Duck for dinner.
My husband has been looking at our ducks for a few weeks now and hinting, hinting.... But I've been loath to 'do one in' because I haven't been able to tell drakes from ducks. Drakes develop little curled feathers on their tails, but not for another few months.
But last weekend we were doing a few other birds (roosters and the turkeys - RIP) and we decided to do a duck anyway. I've also been told that ducks quack and drakes wheeze/hiss. So I picked the biggest wheeziest one and that's him, above.
If you look close, you can see our first problem we encountered. Major plucking. We had been told to cull them at 9 weeks to avoid their new pin feathers coming through. And they were right. Also, he was really, really fat. So I think we'll let the rest mature a little more to let their feathers come through for easy plucking and then when we get breeding properly, we will kill our eating ones at 8 weeks.
This is a roast we had from one of our roosters. Nothing tastes like chicken again once you've had a homegrown one that you know had a good life and a quick death. Yum!
If you are planning to kill and pluck your own birds, the best ever way we have found of plucking is the hot water trick. Heat up a big pot of water till it's about 68 degrees Celsius - or for me, too hot to put my hand in but not boiling. A squeeze of detergent then dunk for freshly killed bird in for a minute and get plucking. The feathers practically fall out (except from a 10 week old duck!).
I'll tell you how the duck tasted tomorrow.