Have you heard about the last Long Island Duck Farm? If you and your family have lived on Long Island long enough, you know that ducks (along with potatoes) used to be a symbol of the Island. There was a great sense of pride in knowing the best duck came from the Island. I mean, it’s a part of the culture. Otherwise, why would a Long Island sports team have the word Ducks in its name?
If you didn’t know that ducks were that important to Long Islanders, here are a couple of fun facts that will convince you it’s true.
- The roots of the duck farming industry go back as early as 1873, as that’s the year the first duck breed was brought from China.
- Long Island people loved ducks so much that women competed for the title of Long Island Duck Queen in beauty pageants. Yup, you read that right. The Long Island Duck Queen Pageants ran for a few years from the late 1950s to mid-1960s.
- The boom of duck farming was around the mid-1900s – the fact that there were 90 duck farms in 1940 can testify to that.
But soon after, the industry started going down, and by 2009, out of 90 farms, there were only three left.
And now, sadly, there is only one – Crescent Duck Farm in Aqeubogue on the North Fork.
The Last Long Island Duck Farm Standing
You might be wondering what could affect the duck farming business so much that only one farmer was brave enough to keep at it? A lot of factors. But it was mostly investments related to new and stringent environmental remediation rules.
Raising ducks can be very expensive. There is the cost of feeding ducks, processing them for meat, disposing of their waste, paying for labor, and so on. Add to that the money developers would pay for the land, the duck waste regulations that keep getting stricter, and the level of commitment this business requires.
Only people with a great deal of motivation, knowledge, and adaptive attitude can tackle the task successfully. And luckily for Long Island, Douglas Corwin and his family, the owners of Crescent Duck Farm, have what it takes.
Why don’t they choose to sell their lands, like all other people? For the Corwin family, raising ducks isn’t just business, but it’s also a legacy. Henry Corwin started this business in 1908, and ever since, there has always been a Corwin to carry on.
Crescent Duck Farm
Crescent Duck Farm produces premium-quality duck, and their products take 4% of the entire production in the USA. They provide their birds for numerous high-end restaurants from Philadelphia to Boston.
Remember what I said about the level of commitment duck farming requires? It’s a truly never-ending job, considering that every flock on Crescent Duck Farm needs to be tended three times a day, seven days a week. And most of the labor falls onto the shoulders of Corwin family members.
They work so much to make sure that every single bird on the farm is well-fed and taken care of. The ducks’ diets consist of corn, soybean meal, wheat, minerals, vitamins, and amino acids. In a way, these birds are healthier than some people.
The Corwin family guarantees that no hormones or antibiotics are used to enhance the growth of their birds. The ducks raised on Crescent Duck Farm are bigger than others, but that’s because Douglas Corwin (current owner of the farm) spent a lot of time figuring out a way to make their birds meaty.
But all of these measures are worth it because they are the reason why Crescent ducks are in such demand.
Crescent Duck Farm Products
The Corwin family sells whole ducks and duck parts. You can buy the whole bird in fresh and frozen states.
There is also a Confucian Style duck available for sale – a whole duck processed with head and feet.
As for the duck parts, the farm sells boneless breasts, bone-in breasts, whole legs, duck liver, tongues, wings, and feet. Whichever part your recipe requires, you’ll find it here.
And speaking of recipes, the Crescent Duck website offers you ten recipes to try out. Each recipe includes step-by-step instructions and a list of ingredients. The Grilled Duck with Mascarpone and Spicy Raspberries will definitely add a fancy touch to your Christmas dinner.
If you’re wondering where you can buy this deliciousness, check out Baldor shop.
If you want to try it but don’t want to cook it yourself, it’s available in the Morimoto Asia restaurant, the Four Seasons, or the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
After you taste the Crescent duck meat, you’ll start rooting for Corwin’s family to keep up their business.
The last Long Island Duck farm is not resting on it’s laurels, still looking to the future!
They are in the midst of an ambitious five-year, $3 million plan to build a new, modern hatchery facility on the 145-acre Aquebogue farm. The new hatchery is scheduled to open in September 2021. It will nearly double the farm’s capacity to around 35,000 hatchlings a week, while automating temperature control and air circulation and vastly improving its sanitary systems.
Find Out More
If you’re curious about the history of the Corwin family and Crescent Duck Farm, you can learn more about it here.
PO Box 500 Aquebogue LI New York 11931-0500
If you want to contact them, you can do it by filling out a form here or calling 631-722-8000.