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Pekin Duck - 3 to 4 Lbs. Each

Pekin Duck - 3 to 4 Lbs. Each


 
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Product Code: PEKINDUCKWHOLE1604
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The Pekin or Peking, also White Pekin, is an American breed of domestic duck, reared principally for meat. It derives from birds brought to the United States from China in the nineteenth century, and is now bred in many countries, and in all continents. It is a distinct and separate breed from the German Pekin, which derives from the same Chinese stock but has different breeding.


In 1872, at the request of a businessman named McGrath, fifteen white ducks hatched in Peking (now called Beijing) were loaded at Shanghai by James E. Palmer of Stonington, Connecticut, for shipment to the United States. Nine birds – six ducks and three drakes – survived the voyage, which took 124 days and reached New York City on 13 March 1873. Five of the surviving birds were dispatched to McGrath, but were eaten before they reached him. Palmer's four birds became the foundation stock of the American Pekin; by July 1873, his three ducks had laid more than three hundred eggs.

In 1874, the Pekin was included in the first edition of the Standard of Perfection published by the new American Poultry Association. It was soon in widespread production for slaughter. Until that time, a popular breed raised for meat had been the Cayuga, which had the disadvantage of dark feathering, so that any fluff remaining on the carcass was easily seen; the white-feathered Pekin was preferable.

The American Pekin is large and solidly built. The body is rectangular as seen from the side, and is held at about 40º to the horizontal; the tail projects above the line of the back. The breast is smooth and broad, and does not show a pronounced keel. The head is large and rounded, and the neck is thick. The plumage is creamy white, the legs and feet are a yellowish orange, and the beak is yellow; it is fairly short and almost straight.

The American Pekin is reared almost exclusively for meat. In the United States, more than half of all ducks raised for slaughter are of this breed. Numbers in the United States alone are in the tens of millions. The birds are large-framed, hardy and fast-growing – they may reach a body-weight of more than 3.5 kg in seven weeks. They have a high feed conversion ratio, are calm-tempered and fertile, and their eggs hatch well. The white feathers make the carcass easy to clean.



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