Ducks -

There are twelve "standard" varieties of domestic ducks raised in this country, but the most popular and abundant is the White Pekin, first imported from China about 1872. It is a large bird, a pair often reaching a total weight of twenty pounds, of delicate flesh and an excellent layer. It may be recognized by the peculiar turned-up effect of its tail and its erect carriage - its legs are set so far back that it walks in an upright position. In a good specimen, the back is long and broad, and the breast round, full and very prominent. The plumage is downy and of creamy or snow-white throughout, and the bill yellow. The "standard" weight of the adult drake is eight pounds and the adult duck seven pounds; that of the young drake and duck, each one pound lighter. The average market weight is about five pounds each.

Next to the Pekin in popularity is the White Aylesbury, a famous English variety, similar in general appearance, excepting the special Pekin effects of carriage and tail, and averaging a little heavier in weight.

Other well-known types are the Colored Rouen - the name probably from Rouen, a city of Normandy, which is famous for its POULTRY - with the heavy domestic duck shape but with plumage closely resembling that of a wild Mallard duck; the Black Cayuga, a purely American variety, and the Colored and White Muscovy.

ducks are sent to market both dry-picked and scalded, opinions being divided as to the better method.

Ducklings are generally in the market from May to November. The older birds then take their place from December to April.

The general tests for age and conditions given under the head of POULTRY apply in buying ducks. An additional test for age is found in the windpipe, which can be easily squeezed and moved in a young duck, but which becomes fixed and stiff in older birds.

Arround Ducks in The Grocer's Encyclopedia

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