Category Archives: Food

Muscovy Ducks

Did you know they are the only duck not derived from the Mallard Duck?

Muscovies are not related to any other duck, in fact some believe they are descended from geese rather than ducks. They originate from South America where their ! They also have a penchant for flies, small slugs, snails and even frogs & newts.

The most obvious difference between them and ‘other’ ducks are the carruncles (the red stuff) on their faces which is more predominant in the males. Interestingly, in females the bright red dulls to a deep orange when they’re broody, right through to raising their ducklings. A blatant visual warning to the males to stay away!

Another difference is they have long, sharp claws which are used to attach to tree branches at night when they roost. Due to these claws there’s a right and wrong way to pick up a muscovy and the wrong way will end in bloodshed – yours that is. Put your carrying arm over and around its body, pinning both wings in place and taking hold of one or both legs (depending on the size of the bird and the size of you) gently but firmly. This needs to be done pretty quickly and if they start to struggle with you they’ll lash out trying to find their feet, and you’ll have first hand experience of those claws.

Muscovy Duck Eggs

Ducks eggs are the richest, creamiest, smoothest eggs going. Actually, I feel so passionate about them that I’ve written an entire post on why duck eggs rock. However, as wonderful as the Muscovy duck is, this isn’t the breed to get if you after an egg laying machine. You may want to consider a Khaki Campbell or an Indian Runner as they lay far more per year.

Muscovies as Meat Birds

This is where the Muscovy excels, the meat is dark and very lean. If you’ve ever bought a supermarket duck (in the UK Aylesbury’s are the most common meat bird sold) to roast at home you can almost watch the bird shrink in the oven, as the inch or more of fat under the skin melts. This is all very well if you want to roast a gazillion potatoes to accompany the meal, but if you are striving for a healthier diet then the lean meat of the muscovy is definitely the duck of choice.

It’s worth knowing that the boys weigh in much heavier than the girls, and if you’re not sure of the age of the bird I would recommend a very slow roast to tenderize the meat as it can be tough on an older bird, and baste frequently as it is so lean.

Feeding a Muscovy Duck

In the summer months our birds will require very little extra food as they forage plenty, but in the colder months they’ll need feeding a duck or unmedicated chicken feed twice a day. If you are growing them to eat, put them on a growers ration, but if they are just for laying or for looking pretty a layers ration will be fine. Make sure they have plenty of clean water close at hand as the dry food alone will make them poorly.

Muscovy Ducklings

Muscovies make fantastic mothers and the most eggs we’ve had hatch is 15, which is pretty amazing as the girls aren’t all that big. We have had them hatch chicken eggs too, although that can lead to problems when the mamma duck wants to teach her chicks to swim!

The Quiet Breed

One of the many reasons I am so smitten with my flock, is that they are very quiet. They don’t ‘quack’ which if you’ve had the misfortune to meet a Call duck or an Aylesbury duck you’ll appreciate (I’m sorry for offending all you Call & Aylsebury fans but seriously – HOW do you live that noise???!) Instead these guys nod their heads and have a gentle kind of hiss as a greeting. Oh, and they wag their tails. Seriously they are really cute to watch.

Left to their own devices, they would be far happier sleeping on a tree branch safely out of harms way than on a pond or in a hut, and they are the one duck breed not so in need of a large area of water. We’ve raised birds here with just a 4 inch deep tray of water, a cat litter tray is good and pretty hard wearing. So long as the water is deep enough to get their nostrils and eyes under then it’s fine. It will need changing twice daily as they will drink, clean, and probably poop in it, and everything around this area will get very, very muddy.

Interested in hatching some of your own? www.goodwinfamilyfarms.com

Crock Pot Deer and Rice

Need a quick easy meal that will feed the family?
Recipe for deer shoulder or necks in crock pot

Place meat in crock pot
Place seasoning and cut onions to place on top.
In a bowl take a can of beer, cup of sour cream, and can of cream of mushroom soup. Mix up good and then place over meat.
Allow meat to cook all day in crock pot. When it starts falling off bone then take the bones out.
Cook about 2 cups of white rice and then add to crock pot.
Makes an awesome full filling family meal.

Deer Season and what it means

I have had a lot of people ask me how to process deer and how to keep it from tasting gamey. I will eventually add a video but for now I will tell you the best I can.

After the deer is dressed out and quartered then you will need to put in a refrigerator or cooler. Make sure it stays good and cold for several days.

Once the meat has had time to rest then we start pulling out a little at a time and cutting into the choice of meats that we choose – normally steaks, cube meat, tenderloin, neck, and we even use the meat between the ribs for grind. We try not to waste any meat. Once meat is cut up then it goes into a sink of cold water with salt generously sprinkled over the top.

Allow meat to sit for 30 minutes to an hour. Drain the water and then package meat into freezer safe bags or vacuum seal it. We weigh out 2 lbs for all of our bags. We take the grind meat and grind it and use it for ground meat and to make sausage out of it. We also use hams to make deer jerky.

I have recipes to use for shoulders, necks, sausage and jerky. Stay tuned – I will be adding them later on.

We use this method on all of our wild game. Our entire family hunts and this allows our family to have meat all year round.

God is great and provides!deer

Pickled Quail Eggs

Well I made my first attempt at pickling quail eggs a couple of months ago and we finally decided to open a jar and check them out.

The overall vote at 100% was they were delicious! They were on the sweet side so next time I will add in a jalapeno. I had never even tried any pickled eggs in the past and for sure never canned them, so I was very happy with outcome. We had to do something with all the extra quail eggs that we have around here.

What is your experience with pickled quail eggs?

Deviled Quail Eggs

We had a family reunion today and so I decided to do something a little different. I had lots of extra quail eggs since I have shut the incubator down for a while so I decided on Deviled Quail Eggs. The hardest part of making them is getting the shell of the eggs and after that its super easy. You get an awesome reaction out of adults and children.

Processing and Eating Quail

Pharoh Quail Wanting something different? Tired of the same old thing? Try some quail!

I love processing quail because they are so easy. Tonight I tried a different recipe. We hatch out our quail and process them ourselves. Super Easy!

Wanting something different? Tired of the same ole thing? Try some quail!

I love processing quail because they are so easy. Tonight I tried a different recipe. We hatch out our quail and process them ourselves. Super Easy!

This is my recipe – minis a few item plus a few.
Quail Ready for Butcher
Very easy to kill – just twist neck off – its                fast and quick.
You don’t even need a knife to peel skin off. Hint — Peel skin off while quail still warm – if they cool off then it doesn’t peel as easy.

 

Stuffing with mushroom mix.

 

I decided to add carrots and potatoes.
This is the final mix
The Final Product!!
Super Easy and Delicious!

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