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Feb 17, 2014 05:25 PM

Suffocated or strangled ducks: where can I buy?


See subject. I am assuming all the ducks I buy, of any breed, are bled.

Just curious. I'm sure I can live w/o it, or move to Rouen, but I'm sure it has a funkier taste.


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  1. I like duck. Last night I roasted a wild mallard 'low and slow'. Delicious. Wild ducks that have been shot typically are not 'bleed' and the flavor is more 'livery' than domesticated duck which are pretty much all 'bleed' during processing.
    If you want the more 'livery' flavor in a duck I suggest you go duck hunting or hook up with a duck hunter.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Puffin3

      wild ducks have a different taste because they eat a wide variety of things, and are not fed commercial feed.

      Duck hunters bleed the ducks -- I promise.

      1. re: sunshine842

        I have been hunting ducks/geese/pheasants/quail/partridge/turkeys for over 50 years. I have never 'bled' any bird I've shot. I have hunted with probably hundreds of other bird hunters and I have never once seen any one 'bled' any bird just killed.
        Certainly in commercial poultry plants all birds are first 'bled'. That's b/c the birds are still alive and the heart will pump out most of the blood.
        A dead duck in a field isn't going to bleed more than a couple of drops. Heart has stopped. Not pumping any more. The blood is where it is and that's that.
        Virtually any wild bird that has been shot and killed has bled into the central cavity as it died IF any bird shot has opened an artery or gone into the heart.
        Any birds that are not killed outright quickly have their necks wrung causing instant death.
        No one first slits the birds throat then waits for it to die. Not humane.

        1. re: Puffin3

          all I can tell you is what I've seen.

          decapitated and hung upside down.

          Doesn't need the heart -- it has gravity.

          1. re: Puffin3

            I've never seen ducks or geese bled here in SE Texas, and the quail and dove I've shot is when we are out walking miles and don't have the time nor inclination to bleed the things.

      2. If you live in a big city with large Asian or Hispanic populations (or Muslim) there's probably a live poultry market nearby. I have no idea if they'd strangle your duck for you but they do kill, pluck and gut them to order.
        I live in Philadelphia and know of 4 places that specialize in live poultry and rabbits.

        1. Just curious as to why you want these. Is there a culinary or cultural advantage/imperative?

          1. I expect that there'd be some serious objections from the Humane Society, possibly legal action, as this under most US law would constitute inhumane slaughter. Not that our usual methods are anything to brag about, but in general the requirement is a quick and relatively painless death. Strangling probably would not qualify.

            1. In some places (in the US), they do sell live chicken and live duck. Maybe you can strangle them on your own?

              20 Replies
              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                Wild birds eat a different diet than domesticated birds obviously. Wild birds have dark flesh and some blood in the meat isn't an issue visually.
                Most domestic birds are raised to have nice white breast meat. It doesn't look that great to see a white breast full of red blood cells running through the meat.
                In addition to some religious observances producers attempt to get rid of as much blood as possible by suspending the birds upside down in special designed 'cones' with only the head/neck exposed. They are on a conveyor. The conveyor moves through a machine that slits the birds' throat and the bird 'bleeds out' as it continues on it's merry way to the 'plucker' and 'evisorizer' then into the 'chiller' which is a bath of chemicals and feces. The bath looks like French Canadian Pea Soup after a few thousand birds have taken a dip. Then a quick final wash and into the 'cool room' (not too cool if you are one of the birds on their way to KFC.
                I try to eat as much wild 'anything' as possible.

                1. re: Puffin3

                  As you probably already know, this method applies to commercial chickens, not ducks. No ducks are processed this way, which is why you can eat duck rare.

                  And obviously there is no white meat on any duck, no matter how it is killed.

                  1. re: acgold7

                    There are various methods of plucking or removing duck feathers compared to chickens, but the commercial slaughter of ducks and chickens is basically the same.

                    1. re: earthygoat

                      Except, not. Ducks aren't processed in factory plants the way chickens are and are not subject to this fecal soup.

                      1. re: acgold7

                        What do you mean? Are you saying that ducks are raised only on small family farms? Therefore, only processed in tiny abattoirs? If you have a duck farm with thousands of ducks on it, and they are all processed at 7 weeks of age, they will surely be processed in a large processing facility that can deal with a large number of birds.

                        The fecal soup that you refer to is part of the plucking process, where the feathered birds (dirt, manure and all) are scalded to loosen the feathers prior to plucking them out. Therefore, since ducks can (and sometimes need to) have a different plucking process, you can avoid the fecal soup. Yes, the birds go through a second wash, but that is after the feathers have been removed and so has most of the dirt.

