largest duck breed

They are also a very unique looking duck with the white plumage and black splashes on their feathers. This friendly duck has an orange beak and legs, and is an excellent producer of large, white eggs. The Cayuga breed produces a flavorful carcass. The Ancona is quite a rare breed of duck and thus not a lot are used for meat purposes these days. Most of the duck breeds originate in the wild duck, known by the name of Mallard (“Anas platyrhynchos”), whose domestication is believed to have originated over 2000 years ago. Silver Appleyards are very hardy and adaptable. The meat produced from Apple yards is very lean and flavorful. Fish and Wildlife Service since they are a wild breed that is native to the U.S. Cayuga ducks are gorgeous and produce dark shelled eggs that are different from other duck eggs. The Mallard may be one of the most readily recognized duck breeds on this list. They thrive in hot and cold climates and are known for being very active foragers. At the end of the day, they were herded back up at night. Are you planning on raising them for meat? Please do not use these images without permission. When she was happy with the breed, she named it the Khaki Campbell because the color of the feathers reminded her of the British army’s uniforms. Many breeders suggest that the Saxony is one of the most attractive and useful of the large duck breeds. They are active foragers and can lay as many as 240 eggs per year. Many farmers that raise large livestock have reported fewer liver fluke problems in their livestock when they raise Magpies with their large livestock. The meat of Swedish ducks is very flavorful. Join the Farminence community to get exclusive tips and information that only the Farminence community receives. Since this ‘breed’ is actually a hybrid, the ability to sex future ducklings does not breed true. These two thoughts made blue ducks, like the Swedish popular for centuries. Breeds of Domestic Ducks are classified in the UK by the British Waterfowl Standards published by the British Waterfowl Association. Your email address will not be published. However, the Rouen cannot fly and Mallards are quick to fly. Best Breeds of Chickens to Raise for Meat. Yes, almost an egg a day can be expected from this breed. The Crested duck, sometimes called the White Crested, is one of the most easily identified … Click on a breed name to see pictures of the duck breed and read about its history, use, egg production, meat production, appearance, and more. Allowing your ducks to be active will help prevent ducks that are overly heavy. Meat from Magpie ducks is coveted and is considered gourmet quality. This breed population numbers took a dive with very few left during World War II. Another unique feature of the breed is the color of the egg. Magpies weigh between 4-4.5 pounds at maturity. Rouen ducks are another very popular breed in the United States. Commercially, ducks have been bred for their meat, foie gras and eggs and have therefore contributed to the domestic breeds of duck we still have today. This method of sexing can be 90% accurate if done quickly after hatching. They aren’t the most prolific egg layers, with some Mallards laying as little as 60 eggs per year. Pekins are also decent egg layers. It’s not uncommon for Mallards to raise two broods of ducklings per year. Their large bodies prevent them from flying. Aylesbury, Blue Swedish, Cayuga, Rouen, Silver Appleyard, Saxony 'Heavy Ducks' are those which generally weigh over 7lbs in the female and 8lbs in the drake. This is part of why the Rouen has become so popular. Pekin. As well as these commercial ‘white ducks’ that can be seen on farms, there are many other regional ‘hybrid crosses’ that breeders have created for smallholders because of a demand for utility ducks – i.e. They will lay anywhere from 150-200 extra large eggs per year. Their solid white bodies and yellow legs make them ideal candidates for past paintings and modern photography alike. Therefore, there are many ‘white ducks’ that you see on farms are not pure breeds. If you live in an urban area or have neighbors nearby, consider getting a breed that isn’t noisy. The farmers kept herds of ducks that they would move into the rice paddies. It’s not unheard of for Cayuga eggs to occasionally be black. Khaki Campbells are quick to go broody and make excellent mothers, making them ideal for breeders that want a sustainable flock. Magpies have a high level of fertility, making them easy to breed future generations. I mentioned that these breeds are more of what you probably picture when you think of ducks. Pekin duck is an old dual purpose duck breed. Although they are more horizontal than runners, some breeds and individuals can take on an upright