Meat Ducks

Ducks are a good option for meat production thanks to their quick growth, hardiness, and resistance to diseases and colder climates. While duck meat is known for its high fat content, it mostly consists of unsaturated fats like oleic acid and linoleic acid, which are considered healthy. Those fats also provide a richer taste, but the meat itself is lean, leading to it being considered flavorful and healthy.

What Makes a Duck Good For Meat Production

  • Being Heavyweight — While most ducks can be raised for their meat, selecting a ‘heavyweight’ (8-12 lbs) breed is preferable.
  • High Dressing Percentage Ducks that yield a high carcass weight post-butchering are better suited for meat production. For instance, the Muscovy and Pekin have dressing percentages of 69-75% and 65-69% respectively, signifying that once the beak, feathers, and other inedible parts are removed, a large percentage of the duck remains as consumable meat.
  • Low Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR) If the duck gains a high amount of weight while consuming low amounts of feed, it is said to be an efficient feeder. For instance, Muscovies and Pekins have an average FCR between 2.5:1 and 3:1, meaning that for every 2.5-3 lbs they eat, they gain 1 lb.
  • Rapid Weight Gain For a meat duck to be cost-effective, it needs to grow to its market weight in a reasonable amount of time. Most breeds reach the appropriate weight at about 7-13 weeks.
Meat Ducks

List of Different Meat Duck Breeds

BreedAverage Carcass Weight (in lbs.)Butchering Age
Pekin (American)9-107-8
Silver Appleyard6-88-10
Khaki Campbell3-48-10

Besides these breeds, there is a strain of the American Pekin – the Jumbo Pekin – which is explicitly reared for its meat. It is ready to be butchered at about 12 weeks when it weighs between 10 and 13 lbs.


1. Is duck meat a type of red meat?

While duck meat tastes similar to some red meats and has a darker texture than other poultry, such as chicken or turkey, it is actually white meat.

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