking is easy when they are freshly killed and dealt with whyle they are still very warm. If you want to fattern them up before your kill, you really can't go wrong with corn, corn, and more corn. I would love anybody elses opinion on a Good ducky slaughter!
'TILL THE WHEELS FALL OFF!
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Postby big_onion » Thu Mar 24, 2011 5:21 pm

Sam Newman wrote:There is nothing wrong with the Cleaver. If you both LOVE your ducks as much as me and my partner do, you want to make sure your beautiful ducky never suffers. We don't kill our freerange pet ducks (42) indian runner malard parry mix, but I do enjoy a good shoot up on the wild ducks that have lived a healthy free life. I do kill my own chooks. Don't get me wrong, but make sure you don't name all 42 ducks. makes it too personal. . . As we are the NZ Far North Waterfowl Rescue rep's (just starting out) I am trying to maintain a sustainable wetland where nature produces more than enough Mallard breast. and many other wild meats. I have to admit, I can't think of anything yummier. hand plucking is easy when they are freshly killed and dealt with whyle they are still very warm. If you want to fattern them up before your kill, you really can't go wrong with corn, corn, and more corn. I would love anybody elses opinion on a Good ducky slaughter!
'TILL THE WHEELS FALL OFF!


Haha. Well, we have a much smaller flock (although we're hatching about 20-30 more) and have no need for the males. What do you do with 42 runner mixes? We have 2 full runners (everyone else is a mix of runner/buff) and they're the most annoying and spastic birds I've ever seen. When we separate them off from the rest of the flock everyone else calms down. Do you have them for eggs? Are all 42 female?

I think I'll go the cleaver route -- I'm going to try binding the wings with some vet wrap right before so I'm not dealing with a wildly flapping bird. We got another month to go before this spare male is full grown, so I'll update then. :)
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Postby Billy Rhomboid » Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:47 pm

I would recommend the broomstick method as above. It is fast, humane, clean, easy to do with just one person and safe. I despatch all our poultry by this method. In the UK dislocation of the neck is the only legal self-kill method I believe.
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Postby grisell » Thu Mar 24, 2011 8:33 pm

I don't know that. That is rather cool using an animal's neck... :)
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Postby Sam Newman » Thu Mar 24, 2011 8:34 pm

Those runners are Spastic alright. I guess that's what gives them their funny character. I origionally got the ducks to breed for food, but my partner fell in love with them and now killing them is out of the picture. The girls do lay nice eggs, unfortumately, most of them are boys. The ideal numbers for breeding, is 1 male to every 7 females. You wont need to bind the wings. Indian runners have small shoulders so you should be able to hold them onto the chopping block easily with 1 hand whyle you strike the cleaver with the other hand. Hope this helps.
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killing cone method...

Postby mitchamus » Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:29 pm

Another method is to get yourself a traffic cone, and suspend it upside down.

You feed the duck (or Chicken) into the cone and pull it's head through the hole in the pointy end of the cone. (you might need to adjust the hole size)

then take a very very sharp knife, and slice the animals head clean off with one stroke.
(while holding the head with the other hand)

The cone controls the flapping, and the bird can stay there until it has bled out.

some pics of soemone else's setup here:

http://www.freetimesw.com/blueoakranch/ ... essing.htm
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Postby Massimo Maddaloni » Fri Mar 25, 2011 4:35 pm

I, too, recommend that you follow Billy's dislocation method for the very same reasons he pointed out. As already said, don't rip the skin: exposing the ruptured vessels to air will cause the blood to coagulate and bleeding won't be complete. I don't poke any holes: hang it upside down and the blood will collect under the skin by the head: this way you also can avoid sputtering blood all over the place during the post-mortem spasms.
As an aside, you can make duck meat juicier by marinading it in olive oil 6-12 hours. You can use a ZipLock bag to save oil.
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Postby Massimo Maddaloni » Fri Mar 25, 2011 5:42 pm

"As pointed out by Dorsets21 and supported by Billy"
Sorry.
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duck

Postby dorsets21 » Sun Apr 03, 2011 9:49 pm

:lol: :lol: good come back :lol: :lol:
ask the question? where does my food come from
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