Duck questions

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7 years 1 month ago #531063 by Farmersden
Replied by Farmersden on topic Duck questions
Our ducks: we have Muscovy's, Cayuga and pekin cross lay all year round, less in the winter but they have numerous cover options for Laying. From 12 total we can get anything from 10 eggs a day to one. Cutting back to one drake has made such a difference...balance seems right n girls are happy. We can leave them for a few days without feeding pellets as this is extra rather than what they rely on. They live in the orchard have a pond that is fed by roof water so regularly over flows and keeps the grass long so lots of bugs for them! Find ducks are cost neutral, surplus eggs great for swapping or selling better return than chook eggs.

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6 years 11 months ago #532427 by G n T
Replied by G n T on topic Duck questions
Hi,
Hijacking this post a little- but what's the going rate for duck eggs?
I've seen free range chook eggs advertised around the place for $5-6, but not duck eggs.

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6 years 11 months ago #532428 by Stikkibeek
Replied by Stikkibeek on topic Duck questions
I was charging $10 a dozen and $20 if they wanted fertile eggs, carefully kept until there were enough to fill an order

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S
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6 years 11 months ago #532429 by Deanna
Replied by Deanna on topic Duck questions
For my very large ones that don't really fit in the carton without copious rubber bands I charge $8 and for my chicken size duck eggs I charge $6.50 a doz. Chicken eggs still $5 but they need to go up, if only everyone would up the price at the same time.

25 acres, 1400 Blue Gums, Wiltshire sheep, 5 steers, 2 cows, ducks, chickens, bees, dog, cats, retired, 1 husband and 3 grandkids.

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6 years 11 months ago #532433 by Stikkibeek
Replied by Stikkibeek on topic Duck questions
Deana, if you check them against genuine free range in the super markets, you will find they range from $8-$12 doz, so find the medium for your area and undercut by a little. I put my eggs sales to $6 last season and am looking at more this coming spring, as cost of feed has gone up.

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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6 years 11 months ago #532434 by Deanna
Replied by Deanna on topic Duck questions
Stikkibeek all around here they are only $5 (chicken eggs, not from the supermarket).

25 acres, 1400 Blue Gums, Wiltshire sheep, 5 steers, 2 cows, ducks, chickens, bees, dog, cats, retired, 1 husband and 3 grandkids.

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6 years 11 months ago #532435 by Anakei
Replied by Anakei on topic Duck questions

Deanna wrote: Stikkibeek all around here they are only $5 (chicken eggs, not from the supermarket).


Damn !
It turns out that I have 3 ducks out of 6. I was going to retire on the proceeds of the duck egg futures, joining Ruth on the rich list :lol:
Back to the drawing board :(

Urban mini farmer and guerilla gardener

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6 years 11 months ago #532440 by Stikkibeek
Replied by Stikkibeek on topic Duck questions

Anakei wrote: Damn !
It turns out that I have 3 ducks out of 6. I was going to retire on the proceeds of the duck egg futures, joining Ruth on the rich list :lol:
Back to the drawing board :(


Fatten the other three and you should get at least $30 each for them. That will kick start the retirement fund. :whistle:

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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6 years 11 months ago #532590 by Inger
Replied by Inger on topic Duck questions
The male and female voice differences occur between the ages of 10 to 12 weeks, so you should be able to work out the sexes soon. The curl in the tails of the drakes, don't develop until 5 or 6 months of age, depending on the breed.

You females won't start laying until the 3rd week of April, which is a week or two after the shortest day and the days will be starting to get longer daylight hours.

Earlier hatched ducks (August/September) will start laying in February/March, but the shortening daylight hours of Autumn, prevent the later hatched ducks from laying. It's nature's way of making sure that ducklings aren't hatched during the cold Winter months.

