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Ducks are related to geese and swans, but unlike their cousins, ducks have shorter necks and wings and a stout body.

Did you know that a duck never walks but waddles? Ducks are born with webbed feet that act as paddles, which assist them to swim fast.

Ever wondered how a duck can swim in icy cold water, even when the weather is freezing? Ducks have no nerves or blood vessels in their feet. Hence, they never feel hot or cold.

Another interesting fact about ducks is that they have waterproof feathers. These birds have special glands called ‘Preen Glands’ around their tail that protects their outer covers from getting drenched. The inner part of this wing is stuffed with soft fluffy feathers that help them to stay warm.

Ducks usually use their beaks to keep themselves clean. They often use their beak to preen themselves. They also use feathers plucked from their chest to line their nests.

Ducks were once wild until they were domesticated by the Chinese many hundreds of years ago.

You will be surprised to know that ducks have three eyelids. The bird also boasts of having a keen vision.

Ducks are very adjustable and can stay in all weather conditions, a trait that explains their copious presence all over the globe.

Another most interesting fact about duck is that they sleep with half their brains awake. Ducks sleep with one eye open when they are located on the edge of sleeping groups. Ducks have an extremely special ability to detect predators in less than a second.

Duck eggs have tiny pores that help draw in respiratory gas as well as water vapor to assist breathing.

Baby ducks are born with their eyes open and a warm coat and do not rely entirely on their parents for food. In fact ducklings are ready to leave the nest within hours of hatching.

A duck lays more eggs in daylight. In the months of July to December when daylight is short, they slow down their production of eggs. Sometimes, ducks stop laying eggs completely during these months.

Info from here; http://lifestyle.iloveindia.com/lounge/facts-about-ducks-8610.html


Before you begin, I recommend that you read a lot  of books. Read what other breeders/hatchers are saying...

Like this website, l have put lots of info about ducks and have been researching for a long time now

This book is not only my favorite, but it helped me so much through out the hatching process

Hatching & Brooding Your Own Chicks: Chickens, Turkeys, Ducks, Geese, Guinea Fowl 
By Gail Damerow 

Hatching duck eggs and brooding baby ducks, called ducklings, is a great way to start your own duck-raising adventure. When raising baby ducks, you can choose various ways of starting your own duck operation. Backyard duck hobbyists can buy adult ducks, adolescent ducks, ducklings or fertile ducks eggs. Hatching your own fertile ducks eggs and brooding the ducklings can be a very rewarding introduction to the hobby of raising ducks at home. In this duck care article, we'll teach you the basics of brooding ducklings and hatching duck eggs.

Hatching Fertile Duck Eggs:

You will need both fertile duck eggs and an incubator for the duck eggs. A chicken egg incubator is sufficient for hatching ducks. However, keep in mind that you won't be able to fit as many duck eggs into the egg incubator as you would fertile chicken eggs.

Most duck eggs take 28 days to hatch (7 days longer than hatching chicken eggs). However, some duck breeds' eggs take longer. For example, the Muscovy duck breed's eggs take 35 days to hatch.

Set the egg incubator to 99.5 degrees fahrenheit. Check the level of humidity in the egg incubator: It should be at 55% humidity for proper hatching of duck eggs. Place the fertile duck eggs in your egg incubator and follow the manufacturer's directions for hatching eggs. In 28-35 days, you'll be the proud parent of some hatched ducklings!

How do you feed ducklings?
Baby ducks eat a lot as they grow! While brooding your ducklings, feed them unmedicated chick started for the three week. After that, move your baby ducks to a poultry grower feed. The chicken feed you feed your ducklings should be unmedicated and formulated for ducks. Water should be available for your ducklings at all times after hatching—they are, after all, waterfowl!

As your ducklings get bigger, they won't need a brooder and they can start to eat duck feed and pasture grass like adult ducks. For more information on feeding ducks, see our Feeding Ducks article.

How you decide to brood your newly-hatched ducklings is up to you, but is the most important step in raising baby ducks. Some people choose to brood ducklings using a broody chicken hen. Other backyard duck hobbyists like to use a chick brooder to brood their ducklings. Both of these brooding option have their pros and cons.

If you choose to use a chick brooder to keep your ducklings warm, you'll be glad to know that ducklings don't need to be in a brooder as long as chicks do! Also, you don't need a fancy setup to brood your baby ducks. You can use a large cardboard box or a sectioned off piece of a room. It's important to have three to four inches of dry, absorbent litter for your ducklings—DuckHobby.com recommends peat moss or dry wood shavings as brooder litter.

To keep your ducklings warm in the duck brooder, you can use a commercial brooder heater or a 250-watt brooder lamp. Such a setup should be sufficient to brood up to 25 ducklings. You can also use a commercial hover brooder used for brooding chicks. It should be noted that, because ducklings are larger than baby chickens, such a brooder setup can only fit around half of the amount of chicks.

Your new ducklings need about six square inches of brooder space, which should be increased to 12 square inches of space as they get older. Adjust accordingly as the ducklings mature into adolescent and adult ducks.

Ducklings need to be bred for about six weeks after the duck eggs have hatched. The amount of time needed in a brooder is shorter during warmer months, such as June and July.

Most of this info came from DUCKHOBBY.COM

Facts about ducks;

Ducks are often the most familiar types of birds to many beginning birders and non-birders, but even experienced birders may not know just how unique these birds can be.

A baby duck is called a duckling, and an adult male is a drake. An adult female duck is called a hen or a duck, and a group of ducks can be called a raft, team or paddling.

All ducks have highly waterproof feathers as a result of an intricate feather structure and a waxy coating that is spread on each feather while preening. A duck's feathers are so waterproof that even when the duck dives underwater, its downy underlayer of feathers will stay completely dry.

Ducks are precocial, which means that ducklings are covered with down and able to walk and leave the nest just a few hours after hatching.

A hen will lead her ducklings up to a half mile or more over land after hatching in order to find a suitable water source for swimming and feeding.

Male ducks have an eclipse plumage similar to females that they wear after the breeding season for about a month as their new feathers grow. During that month, they are completely flightless and more vulnerable to predators.

Most duck species are monogamous for a breeding season but they do not mate for life.

When constructing her nest, a hen will line it with soft down feathers she plucks from her own breast. This gives the eggs the best possible cushioning and insulation

Ducks are omnivorous, opportunistic eaters and will eat grass, aquatic plants, insects, seeds, fruit, fish, crustaceans and other types of food.

A duck's bill is specialized to help it forage in mud and to strain food from the water. A hard nail at the tip of the bill helps with foraging, and a comb-like structure on the sides of the bill strains small insects and crustaceans from water.

Most male ducks are silent and very few ducks actually "quack." Instead, their calls may include squeaks, grunts, groans, chirps, whistles, brays and growls.

It is a myth that a duck's quack won't echo. This has been conclusively disproved through different scientific acoustic tests, and was even featured as "busted" on an episode of the Discovery Channel show Mythbusters.

Ducks have been domesticated as pets and farm animals for more than 500 years, and all domestic ducks are descended from either the mallard or the Muscovy duck.

There are more than 40 breeds of domestic duck. The white Pekin duck (also called the Long Island duck) is the most common variety raised for eggs and meat.
Because of their familiarity and comic nature, ducks are often featured as fictional characters. The two most famous fictional ducks are Disney's Donald Duck, who premiered in 1934, and Warner Bros.' Daffy Duck, who premiered in 1937.

Duck facts, are from here: http://birding.about.com/od/birdprofiles/a/15-Fun-Facts-About-Ducks.htm

Most of the duck breed info and pic's came from Wikipedia, Google & Bing

Abacot Ranger

The Abacot Ranger is a breed of domestic duck, sometimes also known as the Hooded Ranger and Streicher. A utility breed, originally developed for eggs and meat, it is popular for exhibition and egg production today.

