Any roof will do!

At fourteen weeks old, the muscovy ducklings – female only – have finally got the hang of the whole flying thing after a few crash/unintended location landings due mainly, I think, to inexperienced rudder control! Unfortunately, Huff’n’Puff and Biggles are unable to give a demonstration as they are mid-moult and grounded! A favourite destination is usually somewhere high, with a view…

Unfortunately, this new-found skill coincides with the ducks being required at a more final, chillier destination. You’ve guessed it, after dispatching all of this season’s chickens, at about twenty weeks old, Kevin has now moved his attention to the muscovies. The timing is fairly critical as we’ve learned,  the first moult being the easiest time for the plucking process. When the new, firmly attached feathers grow in plucking, even one feather at a time, badly tears the skin. We discovered this problem after letting two females from the first muscovy brood stay around for a while to keep poor old Huff company during his exile. Ultimately, plucking had to be abandoned and skinning was the only solution. I’m now in search of a non-roasting duck recipe! Anyway, the sign for being ‘Perfectly Pluckable’ in a muscovy duck, should you want to know,  is a tufty breast…

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2 Responses to “Any roof will do!”

  1. Elaine Says:

    I grew up on a small poultry farm and Mother always plucked goose and ducks by lighting the copper and adding a small amount of washing up liquid to pluck the feathers without skin damage.
    I can’t remember how long she left them in the copper though, a very short time from memory? Just enough to soften the feathers.

    • garybuie01 Says:

      Elaine,
      Thanks for your advice. I’ve heard similar before but not with the washing-up liquid! The problem we have is that we tend to be one-bird-at-a-time pluckers, so try to avoid too much extra fuss. Even so, I think your mum’s technique is worth a shot but we’ll have to wait until late summer now when this season’s birds are ready,
      Christine

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