This year we raised ducks for meat for the first time. Like our other poultry they arrive in the mail. After picking them up from the post office, we put them in the brooder under heat lamps, give them water to clean their bills and nose off, and provide local organic grain for them to eat.
Once they have feathered out, we move them outside to our portable chicken (duck) tractor. We move this twice daily, providing them with fresh grass, and water and feed as before. This allows them to be raised outdoors, but protects them from predators.
Once they are large enough we process them for meat., similar to how we process chickens and turkeys. Because their feathers are water resistant, we need to do an extra scald in hot paraffin. This pulls off the feathers that didn’t come up in the regular scald.
We finish the process by packaging them in poultry shrink bags. This allows for a nicer presentation and should have reduced freezer burn and ice build up.
We use this recipe when we eat duck. It is simple, duck over apples, made in the crockpot. The leftover broth can be used for a sweet rice pilaf. Enjoy!