Fat ducks, and how to avoid them

The fall out of the implications from Avian Influenza in France means many keepers may be switching to duck for this season, but there are some key nutritional considerations to ensure a successful duck season.

Game Feeds

The Fat Duck. Duck fat. Both are highly regarded in the culinary world, the former being Heston Blumenthal’s 3 Michelin Star restaurant in Berkshire, the latter being the key to the very crispiest, tastiest roast potatoes. But when it comes to shooting, fat ducks deliver far from a five star experience.

So for those who normally rear pheasants and partridge, how different is a duck in terms of their management, to our normal feathery friends? Essentially, the majority of the principles are the same, but it’s important to consider the differences in a duck’s basic physiology, i.e. how the bird is made up and hot it functions, and their natural behaviours.

Eating apparatus

Ducks are equipped with larger bills than the fine beaks of pheasant and partridge which means that they are more readily accepting of a pellet earlier on in their growing stages. In fact, outside of the shooting world, some larger breeds of ducks reared for meat do not need a crumb at all. Ducks also tend to use these larger bills to scoop or shovel feed so clean, dust free pellets are a must to avoid fines irritating their nostrils and eyes.