Origin :
The Abacot Ranger was developed between 1917 and 1922 by a Mr. Oscar Grey of Abacot Duck Ranch, in the United Kingdom. Bred from white and Khaki Campbell's, it was initially a popular breed for egg and meat production, but soon went extinct in the United Kingdom. However breeding populations in Germany were maintained, and the breed was then returned to the United Kingdom the 1980s. The Abacot Ranger was accepted into the British Poultry Standard in 1987.


The Abacot Ranger's standard weight is 3 kilograms (6.6 lb) for a Drake and 2.5 kilograms (5.5 lb) for a duck (or female).

The Abacot Ranger was originally developed in the UK, but eventually disappeared there. Fortunately it was maintained in Germany (as the Streicher) and eventually returned to the UK in the 1980s.

They have a hood of fawn-buff feathers and the body is creamy white and streaked or marked with color.

Like the related Campbells and Harlequins, they are excellent layers.

Abacot Rangers were developed between 1917 and 1923 by Oscar Gray and often referred to as the Hooded Ranger in older books. Abacot's were introduced into Germany in the 1920's and is one of the few breeds where the breed standards are virtually unaltered today. A reasonable layer and sitter with a differing bill colour in males and females similar to the Appleyards etc . . .

Ancona Duck

The Ancona Duck is a breed of domestic duck. These rare ducks are considered to be a descendant of the Indian Runner Duck and the Belgian Huttegem Duck breeds. Anconas were developed in England during the early 20th century, but were not available in the United States until 1984. Even though their numbers have increased in the U.S., the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, in their 2000 census of domestic waterfowl in North America, listed the Ancona's status as "critical". Just like most other domestic ducks, the Anconas are a flightless duck, so they don't migrate. They are fairly calm animals and make good pond, yard, and breeding birds. They tend to be excellent foragers, and if allowed will augment their diet with greens, slugs, insects and other arthropods. Their closest relatives are Magpie ducks and Dutch Hookbills. They typically lay 210–280 eggs per year.

Appearance Ancona ducks have an oval head, and a slightly concave length bill, with green specks, as well as plumage under the eyes. They weigh approximately 6.5 pounds as adults. They have medium-length necks shaped like an S that is smaller at the top with a wider bottom. As ducklings they are yellow with spots or speckles, and as adults are white with "Pinto" markings (no two animals have the same pattern). They come in a variety of colors including: Black and White, Blue and White, Chocolate and White, Silver and White, Lavender and White, and Tri-colored. Most common is black and white. Their bills and feet are orange, and may also be spotted.

Colors see link:

Australian Spotted Duck

Australian Spotted Duck
They also come in bantam size (The weight of adult ducks averages 2.0 to 2.2 lbs)

Despite its misleading "down under" name, the Australian Spotted duck actually originated in the United States. It was developed in the 1920's by John C. Kriner and Stanley Mason of Pennsylvania with a foundation stock of Call, Mallard, Northern Pintail, and an unidentified wild Australian duck. These breeds were kept together and allowed to interbreed for several generations. The preferred offspring were then selected and bred, thus forming the new breed. In 1990, the Australian Spotted became more readily available to the public but, despite this, its overall numbers are very low. (Holderread 2001, 31)

The Australian Spotted is a bantam breed whose weight averages 2.0 to 2.2 pounds. Its body is teardrop shaped and its legs are centrally located, making the body carriage almost horizontal. Heads are oval and moderately streamlined without the distinctively high forehead and puffy cheeks of a Call duck. (Holderread 2001, 32) The Australian Spotted duck's coloration is complex. Depending on the variety, the drake's head is green (Greenhead), blue (Bluehead), or silver (Silverhead). A white band encircles the neck, the sides of the body and breast are deep burgundy, and the center of the breast extending under the body is white. The middle of the shoulders and back is dark gray, wings are a dark grayish-brown , tail is light gray, and the tail undercushion is black. The bill is greenish-yellow, the eyes are brown, and the shanks and feet are orange. The Greenhead Australian Spotted duck's body, head, and neck are a fawn color, spotted with dark brown. The Bluehead and Silverhead's colorations are the same as the Greenhead's--except the Bluehead's flecking and spots are bluish-gray; and the Silverhead's flecking and spots are silver. (Holderread 1991, 2-3)

"Along with their diminutive size and delightful plumage, Australian Spotteds have proven to be personable and calm. They are exceptionally hardy and excellent foragers that are a great help in reducing slugs, snails, sow bugs, Japanese beetles, other insect pests in gardens and yards and will eliminate mosquito larvae from ponds and pools." They are active fliers, but will generally stay close to home; clipping the primary flight feathers of one wing will help ensure this. "Despite their small size, the Australian Spotteds have well-developed breast muscles and extra fine textured meat, all of which add up to a delectable single or double serving sized duck." Australian Spotted ducks are the best layers of the bantams and will produce 50-125 cream, blue, or green shelled eggs yearly. This breed is a fast maturing duck, with drakes normally expressing courtship behavior when three to four weeks old. (Holderread 1991, 3)

When choosing breeders, select active, bright-eyed, strong-legged birds. Color patterns should conform to the descriptions offered above and the weight should approach the standard.

The Australian Spotted Ducks are a different type of breed which has its origin in America. It has been found out by researchers that these ducks are an intermediate between Call Ducks and the Mallards and thus sometimes considered as a mixture of these two breeds. Often it is also concluded that they are a wild breed of ducks. Their body color is either grey-white or yellow-white. Based on this, these ducks have dark grey spots or brownish-yellowish spots of colors on their body respectively. The Australian Spotted Ducks are generally short billed and are comparatively lighter in weight than the other breeds of ducks. Like the drakes are about 2-3 pounds in weight and the females are about 1-2 pounds in weight or even less than this. They are found green-headed or silver headed in the whole of the Australia. The striking feature about this breed is that their ducklings take a comparatively shorter period to gain maturity.





Silver head - Drake

Aussie spot ducking 

Day-Old Australian Spotted Ducklings
(Blueheads on Left; Greenheads on Right)

Aylesbury duck

The Aylesbury duck is a breed of domesticated duck, bred mainly for its meat and appearance. It is a large duck with pure white plumage, a pink bill, orange legs and feet, an unusually large keel, and a horizontal stance with its body parallel to the ground. The precise origins of the breed are unclear, but raising white ducks became popular in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, England in the 18th century owing to the demand for white feathers as a filler for quilts. Over the 19th century selective breeding for size, shape and colour led to the Aylesbury duck.

Duck rearing became a major industry in Aylesbury in the 19th century. The ducks were bred on farms in the surrounding countryside. Fertilised eggs were brought into the town's "Duck End", where local residents would rear the ducklings in their homes. The opening of a railway to Aylesbury in 1839 enabled cheap and quick transport to the markets of London, and duck rearing became highly profitable. By the 1860s the duck rearing industry began to move out of Aylesbury into the surrounding towns and villages, and the industry in Aylesbury itself began to decline.

In 1873 the Pekin duck was introduced to the United Kingdom. Although thought to have a poorer flavour than the Aylesbury duck, the Pekin was hardier and cheaper to raise. Many breeders switched to the Pekin duck or to Aylesbury-Pekin crosses. By the beginning of the 20th century competition from the Pekin duck, inbreeding and disease in the pure-bred Aylesbury strain and the rising cost of duck food meant the Aylesbury duck industry was in decline.

