I spent a good deal of time yesterday trying to capture the very free range geese and ducks. I made a trap for the geese, but with their strength, they pushed and pushed and created holes and escaped. The trap was reinforced and only a few got away the second go. I had to chase quite a number around the yard too. Fifteen went to the butcher.
The ducks that went in were all male. There were 15 drakes. The ducks all got to stay on the farm, but next year, I will have to cull the girls too, or there will be too many. I kept the girls because duck egg sales are starting to increase. We throw away a tremendous amount of eggs in peak season, only being able to feed so many to the animals and ourselves.
The ducks and geese had quite a lot of pin feathers which remained in the skin. I can try to pick them out after they are thawed before cooking, but that is hard. The lady at the butcher said it was because some were just getting new feathers and that is true, having gone through the moult. The trouble is, they are not all exactly the same age, some incubated and others hatched by the mothers, so timing the processing so they are the same age is not possible.
Roast duck and goose is a favourite at the Inn. There were not many this year so they will be reserved for the gourmet suppers, not the farmhouse dinners. Thank you birds for your lives and I honour you in the feeding of us to come. Bless you little lives.