Domestic Duck Breeds.
Ducks are commercially bred mainly for eggs, and meat. They could also be kept as pets, domestically or for ornamental purposes. Here are some examples of domestic duck breeds that you can keep in your homestead;
- Indian Runner
The Indian Runner duck is an especial breed with an upright posture and a typical long neck. They are good at runners and hardly waddle in water.
As free rangers, they forage on insects, snails, and slugs however they can also be fed commercial pellets. Although they don’t go broody, the hen is a superb egg layer, laying up to 200 eggs a year. Artificial, incubation could come in handy for faster hatching or the use of other birds to sit on the eggs.
Runner ducks are not good meat ducks as a mature drake rarely weighs 2.3 kg (5 lbs.).
Mostly bred for their meat, however they are easily found in exhibitions or homesteads where they are kept as pets.
Rouens have their origin in France.
They are of two types, the standard Rouen and the production Rouen. Rouens resemble wild Mallard ducks in color.
They can be found in black, fawn and blue colors.
In as much as the hen can lay 140 to 180 eggs per year, the reproduction rate is low because the eggs tend to break when the females sit on them due to their large bodies.
Since they are heavy, Rouen ducks are extremely popular for their tantalising meat.
- Khaki Campbell
The Khaki Campbell is a cross breed of Indian runner hen and a Rouen drake. This breed was developed by Adele Campbell of England.The ducks are of various colors including Black, Khaki and white.
The Khaki Campbell is an excellent layer, producing more than 300 eggs in a year. The hen also sits on the eggs. Although they are lightweight birds, Khaki Campbell is meatier as compared to the Indian Runner.
- Muscovy Duck
The Muscovy is a large breed of duck where the drake can weigh 4.5kg (10 lbs).It originates from central and south America. Muscovy ducks exist in different colors, and have a peculiar red wattle around their beaks and caruncles on their head.
Unlike the Runner duck and the Cayuga duck, the Muscovy hen goes broody hence they are excellent mothers. This makes them a better option for meat ducks because of how fast they reproduce.
Muscovy ducks are not literally ducks however they bear many similarities with the duck family. As such they cannot swim or dive in water.
- Cayuga duck
Initially bred as meat ducks, the Cayuga ducks have evolved into ornamental birds owing to their shimmering green feathers.
They originated from New York around Lake Cayuga. They bear striking similarities with the Aylesbury duck.
It is a hard breed with a mature drake weighing averagely 3.6 kg (8 lbs.).
They lay dark eggs whose color changes with laying seasons.
The hens can lay 130 to 180 eggs per year and rarely go broody.
Since it is a medium sized bird , it is known to produce tasty meat.
The Pekin duck is mostly white in color and are very common in America. They grow rapidly hence suitable for meat production.
A mature drake weighs over 5.4 kg (12 lbs.) while the hen weighs 9(lbs).
They are good foragers and quite friendly ducks.
The hens will lay around 200 eggs per year yet, they don’t sit on them making them bad mothers.
- Buff Duck/Orpington
This breed originates from the United Kingdom and was developed by William Cook. He crossbred the Rouen, Cayuga and Indian ducks. It is mostly an ornamental bird as it is friendly.
They exist in black, white and blue colors.
The hen can lay up to 220 eggs annually and they go broody.
Buffs have long necks and brown feathers which are easy to pluck.
They are good foragers and are naturally hardy.
They are also good for meat production.
- Ancona Duck
They come in mixed colors including Black and White, Blue and White, Silver and White, Lavender and White, Chocolate and White.
If you have come across a duck with an extraordinary broken coloured pattern most probably is the ancoda duck.This attribute makes them stand out from the rest of the ducks.
The hen is able to produce upto 280 eggs in a year and just like most ducks they don’t go broody.
Ancona ducks also produce good meat which does not contain a lot of fats.
9.Abacot Ranger/ Hooded Ranger.
This breed is multi purpose serving both as a pet and a utility breed.
They are used for exhibitions owing to their nice looking bodies and docile nature.
Just like the Indian Runner duck the Abacot Ranger is a good forager.
The hen has the ability to lay upto 200 eggs a year and will sit on them hence they make good mothers.
The Abacot Ranger duck is rarely found in the US but could be found in some parts of Europe.
10.Blue Swedish Duck
As the name suggests this breed has a blue plumage although there are also black coloured ones.
This breed originates from Sweden.
The breed doubles up as pet and a utility breed.
The females lay upto 180 eggs per year.
The breed also provides tender and tasty meat.
- The Australian Call Duck
The Call Duck is part the bantam breed and is mostly found in black and white colors.
This breed was famously used as a decoy to hunt other birds due to their high pitched sounds.
Their cuteness and attractiveness makes them ideal pets
They are light weight and the hen could lay upto 150 eggs a year . They make awesome mothers as they go broody.
12 Magpie duck
It has its origin in Britain and is one of the uncommon domesticated breeds.
This breed is mostly white with black markings.
They are light weight birds weighing only 5(lbs).Its meat is tasty and is of gourmet quality.
They are good foragers feeding on insects and snails.
They can be kept as pets or for ornamental purposes.
- The Dutch Hook bill
They originate from the Netherlands and as the name suggests, they have a characteristic hooked bill that faces downwards.
They are mostly used for ornamental purposes and for exhibitions.
They are awesome layers with an average of 225 eggs per year.
Since they are a lightweight breed , they are not a good option for meat production.
Unlike most ducks it is much easier to different between a drake and a hen.
This breed is very much uncommon and its nearing extinction.
14.Black East Indian duck.
The Black East Indian Duck belongs to the bantam breed.
This is one of the most beautiful and eye catching breeds to behold making them mostly ornamental birds.
These birds are quite unfriendly and would appreciate to remain alone and as such they’re not good pets.
They lay very few eggs and since they’re light weight ,they can’t be used for meat production.