We’re slow roasting duck for dinner, and the flavors are amazing. Yes, it was time to cull the magpies from the pond. Male ducks should be slaughtered when they are first mature (after 7 weeks). Ours are a little older, but not by much, and the carcass was still supple and juicy. Older drakes are tough and dry, making them stew birds, rather than meaty meals with potato and veggies above. If you have some fresh herbs in your garden this spring, or some dry herbs like the kitchen sage added to the onion garlic potatoes, such flavors go wonderfully with the oily dark meat.
My partner and I both agree that duck is indeed, a reward for the work put in. We’re expecting 20 ducklings in late April. These khaki campbells are suited to pasture conditions, with nesting space and a night shut in. The ducks will be our first layer flock study folding into our rotational grazing systems here at Leafhopper Farm. The ducks are great sluggers, and I hope to let them loose in the gardens after our harvests next fall. Depending on how the pond is looking, we might also allow the flock into the water for a little while again to help with sealing, once the water level rises again.
A special thank you to ducks, as teachers, workers, gleaners, cleaners, quacking good company, and nurturing to us as we toast the water birds and roast a good dinner!