Ducks

HOME   II  Updated: 10/30/08

We currently have Pekin Duck eggs for sale. They are $1 an egg, 6 egg minimum. We also ship eggs. Shipping and handling, including delivery confirmation is $12.95. We accept paypal.

 

We also have adult Pekin Ducks for sale. They are approximately 6 months old, with some of the girls already laying. They are $11 a duck or $19 for a pair. 

 

first time duck owners

Here is a great site to look at if you are a first time duck owner.

http://www.liveducks.com/

Hatching

Pekin duck embryos take around 28 days to develop in the egg at 99.5°F (37.5°C) and 55-75% humidity. A heartbeat can usually be seen by the third day of incubation when candling the egg.

The eggs must be regularly turned during incubation. This occurs in nature when the female duck shifts her position while sitting on the eggs. For artificial incubation, machines are available which will constantly turn the eggs.

When being artificially incubated, the eggs are moved to a "hatcher" three days before they are due to hatch. This has a slightly lower temperature and higher humidity which increases the survivability of the hatchlings while their protective down develops.

Hatchlings and young ducklings

Pekin hatchlings have bright yellow plumage with an orange bill, shanks, and feet.

Hatchlings should not be given free access to swimming water unless they have been hatched naturally by other ducks. The feathers of a young duckling are not sufficiently developed to properly protect them for extended periods in the water and they do not produce enough preen oil to waterproof this plumage. In the wild, a mother duck will monitor the time her ducklings spend in the water as well as supplying additional preen oil to supplement what is produced by the hatchlings.

 

Mature ducks

Fully mature adult Pekin ducks weigh between 8 and 11 pounds (3.6 and 5 kilograms) in captivity. Their average lifespan (if not eaten at an early age) is about 9 to 12 years. Their external feathers are white sometimes with a yellowish tinge. This is more obvious with ducks that have been reared indoors and not exposed to sunlight. The ducks have a more upright stance than dabbling ducks, and possess an upturned rump.

An adult Pekin will lay an average of 200 eggs per year if it does not try to, or is prevented from, hatching them. They will normally only lay one egg on any given day. They will lay their eggs in what they consider to be safe place and will often lay where another duck has already laid. Ducks can be tricked into laying eggs where desired by placing a golf ball or similar object in a place where they might normally lay.

Pekin ducks are less "broody" than other ducks which means that they are less likely to sit on their eggs until they hatch. Hens can be used to sit on the duck eggs, or they can be incubated artificially. Pekin ducks, for the most part, are too heavy to get airborne. However, individual ducks may be lighter and capable of short flight, so clipping their flight feathers or (pinioning) their wings will ensure that they will not be able to fly away. They are gregarious and will usually group together.

As with most waterfowl, the Pekin duck has feet that are perfect for paddling through water but less suited to walking around on the ground. They are happiest when they have free access to water in which to swim and mate. When catching a Pekin duck it is important not to grab it by the legs but rather to grasp by the neck which is less likely to break.

Butchering and eating

Pekin ducks are ready for butchering at 6 to 8 weeks of age with 7 weeks considered optimum. The prime commercial weight is considered to be 6-6.5 pounds (2.7-3 kilograms). They produce more meat that is desirable for eating than other breeds of duck. Its meat is very tender and mild and well-suited for a range of dishes. Pekin duck meat is a good source of iron, niacin (B3) and selenium. A boneless, skinless duck breast has about 40% less fat than boneless, skinless chicken breast according to the Culver Duck Farms Nutritional Comparision Table which compares duck with chicken, pork, beef, and turkey.