Feel free to email me, if you need any more advice on breeding ducks. :)

45 hectares between Whangarei and Paparoa. Registered Dexter cattle, Wiltshire sheep - black, white & pied.
New Hampshire Red poultry & Dorking poultry. Pilgrim Geese, Appleyard Ducks.
A cat called Pusscat and still looking for another heading dog.
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6 years 11 months ago #532610 by Anakei
Replied by Anakei on topic Duck questions

Inger wrote: The male and female voice differences occur between the ages of 10 to 12 weeks, so you should be able to work out the sexes soon. The curl in the tails of the drakes, don't develop until 5 or 6 months of age, depending on the breed.

You females won't start laying until the 3rd week of April, which is a week or two after the shortest day and the days will be starting to get longer daylight hours.

Earlier hatched ducks (August/September) will start laying in February/March, but the shortening daylight hours of Autumn, prevent the later hatched ducks from laying. It's nature's way of making sure that ducklings aren't hatched during the cold Winter months.

Feel free to email me, if you need any more advice on breeding ducks. :)


I've got the sexes now - three of each but I'm a little confused about your date of the 3rd week of April being after the shortest day :unsure: I thought the shortest day was in June. As they are not laying now, I presume they are going to start laying 3 weeks after June solstice.

Urban mini farmer and guerilla gardener

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6 years 11 months ago #532615 by Rokker
Replied by Rokker on topic Duck questions
Yes, indeed - the shortest day is June 21st, so Inger might have to clarify.

Do NOT cross this paddock! ... Unless you can do it in 9 seconds, 'cos the bull can do it in 10!

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6 years 11 months ago #532618 by Inger
Replied by Inger on topic Duck questions
Sorry, brain misfire. It would be the third week of July. :oops: That's when our Appleyards start laying usually. It may differ between breeds, but the ducks always start before the hens do.

45 hectares between Whangarei and Paparoa. Registered Dexter cattle, Wiltshire sheep - black, white & pied.
New Hampshire Red poultry & Dorking poultry. Pilgrim Geese, Appleyard Ducks.
A cat called Pusscat and still looking for another heading dog.

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6 years 11 months ago #532632 by Anakei
Replied by Anakei on topic Duck questions
Excellent! I was beginning to think it was me :lol:

I am going to take Stikkibeeks advice and put the drakes in the freezer next weekend - we have to psyche ourselves up for it :S
That will cut the food bill till the eggs roll in - for us and the ducks :) I've been investigating on Dr Google about killing ducks, and I think we have missed the ideal window for processing. Any tips for 6 month old ducks?

Urban mini farmer and guerilla gardener

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6 years 11 months ago #532634 by Stikkibeek
Replied by Stikkibeek on topic Duck questions
Have a ruffle through the feathers on one. If it is full of pin feathers, then it will be a huge mission to pluck so in that instance I would recommend skinning. You can use hot water, but it's best to let the meat/skin "set" before plucking anyway. Fresh duck still warm will rip the skin if trying to pluck.
If you have to skin, then disjoint it into nice manageable sizes, and freeze that way, since without skin it will not roast well. In that case, it will be fine casseroled in a slow cooker.

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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6 years 11 months ago #532646 by Wren
Replied by Wren on topic Duck questions
Some of my silver appleyards have recently started laying - I was a bit surprised since I didn't expect anything until spring since they were hatched at the end of October. At least two of the seven ducks are laying (two is the most eggs I've found on a single day, but I suspect there is a hidden nest somewhere too, since we have had several days with no eggs). It will be interesting to see if they have a break over winter, but I am hoping that they might lay through.

We ate one of the drakes when he was about 5/6 months old. I roasted him and he was a wee bit tough (very tasty meat, though) so I think a slower roasting at a lower temp might have been of benefit. I have also used a soaking in buttermilk to help tenderise home grown chicken, which I assume would work on duck too...?

Muddling our way through 1Ha on the Christchurch Port Hills, with flocks of heritage chickens, Silver Appleyard ducks, Gotland sheep, and Arapawa goats.

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