The First World War badly damaged the remaining duck industry in Buckinghamshire, wiping out the small scale producers and leaving only a few large farms. Disruption caused by the Second World War further damaged the industry. By the 1950s only one significant flock of Aylesbury ducks remained in Buckinghamshire, and by 1966 there were no duck breeding or rearing businesses of any size remaining in Aylesbury itself. Although there is only one surviving flock of pure Aylesbury ducks in the United Kingdom and the breed is critically endangered in the United States, the Aylesbury duck remains a symbol of the town of Aylesbury, and appears on the coat of arms of Aylesbury and on the club badge of Aylesbury United.

Origins and description:
The precise origins of the Aylesbury duck are unclear. Before the 18th century, duck breeds were rarely recorded in England, and the common duck, bred for farming, was a domesticated form of the wild mallard. The common duck varied in colour, and as in the wild, white ducks would occasionally occur. White ducks were particularly prized, as their feathers were popular as a filler for quilts.

In the 18th century selective breeding of white common ducks led to a white domestic duck, generally known as the English White. Since at least the 1690s ducks had been farmed in Aylesbury, and raising English Whites became popular in Aylesbury and the surrounding villages. By 1813 it was remarked that "ducks form a material article at market from Aylesbury and places adjacent: they are white, and as it seems of an early breed: they are bred and brought up by poor people, and sent to London by the weekly carriers". The duck-farmers of Aylesbury went to great lengths to ensure the ducks retained their white colouring, keeping them clear of dirty water, soil with a high iron content and bright sunlight, all of which could discolour the ducks' feathers. Over time, selective breeding of the English White for size and colour gradually led to the development of the Aylesbury duck.

A very large duck breed, the Aylesbury duck has pure white plumage and bright orange legs and feet. Its legs are placed midway along the body and it stands with its underside parallel to the ground, giving it a body described as "boat-shaped". It has a relatively long and thin swan-like neck, and a long pink bill which comes straight out from the head.

An Aylesbury duckling incubates in the egg for 28 days. Until eight weeks after hatching, the time of their first moult, ducks and drakes (females and males) are almost indistinguishable. After moulting, males have two or three curved tail feathers and a fainter, huskier quack than the female. By one year of age, females and males grow to an average weight of 6 pounds (2.7 kg) and 7 pounds (3.2 kg) respectively, although males can reach around 10 pounds (4.5 kg).

Unlike the Rouen duck, the other popular meat variety in England in the 19th century, Aylesbury ducks lay eggs from early November. Aylesbury ducks fatten quickly and by eight weeks after hatching weigh up to 5 pounds (2.3 kg), large enough to eat but still young and extremely tender. Consequently their meat came onto the market from February onwards, after the close of the game season but before the earliest spring chickens were on sale. Rouen ducks, whose mallard-like coloration made them less valuable, lay eggs from early February and take six months to grow large enough to eat. As a consequence, Aylesbury ducks were sold primarily in the spring and summer, and Rouen ducks in the autumn and winter.

Unlike most livestock farming in England at this time, the duck breeders and duck rearers of Aylesbury formed two separate groups. Stock ducks—i.e., ducks kept for breeding—were kept on farms in the countryside of the Aylesbury Vale,  away from the polluted air and water of the town. This kept the ducks healthy, and meant a higher number of fertile eggs.

Stock ducks would be chosen from ducklings hatched in March, with a typical breeder keeping six males and twenty laying females at any given time. The females would be kept for around a year before mating, typically to an older male. They would then generally be replaced, to reduce the problems of inbreeding. Stock ducks were allowed to roam freely during the day, and would swim in local ponds which, although privately owned, were treated as common property among the duck breeders;  breeders would label their ducks with markings on the neck or head. The stock ducks would forage for greenery and insects, supplemented by greaves (the residue left after the rendering of animal fat). As ducks lay their eggs at night, the ducks would be brought indoors overnight.

Female Aylesbury ducks would not sit still for the 28 days necessary for their eggs to hatch, and as a consequence the breeders would not allow mothers to sit on their own eggs. Instead the fertilized eggs would be collected and transferred to the "duckers" of Aylesbury's Duck End.

More on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aylesbury_duck

American Black Duck

The American Black Duck (Anas rubripes) is a large dabbling duck American Black Ducks are similar to Mallards in size, and resemble the female Mallard in coloration, although the Black Duck's plumage is darker. It is native to eastern North America and has shown reduction in numbers and increasing hybridization with the more common Mallard as that species has spread with man-made habitat changes.

American Black Ducks weigh (1.6–3.6 lb), measure (19–25 in) in length and (35–38 in) across the wings. They are similar to Mallards in size, and resemble the female Mallard in coloration, although the Black Duck's plumage is darker. The male and female Black Duck are generally similar in appearance, but the male's bill is yellow while the female's is a dull green. The head is slightly lighter brown than the dark brown body, and the speculum are iridescent violet-blue with predominantly black margins. The Black Duck has orange legs and dark eyes. In flight, the white under wings can be seen in contrast to the dark brown body. The behavior and voice are the same as for the Mallard drake.

Breeding Their breeding habitat is alkaline marshes, acid bogs, lakes, ponds, rivers, marshes, brackish marshes, and the margins of estuaries and other aquatic environments in northern Saskatchewan, Manitoba, across Ontario and Quebec as well as the Atlantic Canadian Provinces, including the Great Lakes, and the Adirondacks in the United States. Female Black Ducks lay an average of 9 eggs.

Black Ducks interbreed regularly and extensively with Mallard ducks, to which they are closely related. Some authorities even consider the Black Duck to be a subspecies of the Mallard, not a separate species at all; this is in error as the extent of hybridization alone is not a valid means to delimitate Anas species.

It has been proposed that in the past, Black Ducks and Mallards were formerly separated by habitat preference, with the dark-plumage Black Ducks having a selective advantage in shaded forest pools in eastern North America, and the lighter plumage Mallards in the brighter, more open prairie and plains lakes. In recent times, according to this view, deforestation in the east, and tree planting on the plains, has broken down this habitat separation, leading to the high levels of hybridization now observed. However, rates of past hybridization are unknown in this and most other avian hybrid zones, and it is merely presumed in the case of the American Black Duck that past rates were lower than those seen today. It should also be pointed out that many avian hybrid zones are known to be stable and longstanding despite the occurrence of extensive interbreeding. At any rate, American Black Ducks and local Mallards are now very hard to distinguish by means of microsatellite comparisons, even if many specimens are sampled. Contrary to this study's claims, the question whether the American haplotypes are an original Mallard lineage is far from resolved. Their statement, "[N]orthern black ducks are now no more distinct from mallards than their southern conspecifics" of course only holds true in regard to the molecular markers tested. As birds indistinguishable according to the set of microsatellite markers still can look different, there are other genetic differences that were simply not tested in the study.

The hybrids cannot be readily distinguished in the field and consequently, much of the species' hybridization dynamics remains unknown. It has been revealed in captivity studies, however, that the hybrids follow Haldane's Rule, with hybrid females often dying before they reach sexual maturity this underscores the case for the American Black Duck being a distinct species.

This species is partially migratory and many winter in the east-central United States, especially coastal areas; some remain year-round in the Great Lakes region. These birds feed by dabbling in shallow water, and grazing on land. They mainly eat plants, but also some molluscs and aquatic insects. The eggs are a greenish buff color. They lay from 6–14 eggs, and hatch in an average of 30 days.

This duck is a rare vagrant to Great Britain, where, over the years, several birds have settled in and bred with the local Mallards. The resulting hybrids can present considerable identification difficulties.

