These pioneers in free-range ducks ethically produce exceptional-quality birds for the restaurant industry.  

A pioneer in raising ducks on pasture, Great Ocean Ducks is husband and wife duo Greg and Jodi Clarke. Returning to Melbourne from living in London, they realised they wanted to raise their family away from the hustle and bustle of the city and moved to their retirement block near Port Campbell, 230 kilometres southwest of Melbourne, in 2006. Needing to find a way of earning a living off their 16-hectare farm, they settled on ducks.   

Through trial and error, they worked out a rotational grazing system that allows the ducks to graze on fresh pasture every few days, moving them on after they have trampled and manured the grass. The ducks sleep on hay bedding cut from the manure-fertilised pasture. The fouled bedding makes exceptionally good mulch and is spread across the pastures to increase soil fertility. During the day they are protected by kelpies, who at sunset round them up to their pens, where they are guarded by Maremmas.  

Great Ocean Ducks specialises in Pekin ducks, which are grown for 14 weeks before processing and sold with the head and legs on, perfect for the restaurant industry. Pekins have an excellent layer of fat that helps crisp the ivory-coloured skin. Chefs around Victoria praise Great Ocean Ducks birds for their flavour and texture and laud the farm’s animal husbandry and regenerative nature. While Great Ocean Ducks supplies the restaurant industry exclusively, in early 2024 it will open a farm gate store to the public, selling whole ducks, duck salami and smoked duck breast.  

Product: Whole fresh ducks., @greatoceanroadducks