stance, although it’s not going to be to the extent of runners. This duck isn’t a true breed, but a common hybrid. Drakes have a beautiful emerald green head with a fawn colored body. It was bred from the mallard in China. The Silver Appleyard breed is a heavyweight breed. Muscovy ducks are native to Central and South America. If you’re a fan of the Cayuga but want something smaller, the East Indies may be the breed for you. They are fond of snails, slugs and aquatic insects. Silver Appleyard ducks resemble Mallards. Domestic Mallards will often migrate away during the winter and return in the spring. Further creating confusion with duck species are domestic ducks raised for meat, eggs, or simply their exotic flair, though they are not considered independent duck species. They are large bodied and are only out-sized by Pekins and Muscovys. It breeds in Arctic and some northern temperate regions, but winters somewhat farther south in temperate zones, when it can form large flocks on coastal waters. You have the traditional breeds, like the Mallard or Pekin that you probably picture when you think of ducks. Drakes can weigh up to 12 lbs and ducks 9-11 lbs. Required fields are marked *. I run saxony cayuga ancona pekin and rouen now. They are smaller ducks, topping out at 4.5 pounds at maturity. Click on the blue link under a picture to go to a more detailed breed page. The Aylesbury is a heritage breed that was developed in England in the late 1700s. Magpies cannot fly for long periods, but they are easily startled and will often leap into the air and fly for short distances. They are wonderful foragers and very self-sufficient. Females are quick to go broody and make wonderful mothers. The black Swedish will breed true, meaning if you cross a black Swedish with a black Swedish, all of the babies will be black. All of the breeds can be used for amazing pest control, but Muscovys tend to take the cake. They can, however, easily hop over fences and structures that are as high as three feet tall. List of Duck Breeds: The duck is an Anatidae, like the goose and the swan. There are two types of ducks. They’re reliable egg layers and will lay between 150-220 large eggs each year. If you want to keep ducks for their eggs, how many eggs are you planning on using or selling? For more information about runner ducks, check out this video: With all of the options available, choosing the best breed of duck for you can seem a little daunting. Saxony ducks are very docile and gentle, making them the perfect choice for families that want a dual-purpose duck. Ducklings with a dark bill are almost always male. Most importantly, I would also like to thank the British Waterfowl Association and Poultry Club of Great Britain members for their support in allowing Rupert and I to photograph their ducks at various poultry and waterfowl shows over the years. They can be used for meat but the primary reason for keeping them is for egg production. They are a perfect fit if you’re wanting to have a free ranging duck flock. Males can reach 12 pounds in as little as 12 weeks. I’ll share my 20+ years of agriculture knowledge with you so that you can feel comfortable raising livestock, gardening, preserving food and cooking delicious meals from scratch. It is powerfully built with long wings and tail, and it flies well. The name is a corruption of ‘Musk Duck,’ from a supposed musky odour emitted by the drake. They are also excellent breeders and make good mothers. The Muscovy duck (Cairina moschata) is a large duck native to Mexico and Central and South America.Small wild and feral breeding populations have established themselves in the United States, particularly in Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, and the lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas, the Big Island of Hawaii, as well as in many other parts of North America, including southern Canada. In fact, many ducks can eat some of the large insects like grasshoppers, slugs and worms that chickens only wish they could eat. Muscovy ducks carry a lot less fat (surface fat and in the meat) than Pekin or Moulard ducks. Females are primarily white, with some brown feathers and a large blue wing spot. Some breeds are better suited to being raised in captivity than other breeds. Fish and Wildlife Service. Many breeders that raise Cayugas for meat solve this problem by skinning the bird rather than plucking it. The breed made its way to the U.S. in 1929 but didn’t really become popular until the 1970s. Eggs are usually white in color, although a rare blue tinted egg is laid. Pekin Ducks. Cayuga ducks were once one of the most popular breeds of duck raised for meat. You might easily mistake a Rouen for a Mallard, since the coloration is nearly