The Black Duck has long been valued as a game bird, being extremely wary and fast on the wing. Although this is a species of least concern, it is slowly declining due to habitat destruction. Some conservationists consider the hybridization and competition with the mallard an additional source of concern, should this decline continue.The hybridization itself is not the major problem; natural selection will see to that the best-adapted individuals still have the most offspring. But the reduced viability of female hybrids will cause many broods to fail in the long run as the offspring die before reproducing themselves. While this is not a problem in the plentiful mallard, it will place an additional strain on the American Black Duck's population.

Recent research conducted at the University of Marlyand by Dr. Frank Rowher, Scientific Director for the Delta Waterfowl Foundation, is that hybrids are a result of forced copulations, and not a normal pairing choice by black hens. During an early 2012 study at the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, Dr. Rowher could not identify a single mixed pairing between the mallards and blacks. Ultimately, Rowher feels that black ducks are more tempermental to change than mallards, and the availability of salt marsh habitat is likely the cause of the decline in black duck populations across the continental United States.

Bali Duck

The Bali Duck (also known as the Balinese Crested Duck or Crested Runner Duck) is a lightweight breed of domesticated duck raised primarily for decoration or as pets, although they are good layers. It is similar to the Indian Runner Duck, differing only in having a crest on the top of the head.

The Bali Duck weighs around 2.25–2.75 kg (5–6 lb) with a slender, upright body. The body carriage is not as varied as that of the Indian Runner: Balis tend to vary between carrying their body at angle of 60–70 degrees to the ground whereas Indian Runners can be anywhere in the range of 45–75 degrees. The Bali has wider shoulders and heavier-set body than the Indian Runner, and a coarser head and bill shape. It can be clearly distinguished by the crest on the top of its head.

The Bali Duck comes in a variety of standard colors, but the most common are white, brown and a Mallard coloring. It produces 120–250 eggs a year. These eggs are blue-green to white in color.

The Bali Duck is one of the oldest breeds of domestic duck. It is uncommon outside of Bali, and has not achieved the same success as the Indian Runner. Although it is a good layer, it has not been the subject of selective breeding for egg production (as the Indian Runner has), possibly because of the high in ovo mortality rate. The same gene responsible for producing the crest codes for a number of defects including back and balance problems, arched necks and complications in the formation of the skull that lead to death before hatching. On average one of every three offspring will lack the crest. The method routinely used in Bali for producing the largest number of viable ducks is to cross crested and non-crested specimens - this results in a higher survival rate, but reduces the number of crested offspring to 50%.

Barbary Duck /Muscovy Duck

The Muscovy Duck (Cairina moschata) is a large duck native to Mexico, Central, and South America. Small wild and feral breeding populations have established themselves in the United States, particularly in the lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas, as well as in many other parts of North America, including southern Canada. Feral Muscovy Ducks are found in New Zealand and have also been reported in parts of Europe.

They are a large duck, with the males measuring about 76 cm in length, and weighing up to 15 pounds. Females are considerably smaller, and only grow to 7 pounds, roughly half the males' size. The bird is predominantly black and white, with the back feathers being iridescent and glossy in males, while the females are more drab. The amount of white on the neck and head is variable, as well as the bill, which can be yellow, pink, black, or any mixture of these. They may have white patches or bars on the wings, which become more noticeable during flight. Both sexes have pink or red wattles around the bill, those of the male being larger and more brightly colored.

Although the Muscovy Duck is a tropical bird, it adapts well to cooler climates, thriving in weather as cold as −12°C (10°F) and able to survive even colder conditions. In general, Barbary Duck is the term used for C. moschata in a culinary context.

The species is divided into two subspecies. The wild subspecies, Cairina moschata sylvestris, is commonly known in Spanish as the pato real ("royal duck") in most of its natural range.

The domestic subspecies, Cairina moschata domestica, is commonly known in Spanish as the pato criollo ("creole duck"). They have been bred since pre-Columbian times by Native Americans and are heavier and less able to fly long distances than the wild subspecies. Their plumage color are also more variable. Other names for the domestic subspecies in Spanish are pato casero ("backyard duck") and pato mudo ("mute duck").

For more info:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbary_Duck

Colors: Black, White, Lavender, Blue and Chocolate. Muscovys have a unique red lumpy crest around their eyes and above the beak.(called carruncling) PICTURES OF THE MUSCOVYS COLORS COMING SOON






Black East Indian


BANTAM DUCKS are garden ducks. Much lighter in weight than the traditional egg-laying and table birds, the bantams can make good pets. Tight sitters and fair layers, these smaller ducks will make less mess in the garden than Rouens or Indian Runners. If pets and looks are more important than performance, then bantams are a good choice.

Bantam ducks are now given a separate category from Call Ducks at the shows since the Calls are so numerous, and now have several standard colors.
Ducks in the Bantam category are either miniatures or bantams. The Miniature Apple yard is 1/3 the size of the Large Silver Apple yard.
Bantam weights like the Silver Bantam duck are strictly ¼ the size of larger strains. All of these bantam ducks are better layers than Calls, and make good pets.


Buff Ducks


The Buff Orpington Duck is a breed of Domestic duck. It is a dual-purpose breed used for meat and egg production. It is capable of laying up to 220 eggs a year. Originally created by William Cook of Orpington, Kent, UK, from the selection of mis-marked Blue Orpington Ducks; Cook was also the developer of the Orpington Chicken. The Buff Orpington Duck was introduced to the public at the Dairy Show, the Agricultural Hall (q.v.), Islington, London in October 1897. It is considered a threatened breed by the ALBC. This breed was admitted to the British Poultry Standard in 1910 and the American Poultry Associations Standard of Perfection as the 'Buff Duck' in the Medium class in 1914. The Orpington duck is available in 3 color varieties: Buff, Blond and Brown. The Buff Orpington is an unstable color due to a blue dilution gene which means that from the offspring, all 3 color variations will appear.

Call Duck (one of my favorites)

The Call Duck is a bantam breed of domesticated duck raised primarily for decoration or as pets. Call ducks look similar to Mallards, but are smaller in size.

History The first recorded mentions of the breed are from the Netherlands where it was used as a decoy and known as a Coy or Decoy Duck. The high-pitched distinctive call was used to lure other ducks into funnel traps. Later, hunters would tether Call Ducks to draw other species within range of the guns. It is believed to have originally come from the Far East, although no records of its introduction to the Netherlands exist. Other bantam breeds are known to have been imported to the Netherlands in the 17th century and Van Gink, writing in The Feathered World in 1932, supposes "There is a possibility that importations were made by Dutch captains from Japan ... especially as the Call Duck's type is very different from the ordinary European type of duck to sport from it, and since they breed so true they must be a very old-established breed."

It was introduced to British Isles by the 1850s. By 1865, it was one of the first six waterfowl breeds to be standardized there, but by the middle of the 20th century they were rare. Determined efforts by a few breeders re-popularized the breed and today they are common. In the United States, the Gray and White varieties were listed in the first Standard of Perfection in 1874 and in 1935, the use of Call Ducks in Duck Hunting was permanently banned in every state as it resulted in over-harvest by hunters and was not in line with the conservation efforts that were then being realized. They are popular exhibition birds and win more duck championships in shows in North America than any other breed.









A Khaki Campbell (or just Campbell) is a breed of domesticated duck that originated in England and is kept for its high level of egg production. The breed was developed by Adele Campbell of England at the end of the 19th century. The "Khaki" portion of the name refers to the duck's typical color.

