What a cool discovery… albeit common to anyone who has slaughtered female birds of laying age. Here you see a gorgeous (lab partner says “gross”; to each his own) collection of pre-developed eggs found inside one of the female ducks, varying in size from microscopic to nearly fully developed. How long will it be before you see pre-developed eggs on Ferran Adria’s menu? I’m just saying, this seems like exactly the sort of thing an avant garde chef would propose. And you saw it suggested here first. I’m just saying.
Please note: tender viewers may not appreciate the blunt photos that follow.
The ducks enjoying the “living” part of their life. My boy and I grew to heartily dislike our formerly adorable ducks. They lacked curiosity, were perpetually scared of us despite our efforts to be friendly and subservient to their needs, and they repeatedly demonstrated outstanding stupidity. A daily request we posed to the lab tech in charge of the slaughtering of the ducks, was, When we can finally kill these things? They’d become a real bother without any reward aside from food on the table. Let’s get on with it.
Carefully crated, to bring them to the slaughter site.
Our neighbor’s homespun “abattoire” facility, which they kindly loaned to us.
Hanging the ducks to bleed out after a quick, merciful kill. Using the buckets intended for chickens was a disaster. It was an extraordinary struggle to fit the ducks in there in a way appropriate for the job at hand.
This is the fowl spinner. After you’ve dunked the bird in 160 degree water for a minute or two, the feathers are amenable to being plucked with fair ease. The spinner makes quick work of this task.
Even a feather plucker device can be artful and beautiful, it seems to me.
The spinner leaves an unholy halo of feathers below it, somehow poignant in its statement of what once was.
The bird, hanging to be further plucked. Waxed and scraped, actually; not unlike how many women treat the hair on their bodies. There are always more feathers to pull out. Endlessly. Interminably.
After draining and plucking is complete, the next stage is pulling out the innards, also a challenging task for us neophytes. Choice organs were kept- heart and liver- the rest discarded for the dogs or compost heap. Now to rinse and chill the ducks, then eat or freeze. It distressingly took us an entire day to process only nine ducks. Economic value: disastrous. Educational value: priceless.