We maintain a small flock of layers to supply duck eggs for eating and baking. Blue Indian Runners and Rouen ducks were purchased from Metzer Farms, CA and Muscovy and Cayuga ducks were purchased from Cripplecreek Farm, Gardiner, NY. Our runners and Rouen lay green tinted eggs, Cayuga lay grey eggs. We chose birds that lay tinted eggs, to easily distinguish them from the large white Muscovy eggs which are brooded by our Muscovy hens. New for 2017, we have purchased several Golden 300 Hybrid Layer ducks from Metzer Farms. These will allow us to increase our duck egg production for 2018.
Duclair. A French heritage breed with a rich complex flavor. The original birds from France were re-derived in the USA by Robert Rosenthal of Stone Church Farm in Rifton NY and John Metzer of Metzer Farms in Gonzales CA. These birds are pure white, and therefore similar in appearance to Pekin, but are significantly smaller and slower to reach full size. They are gentle talkative birds, and are excellent flyers compared to other domestic breeds. At this time, we have whole and quartered frozen ducks. We will raise these birds in 2017.
In addition to the traditional Duclair, we are raising a new variation developed by John Metzer of Metzer Farms as a part of his continued improvement of the breed.
Rouen. A French heritage breed which closely resembles the wild mallard in color, but was adapted by the French to a large size. The flavor is complex, slightly gamey and reminiscent of the mallard. We have only a few frozen Rouen. We will raise these birds in 2017 for our own table, contract orders may be arranged.
Muscovy. Originating in South and Central America, the Muscovy is likely related to both ducks and geese. It is a distinct species, and although Muscovy will mate with other Mallard-derived ducks, the progeny are sterile. Muscovy hens are similar in size to our other ducks, but the drakes are almost twice as large. Muscovy are highly intelligent (for ducks) very social, and extremely calm. We walk among them, and they lift their heads to say hello. They are also almost silent, unlike mallard-derived breeds, which can be quite talkative. Muscovy have been raised for meat all over the world. The meat is very lean compared to other ducks, and the large breast is often seared or grilled, sliced into medallions and served with a sauce. The legs are most commonly cooked long and slow as a confit. We keep a flock of breeders and have whole birds in the freezer and in pasture. In 2017 we will raise several hundred birds, please contact us to place an order.
Cayuga. An American heritage breed, and listed on the Slow Food Arc of Taste. These ducks lay very dark eggs, have a very gentle disposition and make excellent pets. They are strikingly beautiful, the females are black with purple accents, and the males are black with an iridescent green head and neck. The Cayuga is named for the city in New York State where it was developed. We have a limited supply of frozen Cayuga, whole birds and quarters. Because the bird has black pinfeathers that are very difficult to completely remove, we will not raise this bird for meat in 2017, but will maintain a small flock as egg producers, and for their beauty.
New for 2017
A variant of the traditional Duclair duck is under development by John Metzer at Metzer Farms, and we are proud to offer this new line. Our first batch of birds will be available for tasting in April.
Silver Appleyard. A heritage dual purpose duck developed by Reginald Appleyard in England. It is said to have extremely flavorful meat. We have raised a small number of these birds in 2017, and we will be conducting blind taste tests in the fall. Our preliminary tastings were very encouraging, we find the birds to be higher in fat content than the Duclair, with a milder, yet interesting flavor. We feel it provides a larger, fattier bird than the Duclair, but with significantly greater complexity compared to the Pekin. The birds themselves are beautiful and sweet tempered, and this breed with replace the Pekin, or Long Island Duckling in our flocks. These ducklings were purchased from John Metzer of Metzer Farms.