Description Adult Campbell ducks weigh approximately 3-5 pounds. Campbells can come in three color varieties: khaki, dark and white. They are a cross between Mallard, Rouen and Runner ducks. The Khaki Campbell drake is mostly khaki colored with a darker head usually olive green lacking the white ring of its Mallard ancestors. The Khaki Campbell duck has a more modest plumage of Khaki covering the entirety of the body. Despite popular misconceptions of skiddish or flightly behavior Campbells are a very gentle, passive and friendly breed when raised by hand until maturity. They are a good breed for young families and children to raise.

The egg production of the Campbell breed can exceed even the most efficient of egg laying domestic chickens, with the breed laying an average of 320 eggs a year. When provided a moderate "duck conscious" environment to live in they will lay a more than modest amount of eggs per week.

Khaki Campbells become mature at approximately 7 months. Khaki Campbell ducks seldom hatch out others young; however, in very communal situations do hatch large broods together. Most brooding behavior has been sacrificed in exchange for prolific egg laying ability in this breed. The ducks, when raised by hand, are not usually defensive of their eggs or nests making collection of eggs very easy. Mechanical incubators or broody chickens are used to hatch out Khaki Campbell ducklings when hens are not present in the process. Incubation takes approximately 23 to 28 days for a Khaki Campbell duckling to hatch and need to be inspected for ducklings that have not emerged from their egg completely.

In the late 1800s Adele Campbell purchased a Fawn and White Indian Runner Duck which was an exceptional layer (195 eggs in 197 days) and crossed it with a Rouen Duck in an attempt to create a strain that would lay well and have bigger bodies.The offspring were crossed with Mallards to increase their hardiness. The resulting birds were prolific layers. The "Campbell" breed was introduced to the public in 1898. In an attempt to create a more attractive buff-coloured duck Mrs. Campbell crossed her original Campbells with Pencilled Runner ducks. The resulting colour reminded Mrs. Campbell of British army uniforms, so she named these new ducks "Khaki Campbell". In 1941 Khaki Campbell Ducks were introduced to the American Standard of Perfection.

This breed of duck is listed as watch by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy

Cayuga Duck

A Cayuga Duck is a medium-class domesticated duck breeds that has been a popular variety in the USA since the 17th century. They are used for egg and meat production, as well as an ornamental bird.

History The Cayuga name is taken from Cayuga Lake, one of the lakes in the Finger Lakes region of New York State, where the breed was popularized. The traditional story for the development of this breed is that a miller in Dutchess County captured two wild American Black Ducks and crossed them with white farm ducks. This origin is disputed however, as American Black Duck is actually dark brown rather than black, black variations occur naturally in Mallards, and Black Duck drakes do not have the curled tail feathers seen in domestic ducks such as the Cayuga.

This breed of duck is listed as threatened by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.

The Cayuga breed is in the "Medium class" and has been a recognized breed of the American Poultry Association since 1874. the standard weight for adult males is 8 pounds and females 7 pounds. The Cayuga are characterized by a black bill and black plumage which is an iridescent beetle green in the correct light. In breeding an emphasis is put on correct coloration, carriage and a large breast. The Cayuga duck has dark brown eyes, black shanks and toes, except in old drakes where some orange shading may appear. Ducklings have black plumage. For exhibition presence of white color in the outer plumage is a disqualification. It is also well liked by many as a great yard pet as they tend to stay close to home.

For those who wish to keep ducks, but live close to others that would make keeping the Pekin breed impractical because of the loud quack, The Cayuga duck may be an alternative as its quack is not as loud except the female of the species are quite vocal often times the male of the species is mute. (Jon K.) The temperament of the Cayuga is docile, and adult Cayuga Ducks enjoy eating snails, slugs, and most other insects.

The Cayuga duck will more often sit on and hatch her eggs than other domestic breeds of duck. Incubation for the eggs is 28 days. When using an incubator the temperature should be 99.5 °F at 86% humidity for days 1-25, and 98.5 °F at 94% humidity for days 26-28.

Crested ducks

Crested ducks are basically a genetic error appearing in any color and as such have a mixed history. The crest is  a mutation associated with skull deformities and known for hundreds of years. Some claim that crested ducks first appeared in Britain, which is unlikely but they were certainly first Shown  and written about here and appear in many early poultry books . Genetic mutations appear  anywhere in the  the world. Selective breeding would then have increased the numbers of birds with the same characteristic. 17th century Dutch paintings show crested ducks on wildfowl such as Melchior d'Hondecoeter (1636 -1695) and Marmaduke Craddock (1660 - 1717) from Somerset in the Uk showed them

The crest is formed from a mass of fatty tissue that emerges through a gap in the cranium/ skull. From this, feathers grow. Crests vary from centrally placed, full crests, rather like powder puffs, to knobbly protuberances with just a few feathers; or the occasional earring when it has 'slipped'. The crested gene can be bred into any breed except Muscovy as one parent crested will breed a percentage of crested offspring . Crested to  crested seldom breed successfully but if they do will produce better stock. If using a crested female with a large crest watch as the drake uses this as to ' assist ' mating and she can get injured easily. The tuft of feathers on the head, which occasionally appears, having been recognized as a point of attraction, selected and bred for of the off spring many will be plain headed but carry the crested gene so a crested drake will turn any breed crested . . they also have the energy for this so watch out

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Dutch Hook Bill

The Dutch Hook Bill duck was a mystery to me when it first seemed to ‘appear’ in Britain about 10 - 15 years ago. In fact, the older specialist ducks breeders knew it well but the breed had ‘lapsed’, both here and on the continent. That did not seem surprising. This really is a peculiar looking duck. Not only does it literally have a hooked bill which forms part of a curve around the whole of the top of the head, but its legs are not set as squarely as in the mallard. This gives the Hook Bill a characteristic funny walk. Once you have got these birds, they tend to stay. Placid, docile, gentle and friendly, they are beautiful ducks with real character.

Europe’s oldest breed
The Dutch masters, such as Jan Steen, painted many pictures of poultry and waterfowl, and this is one of the ways in which information is gleaned about our old breeds. Steen’s ‘The Poultry Yard’ (1660) depicted white and mallard-colored crested ducks, a fawn-&-white pied duck and a bibbed. Melchior d’Hondecoeter (1636–1695) also portrayed crested ducks, and he included a crested Hook Bill. Several of d' Hondecoeter’s other paintings can be seen at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam , and in the National Museum of Wales at Cardiff .
The first written evidence of Hook Bills may be in Willughby’s Ornithology of 1678 when the Hook Bill was described ‘as very like the common duck, from which it differs chiefly in the bill, which is broad, somewhat longer than the common duck’s, and bending moderately downwards, the head is also lesser and slenderer. . . it is said to be a better layer’.

Where did it come from?
Nobody really seems to now where the bird came from. Harrison Weir (1902) wrote that the breed was of Eastern origin, citing India . The Dutch Historian van Gink also said that they were from the Far East and there is some acceptance in Holland that the most likely place of origin is East Asia from where they were taken and brought to the Netherlands by Dutch seafarers in the ‘Golden Age’.

In the 1700s, Hook Bills were kept by the hundreds of thousands in the province of North Holland. The Dutch method of keeping ducks did not actually cost the owners anything: the ducks went off in the morning to the rivers and canals to find food and returned home before dark. The birds were expected to fly quite a large distance to find their own food so, by necessity, they could not be heavy.

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East Indies


The East Indies is an ornamental breed of domestic duck. Despite the breed's name, it was not developed in Southeast Asia, but rather in the United States in the 19th century. Sometimes called the Black East Indies, it is best known for its striking appearance: very dark, lustrous green plumage and black bills. Females may sometimes develop white feathers as they age. A bantam breed weighing around 1-2 pounds (453-907 grams), East Indies are largely kept by fanciers for exhibition purposes. Being small in size, they are relatively good fliers. Admitted to American Poultry Association's Standard of Perfection in 1874, East Indies are popular among breeders. They are generally shyer and quieter than Call Duck.

