The Duck Diaries
On Friday I will be picking up my new batch of meat ducks. I’m so excited to be starting this new venture in meat production. We will pick up six Pekin and six Rouen ducklings on the way to one of Brianne’s last sheep shows of her career. It’s sad to think of this coming to an end, but the addition of the ducklings will take our minds off the close of this chapter. The long drive north will be broken up by stops to feed stores to replenish sheep feed with the main stop being Metzer Farms.
I spent part of the morning gathering up the supplies I will need to make their long journey to our homestead a safe and comfortable one. A large plastic storage bin will serve as a temporary brooder box. Inside it I packed heat lamps, a one-gallon waterer, a feeder, a roll of paper towels to line the bottom of the bin so their little duck feet won’t slip, potentially causing injury. I also packed six pounds of Quick Grow Kracketts, a high protein starter mash specifically made for new chicks, ducks and turkeys. All is loaded in the back of the truck. Now we just wait for Friday to arrive.
When I decided not to replace the Sebastopol gander we lost last year I called Metzer Farms and asked if I could trade the value of the gander for an equal value in meat ducks. They were happy to oblige. I’m excited to be visiting them again. It’s so wonderful to see the pastures of breeding stock roaming around and the large brooding houses are quite something. If we leave early enough in the morning maybe we will have time for a short tour. One can hope, right?
There are three main breeds used for meat duck production – Pekin, Rouen, and Muscovy. After some research and reading I decided to raise the Pekin and the Rouen because of the quality and flavor of their meat; and, because the Muscovy are a little freaky looking with the caruncle’s on their heads. I know, sounds wimpy of me, but I can’t help it. The thought of eating an animal that looks like that is just too, too off-putting. My selection was good for another reason…Metzer only sells Pekin and Rouen.
There you have it folks! In just 49 days we’ll go from ducklings to dinner entrée as I post the whole process here in the “Duck Diaries”. So, stay tuned!
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