identical. The breed is predominantly white and has a dark blue/black patch of feathers on top of the head, on the wings and down the back. Please note, you should never release domestic ducks into the wild as Zoe explains in this article. The Magpie breed is named for its unique coloring. Their cuts are also larger, providing heartier servings. Ducklings are yellow. They enjoy wandering around your farm or yard and eating bugs, just like chickens would. Most ducks have yellow skin, not white. Since they were bred for high egg production, they rarely go broody. Cayugas are exceptionally hardy and well-suited to cold climates. All Rights Reserved. It’s one of the main duck breeds raised for commercial duck meat. The meat of Rouen carcasses is much leaner than Pekins. Here’s a list of duck breeds with a link to a complete guide to each duck breed (although this list is still in progress and some breeds are missing). ma ri ct nj de md hi me nh vt ny pa wv va nc sc ga fl al ms tn ky oh mi in wi il la ar mo ia mn nd sd ne ks ok tx nm co wy mt id ut az ca nv or wa ak Today, the breed is kept largely as an egg breed. Originating in Beijing, China (originally called Pekin) around 2500 B.C., white Pekin ducks … While some multi-purpose duck breeds, such as the Pekin, mature quickly, top meat ducks should reach butcher weight in … She crossed Rouens, Mallards and Runners to create a prolific egg layer that would have buff colored feathers. The Muscovy is a large bird, the drake is much bigger than the duck and almost twice the weight of drakes of the Mallard-derived breeds. Saxony ducks may not mature as quickly as some of the other meat or dual purpose breeds, but they make up for it with their other traits. The ducks earned their stay by producing large amounts of eggs. The Saxony and Silver Appleyard produce a good sized carcass and are also decent layers, making them good dual purpose ducks. Sadly, these ducks have usually been dumped there and are therefore cross-breeding with other wild or domestic ducks visiting the pond. Domestic Duck breeds are grouped into Heavy, Medium and Light weight classes in the standards. Under the American Poultry Association, they are simply listed as Buffs. They are perfectly at home on both land and water. The body shape and stance of the duck is what determines whether it’s a runner breed or a traditional breed. I don’t know about you, but I would much rather have ducks keep flies and mosquitoes off of my cows than to soak them with pesticides every day! Crested ducks have a puff of feathers on top of the head. They’re also a desirable meat breed since their pin feathers are easily plucked and don’t show up on the carcass. They’re extremely docile and rarely fly. The largest of the heavy breeds are the traditional English Aylesbury and the Rouen. You’ll also need to make sure that they are registered with the U.S. They will rely more heavily on you to care for them than some other breeds. Females rarely go broody, so if you want to raise ducklings from your Pekins, you may have to invest in an incubator. Buff feathers were a fad at the time. This breed is commonly seen in lakes, streams, & backyards throughout the U.S. Drakes have a dark green head, resembling a Rouen or Mallard. The white feathers on the underside makes them easier to clean. Muscovy ducks are a larger breed native to Mexico, Central & South America. For a long time, it was thought that blue colored ducks produced better tasting meat and were also harder for predators to see. The Runner duck was developed by rice farmers. These ducks are also grouped under the following:- Dabbling Ducks, Diving Ducks, Perching Ducks, Stiff-tail Ducks, Sea Ducks, Shelducks, and Whistling Ducks. Crested. If you’re interested in duck breeds for their eggs, the Golden 300 Hybrid, Khaki Campbell, White Layers and Runners are all excellent layers. These ducks are the picturesque breed that comes to mind when you think about backyard ducks. 10 Years. The breed made its way to the U.S. in 1968. I have pekin and love their egg size. Muscovy ducks have hefty appetites and are amazing foragers. They can be raised along with your chickens, or by themselves. The color change usually occurs faster in females than in males. This may be one of the harder breeds to keep in captivity because it has a strong instinct to fly and migrate. This large duck breed has been domesticated for over 2000 years! One is for show and the other is best suited for raising at home for meat. If you’re looking for a dependable meat breed, the Aylesbury won’t disappoint. The Crested duck, sometimes called the White Crested, is one of the most easily identified breeds. If keeping ducks is entirely or primarily being engaged in for meat purposes, choosing a larger