Golden Cascade


The Golden Cascade is a breed of domestic duck developed in the United States. In 1979, David Holderread of Corvallis, Oregon set out to breed a duck that was fast growing, active, laid eggs well, and was auto-sexing. By the mid-1980s, the Golden Cascade was introduced to the market. It is not yet admitted to the American Poultry Association's Standard of Perfection. The Golden Cascade was so named because of its golden hue, and for the prominent Cascade Range of the Northwest. They weigh 6-8 pounds (2.7-3.6 kilos). Females have Fawn or buff plumage and Orange beaks with brown markings. Drakes have yellow beaks, Satin green or Bronze heads, white ring on their necks, reddish breasts and white underbodies. The throat can turn light fawn. Older drakes can molt to a fawn or buff that covers the head and body but First year birds should have a chestnut chest with the classic golden buff to white shoulders, sides and belly. The ducklings may be sexed by down color: darker for males, lighter for females.

Indian Runners

Indian Runners are an unusual breed of domestic duck. They stand erect like penguins and, rather than waddling, they run. The females usually lay about 150 – 200 eggs a year or more, depending whether they are from exhibition or utility strains. They were found on the Indonesian Islands of Lombok, Java and Bali where they were 'walked' to market and sold as egg-layers or for meat. These ducks do not fly and only rarely form nests and incubate their own eggs. They run or walk, often dropping their eggs wherever they happen to be. Duck-breeders need to house their birds overnight or be vigilant in picking up the eggs to prevent them from being taken by other animals.

The ducks vary in weight between 1.4 and 2.3 kg (3-5 lbs). Their height (from crown to tail tip) ranges from 50 cm (20 inches) in small females to about 76 cm (30 inches) in the taller males. The eggs are often greenish-white in color, but these too vary.

Indian Runners love foraging. They also like swimming in ponds and streams, but they are likely to be preoccupied in running around grassy meadows looking for worms, slugs, even catching flies. They appreciate open spaces but are happy in gardens from which they cannot fly and where they make much less noise than Call Ducks. Only the females quack. All drakes are limited to a hoarse whisper. Runners eat less in the way of grain and pellet supplement than big table ducks.

Origins of the Breed:
The Indian Runner Ducks are domesticated waterfowl that live in the archipelago of the 'East Indies'. There is no evidence that they came originally from India itself. Attempts by British breeders at the beginning of the twentieth century to find examples in the subcontinent had very limited success. Like many other breeds of waterfowl imported into Europe and America, the term 'Indian' may well be fanciful, denoting a loading port or the transport by 'India-men' sailing ships of the East India Company. Other misnamed geese and ducks include the 'African Goose', the 'Black East Indian Duck' and the 'Muscovy Duck'.

The Runner became popular in Europe and America as an egg-laying variety towards the end of the nineteenth century largely as a result of an undated pamphlet called The India Runner: its History and Description published by John Donald of Wigton between 1885 and 1890. Donald describes the pied variety and gives the popular story of the importation into Cumbria (Northwest England) by a sea captain some fifty years earlier.

The breed is unusual not only for its high egg production but also for its upright stance and variety of color genes, some of which are seen in seventeenth century Dutch paintings. Other references to such domestic ducks use the names 'Penguin Ducks' and 'Baly Soldiers'. Harrison Weir's Our Poultry (1902) describes the Penguin Ducks belonging to Mr Edward Cross in the Surrey Zoological Gardens between 1837-38. These may well have been imported by the 13th Earl of Derby. Darwin describes them (1868) as having elongated 'femur and meta-tarsi', contrary to Tegetmeier’s assertions.

The Cumbrian importations, according to Matthew Smith in 1923, included completely Fawn Runners and completely White Runners as well as the pied (Fawn-and-white and Grey-and-white) varieties. The most successful attempt to import fresh blood lines was by Joseph Walton between 1908 and 1909. A detailed account of these ventures can be found in Coutts (1927) and Ashton (2002). Walton shipped in birds from Lombok and Java, revolutionizing the breeding stock which, according to Donald, had become badly mixed with local birds. Further importations by Miss Chisholm and Miss Davidson in 1924 and 1926 continued to revive the breed.

Pure breed enthusiasts, exhibitors and show judges wanted to establish standard descriptions. Standards were drawn up in America (1898) and England (1901) for the pied color varieties. These were largely the same until 1915 when the two countries diverged. The American Poultry Association chose a variety with blue in the genotype whilst the English Poultry Club Standard kept to the pure form described by Donald in his original pamphlet. Other colors followed making use of black genes brought in by some of Walton's birds. These were to produce Black, Chocolate and Cumberland Blue. Later were developed the Mallard, Trout, Blue Trout, and Apricot Trout versions. Slightly different names and descriptions can be found in American and German Standards. A full account of the influence of the Indian Runner Duck Club (founded in 1906), particularly the input by John Donald, Joseph Walton, Dr J.A. Coutts and Matthew Smith, can be found in Ashton (2002).

The most profound impact of the Indian Runners was on the development of the modern 'light duck' breeds. Before 1900, most ducks were bred for the table. Aylesbury and Rouen Ducks were famous throughout the nineteenth century, and these were supplemented or replaced, after 1873-4, by importation from China of the Pekin Duck. As soon as the Indian Runners became fashionable, a demand for egg-layers and general purpose breeds developed. Using Runners crossed to Rouens, Aylesburys and Cayugas (the large black American breed), William Cook produced his famous Orpington ducks. Mrs Campbell crossed her Fawn-and-white Runner Duck to a Rouen drake to create the Campbell ducks. Later, she introduced wild mallard blood and managed to create the most prolific egg-layer, the Khaki Campbell (announced in 1901). Other breeds followed, some of which emerged as direct mutations of the Khaki Campbell, along with crosses back to Indian Runners, the most famous being the Abacot Ranger (known in Germany as the Streicher) and the Welsh Harlequin.

Breeding Indian Runner Ducks and Pekins brought in unusual plumage colour mutations. These included the dusky and restricted mallard genes, light phase, harlequin phase, blue and brown dilutions, as well as the famous pied varieties named by the geneticist F.M. Lancaster as the 'Runner pattern'. Much of the proliferation of new colour varieties in breeds of domestic duck begins with the importation of these oriental ducks. Original research by R.G. Jaap (1930s) and F.M. Lancaster has allowed breeders to understand the effect of genotypes in managing and creating colour varieties. Simplified information can be found in writings by Dave Holderread, and Mike and Chris Ashton.






Fawn And White


The Magpie Duck is a lightweight breed of domesticated duck. Developed in the early 20th century, they are raised as general purpose ducks, since they have attractive markings, and are highly productive layers of large eggs..

Named for its distinctive black and white plumage, reminiscent of the colouration of the European Magpie, the typical example of the species is predominantly white with two large black areas on the back and top of the head. As the bird ages the black cap will normally begin to be flecked with white and may eventually become completely white. Similar in shape to the Khaki Campbell, but more substantial, the Magpie is moderately streamlined with a somewhat upright carriage that suggests Indian Runner Duck in its ancestral bloodline. The bill is yellow or orange, but turns green in older birds. The legs and feet are orange but may be mottled. The chest is rounded and the neck moderately long. Males have, when fully feathered, curled feathers on the tail. Females have, when fully feathered, straight feathers on the tail. Males weigh around 2.7 kg (6 lb) on average, and females around 2.5 kg (5½ lb), although the American standard specifies 1 lb (0.45 kg) lower for each. They lay between 220–290 large green/blue eggs annually. They are a hardy variety, active foragers, and live for approximately 9 years.

