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Ducks are fast becoming very popular for eggs, meat, ornamental and exhibition.
As the demand for duck breeds grow there is a good chance that we could get to do some good and give some rare and or critically endangered duck breeds a better chance of recovering their population status.
In this article we are going to look at some of the rare domestic duck breeds.
10 Breeds of Domestic Ducks that have become or are Becoming Quit Rare
These are truly unique looking ducks. Their body has a distinct S-shape from neck to breast and then has a deep sweeping curve from the breast to the leg and another to its tail. But their body shape is not their only defining character. They have a long-curved bill that was said to have made it easier for hunters to distinguish between them and a wild duck in the Dutch waterways.
They have quite a hard history as they were sent to fend for themselves in the Dutch waterways and canals. They are a very old breed of duck that’s numbers have so drastically declined that it is now on the many a wildfowl conservation list as critically endangered.
The Aylesbury duck is a very old breed of duck and was a very popular dual-purpose duck in the 1800’s. It was prized for its white skin, white feathers which make it easy to pluck, great egg production and tasty tender meat.
These pure white ducks have yellow legs and feet and an unusual light pink bill. They are known as a superior meat breed and young that mature rapidly. A young male can reach their mature weight at around seven to nine weeks of age.
They are not very active birds nor are they great forages, so they need to be fed concentrated feed which tends to fatten them up rather fast.
They were the first duck breed from Europe to be imported to the United States.
Ayelsbury ducks are critically endangered and in need of more breeders to take an interest in getting this breeds conservation status back to normal acceptable levels of ducks.
This little breed of duck has seen much confusion about its breed name. Created by Reginald Appleyard the same breeder that developed the Appleyard duck. Bantam breeds were becoming very popular after the Second World War. Being a duck breeder Reginal Appleyard decided to create his own Bantam breed.
He named this breed the Miniature Appleyard. But the confusion came in when the Miniature Appleyard did not resemble its large counterpart as its colors were not the same as the Appleyard duck breed.
A problem came about when another breed Tom Bartlett created a miniature duck with the same colors as the large Appleyard duck. After a lot of deliberation, the Miniature Appleyard duck that Reginald Appleyard created was renamed the Silver Bantam.
These little ducks are on the endangered duck breed list.
The Abacot Ranger or Hooded Ranger as it is known by in America is a breed that was developed in the UK. They were developed with the crossing of Indian runners and Khaki Campbells. Their stature is very much similar to that of the Indian Runner whilst their appearance resembles the Khaki Campbells.
They have pinker in their feathers than Khaki. The female has a dark fawn colored head whilst the males head is black with a green sheen and a white ring around his neck.
These birds became extinct in the UK but were kept in Germany before returning to the UK. They are still extremely rare.
There is a lot of speculation about the how the breed came about and some of its history has been mistakenly entwined with that of the Gadwall duck.
This breed of duck is one of the hardiest duck breeds and can be tamed very easily. They can tolerate most harsh weather conditions. Their meat is said to be of the highest and finest quality and they lay a decent amount of interestingly colored eggs each year.
They are completely glossy black that shines green and their feathers tend to whiten as they grow older.
They are becoming extremely difficult to find as their population numbers dwindle and are in need of breeders to help increase them.
This breed population numbers took a dive with very few left during World War II. In 1957 Germany made the effort to revive the breed and they were first imported to the United States in 1984. They are quite a remarkable breed of duck and a good dual-purpose breed that is friendly and make great pets.
The Buff or Buff Orpington duck is one of the better dual-purpose duck breeds. They were developed in the UK and made their way to the United States in 1908 at the Madison Square Garden Show. They were unusual as the Buff was the only color of this breed. They gained interest due to their prolific egg laying and excellent meat quality.
But like a lot of breeds they were pushed aside for the cheaper more commercial breeds. There are just over one-thousand of these birds left. This rare and beautiful breed is one to consider if a person is looking for a duck to breed.
This duck has many contributors to its breed such as the Indian Runner, the Huttegem and the old Belgian duck breed.
The Magpie has been around since about the 1800’s and is a light breed with a very upright posture.
It has pretty white plumage with a black cap on its head, black feathers patch on its wings and back.
They are really good foragers for which they supplement most of their feeding hunting for their favorite bugs and grubs. They are great layers and have gourmet quality meat.
They are quite rare these days but well worth adding to any flock of ducks.
The Swedish Blue is a beautiful calm and friendly breed of duck. It used to be believed that blue colored ducks had superior meat quality over all other colored ducks. They were also more difficulty for predators to spot due to their camouflage. This made the Swedish blue a very popular duck for centuries in Europe.
But like with a lot of breeds their numbers declined through various World Wars and the rise of commercial duck breeding farms.
Today there are a few duck enthusiasts and farms that breed them in modest numbers. Thus, this breed of duck has become a rare breed to find.
They will complement any duck flock and are really good all-round utility breed that are exceptional foragers.
These beautiful ducks are one of my favorite duck breeds. They have so much to offer for both the farm/homestead and as a backyard duck. They are easily adaptable to their environments, beautiful, hardy, excellent foragers. They are friendly, calm and gentle laying a lot of eggs each year and have an exceptionally good quality of meat.
They are definitely a breed that will look good in the garden, are an excellent exhibition bird and make and exceptionally good family pet.