White Pekin Ducks
Known by many names (Beijing, Long Island, American Pekin) the White Pekin is one of the oldest duck domesticates
we still enjoy today. Originally a black colored variety of the Mallard that utilized the cannals of China following the rice trade, they
eventually gained in size and developed their white plumage. It was in the early 10th century when Chinese farmers started to
domesticate the Pekin. In 1872 the Pekin duck was imported to England direct from Pekin by Mr. Raymond Harvey. It would be another year
until Mr. James E. Palmer of Conneticut imported the Pekin duck directly from Pekin through Long Island, NY in 1873, making their way to
the Palmer farm in Stonington, CT.
While never finding its foothold in England, the Pekin was utilized by the English breeders for its vigor and adaptability in helping to restore the Aylesbury and Buckinghamshire breeds; but in North America, the Pekin had found its new home. The ability of the Pekin to adapt to variable conditions, and endure the harsher American and Canadian climates, the Pekin had won over its new audiance with duck ranches springing up specifically for the production of the Pekin.
By the 1960's duck production in America was booming, and so was the urban sprall. With new regulations, taxes, and competition from developement the duck industry by 1970 was almost gone, and so followed America's waterfowl consumption. By the 1980's the Cornish Cross chicken, along with its counterpart the Broad Breasted White turkey, had helped to diminish America's consuption of waterfowl, as with almost all other heritage poultry. Today, as more people are seeking food beyond the outdated commercial model, the popularity of duck is starting to grow once again.
Why we breed the White Pekin
With all the positive attributes that the Pekin brings to the table and farm, it is no wonder it is the most popular breed of duck once again; but with this resurgance also comes the down side for the future of this special duck, the commercial factory farm, and genetic manipulation. For this reason we felt it important to esablish our own lines of Pekin in hope of safeguarding the beauty and grace of this special duck, and to give to the next generation after us a true sustainable model.
What to expect from our White Pekin
Our White Pekin duck offers a mild duck flavor that is accessible to most pallets. Expect a soft buttery undertone with a soft texture. Due to
our duck’s lifestyle in an open pasture environment, our ducks will contain far less fat presenting a fuller and more balanced flavor than their
commercial counterparts. To achieve our standard of quality, we raise our ducks for more than twelve weeks, over one month longer than the
industry standard allowing our ducks to develop a truer measure of quality. Our White Pekin's distinct attributes are testament to the way in
which we raise our flocks.
It is important to remember that duck is red meat and should be prepared as any fine steak, no more than medium rare, and should retain its beautiful color. Duck meat is also very versatile, and can be used and presented on you table in many different ways. If you have any questions on cooking your duck to perfection feel free in contacting us - we want your experience with our White Pekin to be its best.
Ordering our White Pekin
Normally we offer our White Pekin the first weekend of each month, March through December. These birds are in limited quantity as we have
available only what remains after after our CSA customers orders are fullfilled; and are on a first come, first serve basis. As with
all our poultry we produce at Élevage de Volailles, we do all processing on site to guarentee you the highest quality available.
Contact us for ordering or CSA information.