Ducks are an attractive option to anyone looking to rear poultry for their meat. They tend to grow fast, are hardy, and can resist diseases and colder temperatures. While most duck breeds can be raised for their meat, selecting a breed considered a ‘heavyweight’ is preferable, as they develop excellent muscle tone quickly, making them cost-effective.
List of Different Meat Duck Breeds
Here is a list of ducks reared worldwide for their meat, arranged in the least number of weeks before they must be butchered.
|Average Meat Produced per Duck (in lbs.)
|Number of Weeks to be Kept Before Butchering
Besides these breeds, there is a strain of the Pekin duck – the Jumbo Pekin – which is explicitly reared for its meat. It is ready to be butchered at about 12 weeks when it weighs between 9 and 11 lbs.
Tips on Rearing Meat Ducks
It’s essential to keep these points in mind while raising ducks for their meat:
- Proper Housing – They need a hygienic shelter that is covered to prevent drafts and has around 4ft of space for each bird in the flock.
- Constant Access to Fresh Water – Ducks like to splash about in a water source, so having a pond or something similar to swim about would be great. If such a pond isn’t available, at least ensure they have fresh water.
- Heat Source – Ducks need a heat source, like a lamp, to dry their feathers after spending time in water.
- Dry Bedding – These birds require some form of litter or bedding where they can roost. Materials that make suitable litter include rice hulls, sawdust, or wood shavings, which absorb moisture and keep the ducks warm. The bedding that gets caked by waste needs to be removed every day, and the parts that aren’t need to be stirred about so that they last longer.
While it tastes similar to some red meats and has a darker texture than other poultry, like chicken and turkey, duck meat is white meat.