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PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:27 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Location: Robertson, NSW
Howdy all,

I had my first batch of ducks processed yesterday, 16 of them. All were between 6 and 11 weeks old.

They have a LOT of feathers left on them and have been mangled pretty badly. I dont think I can re-dip them in hot water as the abatoir will have already done this. Does anyone have any tips for removal of the feathers as I've been at it with tweezers for the last 3 hours :shock: ... I cant do 16 this way!

I've promised some to people and can't present them this way... help!

I'm about ready to go buy a womens hair epilator from Myer :lol:

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 10:57 am 
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Prime Pekin
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Location: Campbelltown NSW
Hi , This is the problem with pin feathers on very young birds . There are 2 ways to avoid this massive task . Let the birds grow out a bit more and the pin feathers are no longer OR apply a wax then remove ( much the same as you suggested :wink: but different process)
Not sure where your birds were done BUT this is common BUT may cost a bit more .
Great to see you and your other half and the Appleyards in this weeks Land Newspaper ( "Farming Small Areas " liftout ) I think Kim needs a lesson on telling ducks from Drakes :wink: Well done .
Same liftout has a bit of information on the Brahma / Cochin and Marans show at Yass, by Bruce Pattinson ( where he judged ) Good to see Bruce giving the Marans a plug :wink:


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 11:08 am 
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Showy Hen
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Thanks Martin, I'll ask to pay a little more for complete feather removal next time - it was a trial run so they varied in age from 6 up to 11 weeks. Yep that was our ugly mugs in the Land... at least the ducks look good, the drake really hammed it up for the camera man - pity they've labelled the duck as a drake and the drake as a duck!

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Last edited by robertsonquackers on Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 2:11 pm 
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Phoenix
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I noticed large Silver Appleyards at Euroa tomorrow.

The Land article was a good one :)

J

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:02 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Thanks... I felt ridiculous having a ribbon draped over me - like Miss Duck-world or something. And yes I'm bidding on some of them tomorrow... I'm very excited at the chance to pick up a few more apples ;-)

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 9:14 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Location: Robertson, NSW
I thought I should add a photo... I had a local butcher salvage what he could from the birds and he did a lovely job carving off the breasts and thigh marylands.

Image

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 12:13 pm 
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Prime Pekin
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Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2007 4:10 pm
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Location: Campbelltown NSW
You could try skinning these portions BUT to be honest the skin is the best bit when cooked :wink: . Your birds were just much too young to dress out (they are ALL pin feathers )Waxing would have removed these pin feathers at the original plucking .


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 8:05 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Location: Robertson, NSW
Yep the skin is the best part, no point having the meat without that juicy crunchy skin... yum!

Thanks Martin - glad to know what went wrong, what age do you recommend I should be taking them in?

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:48 pm 
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Prime Pekin
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Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2007 4:10 pm
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Location: Campbelltown NSW
When the pin feathers have grown out :wink: . You mentioned some as young as 6 weeks , that is where the problem would be . I would think 12 weeks would be at optimum weight / tenderness and most pins filled out . It will depend on your line of birds , feed , weather , outside stress . You will guage this best as you go along . You need to do lots of trial weighing and recording to give you information on optimum feed conversion and then couple this as a trade off with things like pin feathers , available markets, Xmas etc etc . Raising the ducks is the easy part :wink: :D Please feel free to PM if you feel that I may be able to help you .
Mart


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