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duck breasts


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this morning i shot two greenheads and when i cleaned them one of the drakes had alot of small little white worm looking things that were about a quarter of an inch long. I was wondering if anyone has seen anything like this before. On a better note lots of golden eyes,bills and a few mallards seen this morning.

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We used to call this "rice breast" and represents a parasite that doesn't appear to effect the host. Said to be OK after cooking fully--I have to admit that I have never tested the theory. This is usually more of a warm water

condition, maybe because of our late fall ?

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I threw one away on Saturday for it, and threw one away today because of it. I've only ever seen this one time before in my duck hunting life. I can't tell you what it's from, but they can say whatever they want too--I ain't eatin' it.

Tom W

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ISHHHH that is nasty, i think that would turn me off of duck meat for a couple years or more..hahaa..

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i've seen that. does nothing for my appetitie! I generally don't eat anything with worms in it or anything that is probably older than myself. If you do eat it, let me suggest anything but rare.

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tom you live out by me, what lake did you get them off of?? p.m. me if you dont care to share your lake.

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I shot one once that had the parasites in the breast. It was banded and when I got the information back the duck was over 10 years old. I don't know if age has anything to do with it or the environment it was swimming in or ... I didn't eat.

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Yes it is a parasite and if you eat a duck breast with them in it make sure you cook it well done. BUT I darn sure wouldn't eat one no matter what. tongue.gif

I've seen them several times and I hunt ND a lot there seems to be more up there then down here.

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Is it actually in the breast? or just on the feathers and down? because I have seen some weird stuff on the down, but never in the meat?

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it is IN the breasts (all the way through)...it looks like there are grains of rice imbedded throughout both of the breasts. Personally if I was cleaning one and found it I would throw the duck out and then throw up. Saw one cleaning ducks up at the cabin a few years back and it was nasty.

Makes you rethink the idea of fully roasting one and leaving the skin on, thats for sure!

SA/wdw

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Here is an article i found on the ricebreast.

Parasites are organisms that make a living off of feeding on other organisms. Tapeworms, ticks, fleas, and Sarcocystosis are all parasites. The parasite strategy is simple: feed on the “host” but not enough to kill it. Indeed, parasites not only need a host for food, they also need a host as a “vehicle” to help them complete their life cycle. The only way for a parasite to “move” from one host to another, is to be eaten by another host, or to release eggs some place where another host might ingest them. Because of this lifestyle, scientists refer to parasites as having “life-cycles”.

For Sarcocystosis, the life cycle is simple although not completely understood. The cysts embedded in the muscle of ducks are ingested by a carnivore (such as a fox getting a hen during the breeding season). Once in the carnivore stomach, the parasite reproduces and the eggs are released in the carnivore’s excrements. The eggs survive outside for long periods of time, and may end up being eaten by invertebrates such as snails or flies, which are in turn consumed by ducks. If the carnivore excrements end up in the water, ducks may also consume contaminated water and become infected. The parasite then “migrates” into the muscle tissues of the waterfowl host, and there await to be consumed by another carnivore so they can reproduce again. Skunks, possums, raptors and even humans may function as final hosts for Sarcocystosis. Interestingly, dabbling ducks are more commonly infected than divers. Possibly, divers may escape infections by feeding on pond sediments where invertebrates infected with the eggs of Sarcocystosis are less common. Many waterfowl species such as shovelers, mallards, pintails, as well as snow and Canada geese are vulnerable, but shovelers are most commonly infected. Interestingly, young ducks (duckling to immatures in the fall) have low infection rates, possibly because the parasite is most active in wintering areas. The parasite itself does not cause morbidity or mortality in waterfowl, and the cysts have little effects on the waterfowl host. Apparently, the cysts become “invisible” during cooking, and health officials tell us that ingesting cooked Sarcocystosis cysts (cooking and eating ricebreast ducks) does not pose a health hazard. However, Sarcocystosis infections are one of the most conspicuous parasitic conditions of wild ducks, and infected ducks are definitely not appealing, and most are understandingly discarded by hunters. For hunters that harvest “ricebreast” ducks, it is important to not feed infected birds to pets, or to throw such birds where they can be consumed by wild carnivores as this may only help the cycle of the parasite. Dispose of any infected birds in garbage or by burning.

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Now that was a very informative and much appreciated post--thank you for doing the work.

Tom W

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guys i shot another drake today with the parasites in the meat again, thats two drakes with it in three days of hunting this is the first year that i have ever seen this crap in the meat, is anyone else seeing this more so than years past.

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