Trial Run
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Back in Oklahoma we had a few ducks and really enjoyed them.  They love grass and bugs, and I think they are more entertaining than chickens. We decided this fall to run a small batch of Peking ducks for a trial run for next year.  They will be for meat, so in about 4 weeks we’ll see if it will be worth the work…here are some pictures of our group of 50 so far.

In the brooder

 

Aren’t they just so cute?!?

 

Putting the 3 week old ducks out to pasture

 

Buddy and Grady, partners in crime.

 

Have you ever raised ducks?

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About Erin Phelan

Born and raised in western Michigan, Erin came to Polyface first as an intern in the summer of 2009. While here she met and got to know Grady Phelan, an apprentice at the time. The next spring they were married and after a couple years in Oklahoma they are back, working as sub-contractors for Polyface. Erin keeps herself busy with the jobs of a wife and mother, as well as helping with the animals, gardening, sewing, cooking, baking, knitting and reading.
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9 Responses to Trial Run

  1. People often forget that both geese and ducks love to graze grasses. I believe they even herd them to pastures over in China. Of course with those webbed feet they definitely love their water.

  2. Leilani says:

    Not yet, but they are on the list. If you could elaborate a bit on feed, stocking rate, grow out time and any processing differences you have seen it would be very helpful.

    • Erin Phelan says:

      We are giving them the same feed that broilers get, and they seem to be doing great on that. So far they are growing faster, size wise, than the chickens, but we will be processing at about the same time. We have never processed them before so once that happens I will let you know. We had the ducks in OK just because, (they were actually a mistake on one of our orders) so most of what we are learning is new to us.

  3. Mike Jantz says:

    Nice to see there are Oklahoma ties to Polyface farms. I’m in NW Oklahoma and am just getting started converting our farm over to sustainable farming. You guys have been a real inspiration to me. Thanks!

  4. We got ducks this past spring. I was amazed that they grew as quickly as the broilers AND ate all the weeds we could throw at them.

  5. Cyndi Lewis says:

    Oh yum! Duck is good eating. Our family likes to do a duck for Thanksgiving instead of turkey.

  6. Janet Brookover says:

    I also had pekin ducks for the first time this spring. I was shocked that they grew so fast. We provided water for them to play in and what a mess that was! I couldn’t wait to butcher them. We processed them at 7 weeks (I think they should be 8 weeks) and they were DELICIOUS!!!! I have read that processing them much past 8 weeks is quite tedious due to the heavy pin feather growth. Even at 7 weeks it was a little time consuming but so worth it.

  7. Leilani says:

    I really need to talk my husband into trying a small batch of ducks. I truly love roast duck but have not had any since we quit buying factory farm meats. Now that I see how easy it is to do them and we already have the equipment, we will have to do some.