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The Magpie looks like they are wearing little flat caps on their heads. The spot of black feathers that sit on their heads looks like a little cap.
These ducks have a very upright carriage similar to that of the Runner duck which is why they are believed to have Runner duck in their lineage.
It is a fairly new breed of duck having been developed in the 20th century. It is a good all-round dual-purpose breed that is great to have a pet.
The Magpie make really good show birds, are great egg layers and their meat is known to be tasty and of high quality.
Their excellent foraging abilities, friendly and calm nature make the excellent first-time duck owner ducks. Although the breed is quite rare in America!
|Country of Origin:||Wales|
|American Poultry Association:||yes Recognized by the American Poultry Association|
|Colors:||Black & White, Date of acceptance: 1977
Blue & White, Date of acceptance: 1977
|Other known colors||Chocolate & White and Dun & White color varieties|
|Good starter duck?||Yes|
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|Bantam Variety Available?||No|
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APPEARANCE / IDENTIFICATION
|EYES⇒||Same for M & F||Dark Brown|
|BILL⇒||Same for M & F||Yellow|
|* Black bean tipped|
|LEGS⇒||Same for M & F
|Short legs well-proportioned to the body|
|FEET⇒||Same for M & F
|WINGS⇒||Same for M & F||Dependent on the color variety|
|White with either black or blue on the top|
|FEATHERS⇒||Same for M & F||Dependent on the color variety|
|They are predominantly white with the black variety having black feather spread over the white on their body and a black cap on their heads.
The blue variety will have more of a blue/grey top feathering and cap.
|SKIN COLOR⇒||Same for M & F||White|
|*Bean: This is also called the nail. It is a small round bump found at the end of the duck’s bill. It is used for defence and to catch insects. It is almost like a fingernail and is damaged can grow back. It can also get overgrown much like fingernails if they do not have something to grind it down on.|
|** Note: This is an average weight for the male duck and not a guaranteed weight|
Eggs, Show, pet and meat
Breeding, meat, show and pet
|“Friendly, docile, active and quite calm”|
|Good with Kids?||They are okay around supervised kids|
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|Flyers?||They cannot fly very well but they can fly and will do so if spooked.|
|Noisy Birds?||They are not too noisy but can become quite vocal if spooked or upset|
|Interact with other ducks?||They do not mind socializing with other ducks|
|Best duck breeds to mix them with:||They will do well with most domestic breeds of ducks. Ducks, like being sociable and having, are not fussy as to the breed they socialize with.|
|Other animals?||There should always be at least 2 ducks in the flock.|
|“Medium to large”|
|Ideal Garden Size?||Medium to large as they are quite tall and need a place to stretch their legs|
|Can be Confined?||They do not really like confinement|
|Free-Range||They love to roam about the garden freely|
|Penned Free-Ranging?||As long as there is a large enough penned area|
|Foragers||Very active foragers that will keep the garden pest free|
|Endures heat well||Yes|
|Endures cold well||Yes|
|Ideal Duck House:||A well-insulated and ventilated duck hutch that can comfortably house and keep the ducks safe|
|Ideal Duck Pond:||Kiddies plastic splash pool or small shallow pond|
|Flock/Paddling Size:||Two or more ducks in the flock are always best as ducks are sociable|
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GOOD TO KNOW
|Special Care/Attention Requirements?||They have no special needs|
|Known Predators:||Check with animal control in your area for known predators|
|Conservations Status:||Not Listed For more information on poultry, conservation status, check the American Livestock Conservancy Website|
|Breeders Clubs:||It is best to check with the American Poultry Association for various clubs and or organizations.|
|Where to buy them:||Welp Hatchery, Purely Poultry or check with your local poultry farmers and or suppliers., the APA
or check with the American Livestock Conservancy
|Other:||If you do not want to risk having your ducks shipped check with your local poultry farms for advice on your nearest supplier.|
This beautiful duck with its distinctive coloring of either black and white or blue and white was said to be developed in Wales. M. C. Gower-Williams and Oliver Drake are credited with developing this delightful bird in the early 20th Century.
They are thought to have been developed from the likes of the Indian Runner and the Huttegem duck. The Huttegem duck is an old Belgium breed of wild duck also known as the black river duck.
The Magpie bear a remarkable resemblance to this and its posture is much the same as the Indian Runner duck.
The Magpie Duck was imported to America for the first time in 1963. But the duck was not very popular until 1984 that the breed started to get more attention. It was introduced into the Standard of Perfection by the American Poultry Association in 1977.
It is still quite a rare breed in America today and is listed at the American Livestock Conservancy on the Threatened list. It is a great breed that needs more breeders to get its population numbers back up to ensure the breed is around for many years to come.
No Known health issues, they are quite a hardy breed of duck that is mostly resistant to disease
- Ducks need water to ensure they do not get “wet feather” disease. This is where the preening gland dries out. Water also stops them from getting pests such as mites, fleas, ticks, lice, etc.
- Well, fed ducks should hardly have any health issues.
- Any birds kept in a flock need to be dewormed. Although ducks are not as prone as other poultry they should still have a de-worming regime. Speak to a local vet or poultry experts for advice. Our article on Healthy Ducks has some great tips and advice on de-worming ducks.