 Magpie Ducks as pets can be known to be friendly. This depends on the way you raise your duck. More affection and holding of your duck will probly result in a friendlier duck. It also depends on the personality although it might be the same breed personality and tempermant can only be judged in the higher average but theire is no telling that the duck may be friendly.

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The Mulard (or Moulard) is a sterile domestic duck hybrid, and accordingly mulards also are known as "mule ducks." They produced by crossing female Pekins with male Muscovy Ducks. The domestic Pekin is descended from the Mallard Duck (Anas platyrhynchos), whereas the Muscovy (Cairina moschata) is a different species, and in fact is in a different genus. Like many interspecific crosses, all mulards are sterile F1 hybrids. Most are bred through artificial insemination.

Husbandry and Production Commercially the mulard is produced on farms mainly for meat and foie gras. White Muscovies and the Pekin are the two most common pure breeds of duck commercially farmed, and hybrids of the two are hardier and calmer, in addition to exhibiting natural hybrid vigor.

The incubation period of the hybrid eggs is median between the Mallard and Muscovy, with an average of 32 days. About half of the eggs hatch into mulard ducks. Mulards tend to combine certain traits of the two parent breeds. Due to their Muscovy heritage they produce leaner meat than Pekins; females tend to be raised for meat while males are used for foie gras. Like Muscovy ducks, mulards have claws on their feet, but they do not fly and perch, preferring to stay on water as Pekins do.

Foie gras was traditionally produced primarily with geese, but in the 1960s the majority of farmers began to switch to mulards. Geese are more expensive to maintain than ducks (they are larger and more aggressive), but the more temperamental Muscovies did not accept the process of gavage (force feeding) as readily as Pekins, and the quality of the foie gras suffered; this problem was avoided by the introduction of mulards. But these hybrids have become extremely common in countries where no foie gras is produced.

Today in France, the leading foie gras producer and consumer, the use of hybrid ducks vastly outnumbers the use of geese. In 2007 there were 35 million mulard ducks raised in the country, compared with only 800,000 geese.In addition to being raised in Europe and the United States, mulards are widely raised throughout Southeast Asia.

Pekin duck

Pekin duck, or Long Island duck (Anas platyrhynchos domestica, or Anas peking), is a breed of domesticated duck used primarily for egg and meat production. It was bred from the Mallard in China. The ancestors of those ducks originated from the canals which linked waterways in Nanjing and originally had small bodies and black feathers. With the relocation of the Chinese capital to Beijing, supply barge traffic increased in the area which would often spill grain on which the ducks fed. Over time, the ducks slowly increased in size and grew white feathers. By the Five Dynasties, the new breed of duck had been domesticated by Chinese farmers.

In 1873 nine ducks were exported from China to Long Island, New York in the United States and the animals and their meat are sometimes referred to as "Long Island duckling". It is the most popular commercial duck breed in the United States, although some farming has since relocated to Indiana from Suffolk County, New York. Around 95% of duck meat consumed in the United States is Pekin duck.

Pekin duck embryos take around 28 days to develop in the egg at 99.5°F (37.5°C) and 50-75% humidity. A heartbeat can usually be seen by the third day of incubation when candling the egg.

The eggs must be regularly turned during incubation. This occurs in nature when the female duck shifts her position while sitting on the eggs. For artificial incubation, machines are available which will constantly turn the eggs.

When being artificially incubated, the eggs are moved to a "hatcher" three days before they are due to hatch. This has a slightly lower temperature and higher humidity which increases the survivability of the hatchlings while their protective down develops.

Compared with other birds, duck eggs are relatively easy to hatch as they are very forgiving of variations in temperature and humidity.

Hatchlings and young ducklings:

Pekin hatchlings have bright yellow plumage with an orange bill, shanks, and feet.

Hatchlings should not be given free access to swimming water unless they have been hatched naturally by other ducks. The feathers of a young duckling are not sufficiently developed to properly protect them for extended periods in the water and they do not produce enough preen oil to waterproof this plumage. In the wild, a mother duck will monitor the time her ducklings spend in the water as well as supplying additional preen oil to supplement what is produced by the hatchlings.

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Rouen Duck

The Rouen Duck is a heavyweight breed of domesticated duck raised primarily for decoration or as general purpose ducks, since they are not prolific egg layers. The breed originated in France sometime before the 19th century.

The plumage coloring of both the Rouen drake and the Rouen hen are identical to that of the Mallard drake and Mallard hen: males have green heads, white collars, black tail feathers, a gray body, and a deep claret breast while the females are mottled light brown with a black crown and eye-stripes; both genders also have blue speculum feathers. However, Rouens are brighter in colour and larger in size than Mallards. The Rouen duckling is identical to the Mallard duckling in terms of plumage coloring. In North America, two distinct types are bred: the common, or production-bred, variety that is larger than a Mallard but has a typical duck conformation, and the much larger and squarer standard-bred variety. The production variety normally weighs 6–8 lbs (2.7–3.6 kg) while the standard-bred weighs 9–12 lb (4.1–5.4 kg).

The breed was first raised in France, but it was not until it reached England in the 19th century that it was refined into the breed recognized as the Rouen today. The French version resembled a larger than an average Mallard, but by selective breeding the British managed to double the size of the bird, improve its coloration, and add bulk, giving it a more "boat-like" aspect. It was used chiefly as a roasting bird; though it produced 35 to 125 eggs a year, there were other breeds which were more reliable egg-layers with higher production. In 1861, Mrs Beeton said of it:

“ The Rouen, or Rhone duck, is a large and handsome variety, of French extraction. The plumage of the Rouen duck is somewhat sombre; its flesh is also much darker, and, though of higher flavour, not near so delicate as that of our own Aylesbury. ” The origin of the name is not known. When they arrived in England, they were variously called Rhône, after the region in southwest-central France, Rohan, after the cardinal of that name, Roan, for the mixture of colors, and Rouen after the northern French town, with Rouen eventually being adopted in both England and France. In France they are called Rouen Foncé (dark) as opposed to Rouen Clair, which are lighter in color.

In 1850 the first Rouens were introduced to the USA by D. W. Lincoln of Worcester, Massachusetts, and used as general farm ducks until becoming popular as show birds. They were included in the Standard of Perfection of the American Poultry Association in 1874 and since then have won many titles, often having the most entries in the heavyweight class and doing well in competition with other breeds.


The Saxony is a breed of domestic duck originating in the Saxony region of Germany.

 It was initially bred by Albert Franz of Chemnitz in the 1930s, but almost all of his original stock was lost during World War II. He cross bred Rouen, German Pekin, and Blue Pomeranian ducks. Resuming his efforts, Franz's work resulted in the recognition of the Saxony by 1957. In 1984, David Holderread (who later developed his own breed, the Golden Cascade), imported some Saxony ducks to the US, and it was recognized by the American Poultry Association in 2000 by admittance in to the Standard of Perfection. Saxony in North America are considered critically endangered by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, with less than half a dozen breeders total according to their 2000 census.

The Saxony is classed as a heavy duck, weighing between seven and eight pounds (3 to 3.6 kilos). It is considered to be beautiful bird suited to both watching and petting. Females will lay 200 or more large white eggs in a year. Both drakes and hens have yellowish bills with orange legs and feet. Drakes resemble a faded Mallard in hue, while females are a light buff color with white streaks on the face with some blueish shading.

