While you could probably eat any duck if you really want. However, there are some duck breeds that have literally been bred to be ducks for meat and eating in mind. On this page, we want to introduce you to some of the best breeds of ducks for meat. If you are looking to raise a flock of ducks for eating, then you literally cannot go wrong with any of the breeds here.
Meat Duck Breeds – Best Ducks for Eating
Remember, meat duck breeds tend to be easier to raise. This is because of the whole purpose of them.
They are meant to be raised commercially with very few issues.
However, do bear in mind that with most of the meat duck breeds, you won’t be able to raise them long term.
They are fast-growing breeds, so if you do not slaughter them when they have reached maturity, they will suffer from all sorts of health issues, some of which can kill them.
If your primary goal is meat, then there are a number of APA’s recognized heavy duck breeds from which to choose:
For a long while, the Aylesbury Duck was the ‘go to’ duck breed in the United Kingdom for those that wanted a decent meat duck breed.
However, like many breeds in Europe, during World War I and II, duck breeds like the Aylesbury were wiped to near extinction.
In fact, pretty much all of the Aylesbury ducks that lived in the town they shared a name with were wiped out.
Nowadays, the Aylesbury Duck, as brilliant as it does taste, has been relegated to small scale farmers. This is because inbreeding with the ducks that remained after the wars have pretty much made the Aylesbury Duck far more difficult to breed.
It is a massive shame, to be honest. This will forever be one of our favorite meat duck breeds.
It is worth noting that if you are looking for this duck in the United States it will be hard to really find it. It is a critically endangered duck breed there, and it is only really reared in the United Kingdom.
One of the reasons why breeders started to give up on the Aylesbury Duck is due to the introduction of the Pekin Duck. This meat duck breed came over from China.
If you look at the Pekin Duck, then it looks pretty much the same as the Aylesbury Duck. The only real difference is that it has an orange bill and orange feet.
Obviously, neither of these things are going to matter all that much if you use the duck for eating.
That being said, the Pekin Duck does not have a taste that is quite as good as the Aylesbury. The only reason why the Pekin Duck managed to replace the Aylesbury is the fact that it is not an inbred duck.
A good breeding stock arrived in the United Kingdom which made sure of this.
The Pekin Duck, unlike the Aylesbury Duck, is a duck that has been pretty much made for the table. It grows exceedingly fast, and it takes very little in the way of care.
Once you have a decent breeding stock of the Pekin established, then you will be enjoying a lot of duck meat. This is perfect for those that really love to eat ducks.
As you can probably tell from the name, the Rouen Duck is a French meat duck. However, interestingly, it was never really bred as a meat duck in France.
The bulk of the breed’s development actually took place in the United Kingdom. As a result, this is where you will find the majority of Rouen ducks to this day.
Nowadays, the Rouen Duck is used mostly for exhibition purposes. However, because the Rouen duck can grow so large, the breeders that end up with ducks that are not fit for show will slaughter them.
This is one of the best tasting ducks for eating.
They make a tremendous roasting duck due to the amount of fat that can be found on the Rouen.
It is worth noting that while you can raise the Rouen Duck as a meat duck, you probably should not be raising it if you want eggs too.
Part of the reason why it became a meat duck is the fact that it is awful at laying eggs. Some of them will lay as few as 35 eggs per year, which is nothing compared to the duck breeds that will be laying well over 100.
Next on the list of best ducks for meat is the Muscovy Duck. It is an interesting duck because it is the only one on this list that doesn’t originate in Europe. Instead, it comes from Mexico and the South America.
This is a very prevalent wild duck, and it is often shot by hunters for food. It is probably not going to be to the pallets of a European or somebody living in the United States.
This is because the wild Muscovy duck has more of a ‘gamey’ taste than other duck breeds.
The domestic Muscovy duck on the other hand, is a very popular meat duck breed in the United States. In Mexico, this duck is extensively raised.
The drakes can grow 10–15 lb (4.6–6.8 kg), while the hens will weigh 6.0–7.9 lb (2.7–3.6 kg).
In other words, this is a perfect duck if you are looking for a duck meat that tastes a little bit more unique.
You probably should be raising the Muscovy duck for meat if you love duck meat. You will enjoy the taste.
The Saxony Duck is a German meat duck breed that can only really be found in Germany. While there are some throughout the United States, the breed is endangered here in the US.
This is a massive shame, because not only is it a heavy breed of duck that makes it perfect duck for meat, but it is also at risk of dying out in Germany too.
This is, in part, due to the fact that it became an official duck breed after World War II, but other countries weren’t really taking to German products at that time.
This bird can weigh up to 8 lbs (3,5kg), so it is a perfect size for roasting or pretty much anything else that you want to do with the duck. It lays up to 100 eggs per year too, so it is great for those that want eggs.
If that wasn’t enough, the Saxony Duck does brilliantly raising itself. It forages decently, and there are no known health issues with the bird. This makes it perfect as a duck for meat.
The last on the list of the best meat ducks is our favorite, the Appleyard Duck.
While the popularity of the Silver Appleyard duck as a duck for meat has dwindled in recent years, this bird is easily one of the best words for backyard duck owners who want one of the most productive duck breeds out there.
This duck grows incredibly fast so it is in our opinion the best ducks for meat. In fact, it should be table ready by the time it hits 9-weeks old.
So, if you can get a decent breeding flock going, then you should always have some drakes that are ready for the table.
At 9-weeks old, the duck is going to weigh 6-7 lbs, which is massive for a duck. So, you have more than enough to tuck into for a whole family with a single duck.
When it comes to eggs, you can expect to get around 200 – 265 eggs per year from this breed. Amazing, right?
Other Duck Breeds for Meat, Eggs and Show
There you have it. Now you know what are the best meat ducks for your backyard. You can probably eat any duck if you really want, but the above breeds are the heaviest of all recognized duck breeds in the American Poultry Association. This means that you will get the most meat out of your birds, more than enough to tuck into for a whole family with a single duck.
Here is a complete list of all duck breeds in the US:
|Duck Breed||Recognized Variety||Class|
|Call Duck||White, Snowy, Pastel, Gray, Chocolate, Buff,|
Butterscotch, Blue Bibbed, Blue Fawn
|East Indie Duck||Black||Bantam|
|Magpie||Black & White, Blue & White||Light|
|Runner||Black, Buff, Chocolate, Cumberland Blue,|
Fawn & White, Gray, Penciled, White
|Welsh Harlequin||One variety only||Light|
|Buff||One variety only||Medium|
|Muscovy||Black, Blue, Chocolate, White||Heavy|
|Saxony||One variety only||Heavy|