Warning: carnivores only

Seriously, this is not a post for veggies or sentimentalists. Much of our life at Garybuie involves growing things to eat. Yes, vegetables are in the mix but so is meat. Yesterday, Cecilia visited Garybuie’s blog about Muscovies. She asked if we eat our ducks as she’s thinking of acquiring some for the upcoming festive season. Yes, we do eat our ducks and here is a wee bit of information on the subject both for Cecilia and anyone else thinking of growing ducks for food.
Regular visitors to Garybuie’s blog will know that we have two types of duck; Aylesburys…

Aylesburys

…and Muscovies.

Muscovies

Aylesbury ducks are the traditional table bird in the U.K. I’m sure that they, or something very similar, are available elsewhere in the world. The big advantage with this breed is that they’re fully grown at 8 weeks – and of course they waddle and are cute! They have plenty of fat for your roast potatoes! In our experience, they are rotten mothers so if you want to breed them, an incubator is the answer.

Muscovies, on the other hand, are wonderful mothers and will produce a couple of broods in a year. The disadvantage is that these birds aren’t fully grown until 14 or 15 weeks. They have little fat but the meat is truly delicious; dark and dense. The drake is considerably larger than the duck.

Although the Aylesburys like to swim, they don’t NEED much water – just enough for preening purposes and to keep their nostrils clear. There’s even less need of a pond for Muscovies as they are a perching species. Once again, just enough for nostrils and preening. Watch out! Muscovies can fly so maybe clip their wings when you first bring them home. Once they’re used to their new home, they will always return to it – we’ve never lost one yet and it’s lovely to see them fly!

As for meat production at Garybuie this year, although we’ve had some ducks of both varieties, thanks to our cockerel, Snowball, becoming infertile, chicken production has been both reduced and late. Finally though, they are ready and Kevin made a start on ‘processing’ them this weekend. Somebody’s had a lucky escape though…

Lucky boy

He’s gone off in his cat-box to our neighbours and their six hens. He is one of Broody Brenda’s boys.

And now for a bit more romance. Huff’s gentlemanly gestures have definitely paid off and he’s been fully accepted by his family.

Muscovy family

And how about this? Looks like BB has chosen her man!

Silkies

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2 Responses to “Warning: carnivores only”

  1. cecilia Says:

    oh excellent. i think i might grow the big fat white ones, we can have them delivered in the mail at 3 days old, and raise them in an ark just like the meat chickens. and i love duck fat – i am wondering whether i should not raise a brood of muscovies too.. so if i do not clip their wings they will fly out to the creek and graze but return at night to be locked up? if that were the case 4 months would not be so bad.. what a great post.. c

  2. garybuie01 Says:

    That’s great! You might not need the ark as ducks are VERY easy to round up, unlike hens! As for Muscovies, our girls fly to the river every day but always return home. We only clipped their wings when they first arrived, just so that they would get to know where their new home. When the feathers re-grew, we never clipped them again. The drakes can’t fly as far because of their weight. Our Huff tries his best to follow the girls but can’t get enough height to get over the distant fence. He always has to walk home with a disgruntled look on his face!
    Christine

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