Colors/More info: http://www.feathersite.com/Poultry/Ducks/Sax/BRKSax.html


Origin : Data on this breed are very scarce. The first very short references on this breed go back to early twentieth century. The late Etienne Brandt was the big promoter of this duck. The first standard of the Semois appeared in his book ‘Study on Chickens and Waterfowl’, which he wrote in 1971 with Prof. Dr. A. Willems, DVM. What he described then as a Semois was in the end nothing else but a large Call duck with a too long bill. In 1990, a few years before his death, he rejected the original standard and published a new one. One the origin of this breed is very little known but that it originates from the valley of the Semois River.

Characteristics : The Semois is a very active little duck with little utility qualities. It is usually kept as an ornamental duck and sometimes to sit on eggs of wild waterfowl species. The ducks lay a nice number of rather big greenish eggs which they brood themselves. The ducklings grow up fast and without any problems.

Appearance : The Semois looks a lot like a mallard considering its shape and size. The body is elongated and rather flattened. They weigh little above one kilo. The head has a flat front and skull and the cheeks are not prominent. The bill is rather long compared to the body length and should be yellow. Birds with orange bills should be removed from breeding stock. The legs are orange and medium in length. The underline of the body should stay above the heels, which implements that the abdomen should not be deep. There is also a crested variety of the Semois.

Varieties : The Semois is always white with as little yellow as possible.

State : Very rare. Mostly seen in the Southern French-speaking part of Belgium and sporadically in the North. Unknown in other countries. Crested Semois are extremely rare.

Silver Appleyard

The Silver Appleyard Duck is a breed of domestic duck. Only 128 breeding Silver Appleyard Ducks were reported in a 2000 census of domestic waterfowl in North America. Of five people breeding this variety in North America, only one had a primary breeding flock in excess of fifty individuals. It may be more common in the United Kingdom.

This breed is sometimes called the Large Appleyard in contrast to the diminutive form of this breed known as the Miniature Appleyard developed by Tom Bartlett of Folly Farm in the 1980s.

The Silver Appleyard Duck is a "large, sturdily built duck" with a "blocky" physique and a prominent breast. When full grown it weighs between six and eight pounds.

Drakes of this breed have a yellow or greenish-colored bill which sometimes takes on a striated appearance when the duck is older. The drake has a chestnut red breast, flank, sides, and shoulders with white "frosting and lacing" and a "creamy or silvery white" underside. Drakes' wings are gray and white with a cross-stripe of bright blue. Their tail feathers are a dark bronze color. Feet and legs are orange.

The Silver Appleyard Duck hen has a yellow or orange bill with a black "bean". Plumage is whitish with markings in various shades of brown and gray. Her legs are yellow or orange with dark toenails and she, like the drake, also has wings marked with a blue cross-stripe.

The British Waterfowl Standards book lists criteria for an ideal example of this breed including (but not limited to) criteria such as:

  • A well-rounded head feathered in iridescent green over brown black
  • A slightly erect, alert and busy carriage
  • A rump which is brown black with a slight iridescence, laced with white
  • Legs that are set slightly back and well apart
  • A medium length bill that is not wedge-shaped and that rises in a gentle curve to the brow
  • Dark brown eyes
The Silver Appleyard is named after Reginald Appleyard, the breeder who developed it at his Priory Waterfowl Farm near Bury St Edmunds, England. As described in a farm brochure from the 1940s, Appleyard's ambition was to create a very attractive breed of large duck that would also be a prolific producer of large, white eggs.

The breed was introduced to the United States in the 1960s but did not become available to the public until 1984. In 1998, the American Poultry Association held a qualifying meet to include the Silver Appleyard Duck in the American Standard of Perfection. In 2000, the association officially recognized this breed.

Modern cultivation:
Silver Appleyard Ducks are raised for exhibition, as pets, and as "gourmet roasting ducks".They are also raised for their eggs as this breed is one of the best egg-layers among the larger ducks and produces, on average, roughly 250 white-shelled eggs yearly. Their meat is "lean and flavorful". This breed has a calm temperament and tends to stay close to home if well-fed.

According to the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy:

There is a critical need for more conservation breeders of Appleyards. Their excellent laying ability, meaty carcasses, and lovely plumage make them a great addition to any small farmstead or backyard producer's flock...When choosing Appleyards to breed, select robust, active, and strong-legged birds that have a record of good egg production. Many Appleyards are undersized, therefore select birds with big well muscled bodies while avoiding excessively large birds that will have trouble foraging, mating, and laying.

Silver Bantam


Silver Bantam Bantam ducks are now given a separate category from Call Ducks since the Calls are so numerous, and now have nine standard colours. Domestic waterfowl in the Bantam category are either miniatures or bantams. The Miniature Appleyard is 1/3 the size of the Large Silver Appleyard. Bantam weights like the Silver Bantam duck are strictly 1/4 the size of larger strains. The oldest breed of Bantam Duck is the Black East Indian - which has nothing to do with the East Indies...

Welsh Harlequin

The Welsh Harlequin is a breed of domestic duck originating in Wales. In 1949, in Criccieth, Group Captain Leslie Bonnet discovered a color mutation among his flock of Khaki Campbells and began breeding selectively for the trait. By 1968, hatching eggs were exported to the United States, followed by the importation of live birds in 1981.

Today, the Welsh Harlequin is a light-weight duck breed known for its vivid plumage and egg laying ability. Welsh Harlequins weigh 5 to 6 pounds (2-3 kilos). Females have a black bill, and their plumage is a creamy white color bearing brown stippling, with brown wings edged in white. Drakes are similar to a faded Mallard with a yellow bill, although their wings may have green edging. The birds produce a lean carcass and are active foragers, though they are sometimes more vulnerable to predators such as birds of prey due to their light coloration. The egg laying ability is highly valued as the production exhibited by some hens rivals rivals that of chickens. The breed is prone to broodiness and a pair can easily produce young without human interference. They have become a popular backyard pet in recent years due to the bird's calm demeanor and egg production.

The Welsh Harlequin was admitted to the American Poultry Association's Standard of Perfection in 2001. The breed is considered to be critically endangered in North America by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, with only 188 breeding birds found in a 2000 census.

More info: http://www.feathersite.com/Poultry/Ducks/Welsh/BRKWelsh.html



The Shetland duck is a breed of domestic duck originating in the Shetland Islands in Scotland. It is critically endangered.

The Shetland duck is a small, hardy breed. It is similar to
Pomeranian duck or Swedish Blue duck, it shares the same ancestors with them. It is black with a white bib. Shetland drakes have sky blue bills and Shetland duck females have slate blue bills. The average weight of the Shetland duck is 2 kg for males and 1,8 kg for females.

Swedish Blue

The Swedish Blue duck (in Swedish Svensk blå anka) is a breed of domesticated duck. They are often simply called Swedish. It is a landrace originating in southern Sweden.

The Swedish Blue duck is a medium sized bird, male weighs between 3-4 kg,and the female usually weighs 2,5-3,5 kg. Swedish Blue ducks are very calm birds and make good beginner's ducks. They produce 100 eggs per year of 80-90 g weight. They love to free range and will go broody.

The color of Swedish Blue ducks is due to
heterozygosity in a color gene. If a Swedish Blue duck and drake breed, the young are the usual 25% / 50% / 25% ratio in:

  • 25%: A homozygous form, black where the blue should be.
  • 50%: As the parents.
  • 25%: The other homozygous form, splashed or silver with combinations of blue and black and white.

Swedish Blue ducks are a relatively popular breed of duck. Swedish population of Swedish Blue duck consists of 163 breeding animals only. It is considered to be an endangered breed. This breed of duck is listed as watch by the
American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.

More info and pic's: http://www.feathersite.com/Poultry/Ducks/Swedes/BRKSwedes.html

Source: http://mygoldenbuffies.weebly.com/info-about-duck-breeds-and-more.html


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