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Raising ducks for meat is a popular choice when it comes to homesteading. There are many different meat ducks, but some breeds are better than others. This article will discuss the best types of ducks for meat for your homestead.
Best Types of Ducks for Meat: Homesteading 101
What Qualities Are Important in a Meat Duck?
There are a few things to consider when choosing a duck breed for meat. First, you want a breed that is heavy and muscular. A heavy, muscular duck will have more meat on its bones.
Second, you want a duck that grows quickly. Quick growth ensures that you can get to the slaughtering stage sooner and won’t have to wait as long for your ducks to reach maturity.
Third, you want a duck that has low maintenance needs. You don’t have to spend time and money caring for your ducks.
Best Meat Duck Breeds
Now that we know what to look for in a meat duck let’s look at some of the best breeds.
Jumbo Pekin Duck
The Jumbo Pekin is one of the fastest-growing duck breeds, making them ideal for meat production. Jumbo Pekins average 9-13lbs, so they produce a lot of meat.
Jumbo Pekins are also known to have tastier meat than other breeds. The meat is known to be tender and is 100% fat-free, which makes it a healthier choice than some other meats.
These ducks are incredibly low maintenance and can thrive in almost any environment. They are also hardy against diseases.
The Rouen duck is another excellent choice for meat production. They are one of the largest duck breeds, averaging 9-12lbs. The Rouen duck has a long body and a large breast, making it ideal for butchering.
If you provide them with a diet that will promote growth, Rouen ducks can be butchered as young as seven weeks. The meat of a Rouen duck is light tasting and tender. It is also a leaner meat than other ducks, making it a healthier option.
Rouen ducks are low maintenance and easy to care for. They are also resistant to many diseases that can affect other duck breeds.
Swedish ducks are another excellent choice for meat production. Swedish ducks have large breasts and long bodies, making them ideal for butchering. They are known to be a heavyweight duck breed, averaging 6-8lbs.
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The meat of a Swedish duck is dark and rich in flavor. It is also suitable for both frying and roasting.
Swedish ducks grow fast and will be ready for butchering in eight weeks. They are also great egg layers.
They are a low-maintenance breed because they prefer foraging outdoors and free-ranging, so they have no special dietary needs.
The Muscovy duck is another excellent choice for meat production. They are a large breed, averaging 12-15lbs. Muscovy ducks have large, meaty breasts and long bodies, making them ideal for butchering.
Muscovy ducks are also known to have tastier meat than other breeds. The meat has a lighter, milder flavor and is most suitable for whole roasting. The meat also has little to no fat content.
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Muscovies are also among the fastest-growing duck species. They are ready for butchering at around six weeks old.
Muscovies are disease resistant and thrive in most environments, making them ideal if you are looking for a low-maintenance breed.
The Aylesbury duck is another excellent choice for meat production. They are a large breed, averaging 7-9lbs. Aylesbury ducks aren't great layers. However, they are fantastic meat ducks.
Aylesbury duck meat is ideal for roasting and frying. It is said to be lean, soft, and has an authentic flavor that is difficult to find in other breeds.
Aylesburys grow quickly and will be ready for butchering around eight weeks old.
The Saxony duck is another excellent choice for meat production. They are a large breed, averaging 6-8lbs. They are a dual-purpose breed, producing delicious meat and producing up to 100 eggs a year.
Saxonies are also a low-maintenance breed that is capable of raising itself. They are great foragers and are not prone to health issues.
Silver Appleyard Duck
The Silver Appleyard duck is another excellent choice for meat production. They are a large breed, averaging between six and eight pounds. The Silver Appleyard was developed to be a dual-purpose breed. However, they excel more as a meat bird.
Silver Appleyards have well-rounded breasts and long bodies that make them great for butchering. Their meat is also said to be some of the tastiest out of all the breeds. It is rich in flavor with a smooth texture.
These ducks will be ready for butchering around nine weeks old.
The Ancona duck is another excellent choice for meat production. Anconas are known to have leaner meat than most other breeds. They are a medium-sized breed, averaging between four and six pounds.
Ancona duck meat is said to be tender with a delicate flavor. It is known to be flavorful and less fatty. It is also suitable for roasting and frying.
Anconas grow quickly and will be ready for butchering around seven weeks old.
The Magpie duck is another excellent choice for meat production. They are a medium-weight breed, averaging between 4 and 5 pounds. Magpies are known to have some of the best-tasting duck meat out of all the breeds.
They are a dual-purpose breed and will also give you 220 eggs a year.
They are great at free-ranging and will forage for their food if allowed.
The Bottom Line – Meat Ducks
There are many different breeds of ducks that are good for meat production. The best duck for you will depend on your personal preferences. All of the ducks listed above make excellent choices for those looking to raise ducks for meat.
Now that you know more about the different types of ducks, which one will you choose?
Claire started Femme on FIRE after struggling with the debt cycle and realizing that she had to create better habits to get out of it. She became inspired along this journey and now strives to help others achieve financial freedom as well. When she isn’t working on her blog, you can find her on the couch with a good book, cooking up recipes in the kitchen, or playing outside with her ducks.