duck breed known for achieving good muscle tone is a priority. Interestingly, as the Cayuga ducks age, their dark feathers slowly turn white, until the duck is nearly all white. Muscovy ducks in the wild are nearly almost black on color. Commercially, there are many crosses that have been created along the way because of the demand for fast growing, table ducks. First, decide why you want to raise ducks. The East Indies isn’t a reliable egg layer, with females only laying about 100 eggs per year, at most. This page contains over 100 types of Duck Species from around the world. The ‘wildfowl’ are medium to large birds with rather long or very long necks, mostly short, broad bills, short legs and the front three toes joined by webs. The eggs are white or very light cream in color. The result was a dual-purpose breed that has beautiful coloring. You may want to consider keeping them in an enclosed run or clipping their wings to make them easier to enclose. Males will mature to around 10 pounds and females around 9 pounds. Females will lay nearly 300 eggs per year, making them a perfect choice for farmers looking to sell duck eggs. 150-200 white eggs … Despite the smaller body size, eggs laid by White Layers are extremely large and can usually be classified as jumbo sized eggs. Females are various shades of buff-brown and drakes are various shades of black. ducks to produce eggs or meat for the table. The Pekin breed makes up about half of the commercially raised meat ducks in the U.S.  Pekins are fast growing and can reach a harvestable size of seven pounds in as little as 40 days. Then, there are runner breeds. Runner ducks have been kept for thousands of years. These beautiful ducks are beetle green/black in color. They are one of the few duck breeds that are developed in the United States. If you’re looking to raise ducks in a more urban area, you might want to avoid Swedish ducks since they need space and can be loud. The smaller body size of Welsh Harlequins means that they can fly, if only for short distances. They are often compared to the Khaki Campbell, a common breed used for egg production. They are also decent egg layers. Welsh Harlequins are similar in appearance to a Rouen. Besides my own photos, I have to give an extra special thank you to Rupert Stephenson, poultry photographer who has worked with me to capture some of the duck breeds pictures for this guide. Ducks are just as much fun. There are two colors in the Swedish duck: blue and black. Sometimes they are wrongly written as Peking ducks. Females often have a little bit of white on them. Domestic Duck breeds are grouped into Heavy, Medium and Light weight classes in the standards. Almost all duck breeds are descended from Mallards. Although all duck breeds will lay eggs that you can collect and eat, many runner breeds are kept for the prolific laying that they exhibit. The breed is commonly used for meat production and grows rapidly. The breed is an excellent foraging breed and can mature to 6-7 pounds from foraging alone. Although all of the duck breeds can technically be raised for meat, some of the breeds are faster growers and produce more meat than other breeds. Swedish ducks will  slowly mature anywhere from 5-8 pounds. If you’ve raised any kind of poultry before, you’ll know how much fun it can be. Classes of Duck. The White Layer is (surprise!) Female Appleyards are arguably the best layers of the heavy weight breeds, with females laying as many as 270 extra large eggs each year. Muscovy females will lay around 195 eggs per year, which isn’t bad but doesn’t compare to the other benefits of this breed. Females aren’t this large and tend to weigh around 6-7 pounds. There are two types of Aylesbury. They are excellent foragers. He crossed Pekins, Rouens, and Pomeranian breeds. Raising ducks is different than raising chickens, so if you’re interested in raising ducks, then you’ll want to check out my FREE beginner’s guide to raising ducks. The American Poultry Association recognizes the fawn & white (AKA Indian Runner), white, penciled, black, buff, chocolate, Cumberland blue and gray varieties. However, these are established fliers and may not stick around if their wings aren’t kept clipped. Female Saxony will lay anywhere from 120-175 extra large, cream, white or blue-green eggs per year. A docile, beautiful duck you can expect khaki Campbells to lay anywhere between 250 and 350 eggs per year. One of the major benefits of the Crested breed is the lack of the ability to fly. Call Duck. Buff ducks are a wonderful dual purpose bird. You want to make sure that you purchase the breed that is most suitable for your setup and provides you with the meat or eggs that you want. 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