                        Check out this site for King Cole Ducks. Just an example of a VERY large duck farm that does its own processing as well.

                        1. re: earthygoat

                          That's incorrect. The Fecal Soup is part of the "washing" and chilling process where the chickens go into an ice water bath.

                          Duck consumption is a tiny fraction of the number of chickens processed annually in this country. Miniscule by comparison. Not all Ducks are processed on tiny family farms and nobody said they were. But they don't go by conveyor sytems by the millions into huge cold water tanks after being mechanically eviscerated by machines which are likely, in about 30% of birds, to have campylobacter and salmonella spread throughout their cavities when the intestines are punctured, which then contaminate every other bird that goes through the tank.

                          Your link reinforces my point that Ducks are not as likely to be contaminated in this way as their process is different, which is why Duck can safely be eaten rare while chicken cannot.

                          1. re: acgold7

                            I think we are going to have to kindly agree to disagree here. Although I do agree with you on the proportion of chickens being raised compared to ducks (billions of chickens rather than millions of ducks), the point I was trying to make with the link is that most ducks in North America are raised on what one would consider to be a factory farm. That is what King Cole Ducks is. When they are raised in this way, they will also be slaughtered under commercial conditions in order to be as efficient as possible and to get the biggest bang for the buck. This means that the slaughtering is a very mechanized process which always increases the risk of contamination. Personally, I believe that the reason we can eat ducks rare is not due to the way they are processed, but because they are a completely different species, but that's not what I am trying prove here.

                            I have been raising animals for meat to feed my family for decades. This includes chickens, ducks, geese, goats and pigs. The reason I do this is because I want to know exactly how the animals I raised are killed and then processed and even though I may be good at eviscerating, I am not an expert. Everything is done by hand here and I often cut into the intestines by accident, this also happens with the experts, who may also do it by hand and using special hand tools. No processing is completely free of contamination, but the closer we are to knowing exactly where our meat comes from the safer it will be. In my view, that is not the grocery store, where most ducks you would buy come from large commercial farms and therefore, have an increased risk of being contaminated.

                            1. re: earthygoat

                              You can disagree with opinions but not with facts. You're entitled to your opinion but the points you make don't change a thing I've pointed out, factually.

                              And to be honest they don't really have anything to do with the topic at hand.

                              The point I've had to make for you three times now, which you seem to be ignoring, isn't whether you do or don't nick the intestines yourself or whether ducks are or aren't a different species, but that whether one contaminated bird can contaminate several million others in a single day.

                              That is the one and only issue.

                2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  Yikes...............I'm not sure I could bring myself to strangle a duck, although I have choked the chicken more than a few times.

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    Humane issues very much aside, I would not want to try strangling any duck that wasn't firmly strapped down. Those things are fierce, and awfully strong.

                    1. re: Will Owen

                      I have heard geese are very strong, but I didn't know ducks are too.

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        way more than their size will make you think. A goose will whup your ass.

                        1. re: sunshine842

                          I've had that happen on more than one occasion with a bottle of Grey Goose!

                          1. re: jrvedivici

                            Anyone who messes with a Grey Goose deserves what they get. It's a nasty creature!

                          2. re: sunshine842

                            Oh yeah. We always carry some sort of club when approaching an injured wild goose.
                            No way anyone is going to grab hold of one of them.
                            That's why it's so important to be sure of your shot before you pull the trigger.
                            Also the taste of the meat is very different if a wild goose has been running and flapping around half dead for five minutes before it's humanely dispatched with a club.
                            A clean quick kill is the sign of a good hunter.
                            No one I hunt with blasts away at any bird that's out of range.

                            1. re: Puffin3


                              Ok after reading your entire post there....I'm assuming you carry the club when approaching an injured goose that you or someone has shot, but not killed?

                              I was reading that as carry a club when approaching an injured goose to assist it, or just bludgeon it. I was thinking you were rather twisted individual for a second puffin.

                              1. re: jrvedivici

                                Someone always brings along some sort of club to humanely dispatch wounded ducks/geese. Or we find something that works.

                            2. re: sunshine842

                              I know geese are tough. It is said that they are like small dogs. I was wondering about ducks.

                        2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                          Reminds me of my favorite fried chicken place in Kansas CIty that used to sell tshirts that said we choke our own chickens... I vaguely even recall a tshirt with a chicken with two hands around its neck.. I think that is gone but the slogan lives on.