We have had Daisy, Kiwi, Fantomias and the little speckled duck for a couple of years. This year after laying very few eggs and with the financial pressures we decided with a heavy heart that it is not feasible to keep feeding the ducks expensive organic food whilst not getting any eggs in return.
It was a unanimous vote.
Everyone in the house today worked together through the whole process from slaughtering them in the fastest way possible to reduce stress and suffering, cleaning, plucking and butchering. It was a sad day and brings home the reality of turning living creatures into food.
The dogs were happy to eat whatever humans don't want to and the rest will be frozen for special occasions like our special Christmas dinner coming up. We did keep every part that is edible for cooking including the heart, kidneys and also the feet. In using all the parts of the ducks that we can we honor their sacrifice: Produce no waste. Even the bones can be ground and used later with the compost.
Emotionally from discussing whether we should go ahead with the slaughter to actually doing it, was certainly not easy and does make me think twice about whether we should keep animals at all at this point. Perhaps when I am at the table eating duck soup (the birds are too old for roasting) and with some days space I will have a different perspective.
If it had been only for the meat and if we had a bigger flock we would only have killed one duck instead of killing all of them in one go, however with them being only four reducing the numbers made no sense, they are flock animals and it would only have stressed them out. They were a joy and a pleasure to spend time with and I will sorely miss them quacking in the yard and splashing in the stream.
We will not be getting any more ducks next year we will either get more chickens for increased egg production or rabbits to turn weeds into compost and meat, or switch to mushroom production which is a great way to produce proteins without having to go through the ordeal of ending a life or perhaps a combination or all of these. We'll see.
If you are eating meat for Christmas, please spare a thought for the creatures who gave up their life to nourish you <3