Heavy Breeds

Aylesbury 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 its meat was thought to have a poorer flavour than that of 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 feed 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.

Cayuga Duck is a medium-class domesticated duckbreed 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. 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 Countycaptured 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 other breeds.

Rouen 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 average Mallard, but by selective breeding the British managed to double the size of the bird, improve its colouration, 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 colours, 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 colour.

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.


Blue Swedish- The Swedish Blue (Swedish: Svensk Blå Anka) or Blue Swedish is a breed of domesticated duck which emerged during the 19th century in Swedish Pomerania, near the Baltic shores of what is now modern Germany and Poland.Within the American Standard of Perfection, the "blue" is the only variety of the breed "Swedish"

Pekin duck, or Long Island duck(Anas platyrhynchos domestica, or Anas peking, is a breed of domestic duck used primarily for egg and meat production. It was bred from the Mallard inChina. 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.

The Pekin duck is the most popular commercial duck breed in the United States, after a small number were imported to Long Island from China in 1873. The animals and their meat are sometimes referred to as "Long Island duckling".[unreliable source?] Around 95% of duck meat consumed in the United States is Pekin duck.

Saxony  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 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 and South Florida as well as in many other parts of North America, including southern Canada. Feral Muscovy ducks are found in New Zealand, Australia, and in parts of Europe.


They are a large duck, with the males about 76 cm (30 in) long, and weighing up to 7 kg (15 lb). Females are considerably smaller, and only grow to 3 kg (6.6 lb), 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.[3][4] In general, Barbary duck is the term used for C. moschata in a culinary context.


The domestic breed, Cairina moschata forma 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 breed in Spanish are pato casero (“backyard duck”) and pato mudo (“mute duck”).       Wikipedea

Rouen Claire-Confusingly there is also the Rouen breed but the Rouen Clair is a separate breed and is standardised separately. It is often thought of as a more 'utility' type duck than the Rouen and it is certainly lighter in weight although still a well build duck. It has a farmyard origin and was developed in 1910-20 using ducks from the Picardy area of France. Breeders wanted a large duck with good plumage for exhibition but also one that would be a good layer and provide meat for the table. Miss May Arnold in 1880 wrote that it was 'the remains of an old Norman duck preserved by special circumstances'. It has mallard colouring but in a lighter version than the Rouen and is a little smaller and more upright too. It is quite a long bird measuring some 90cms from beak to end of tail.

Bantam Breeds

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. 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 Grey 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 duckchampionships in shows in North America than any other breed.

The Mallard  or Wild Duck (Anas platyrhynchos) is a dabbling duck which breeds throughout the temperate andsubtropical Americas, Europe, Asia, and North Africa, and has been introduced to New Zealand and Australia. 

The Mallard was one of the many bird species originally described by Carl Linnaeus in his 18th-century work, Systema Naturae, and still bears its original binomial name.

"Mallard" is derived from the Old French malart or mallart "wild drake", although its ultimate derivation is unclear. It may be related to an Old High German masculine proper name Madelhart, clues lying in the alternate English forms "maudelard" or "mawdelard".

The Black East Indian First Standardized in Britain in 1865, the Black East Indian Duck shares its colour with the North American Cayuga. This bantam duck was alleged to have been imported to Britain by the Earl of Derby in about 1850. However, evidence suggests that it had been already in the possession of the London Zoological Society since 1831, the same year that the 13th Earl of Derby was elected President of the ZSL. At this time it was known as the “Buenos Ayres” duck, but there seems to be no evidence that South America or the East Indies were the places of origin. It has been known as “Labrador”, “Brazilian”, “Buenos Aires” and eventually “Black East Indie”, the former being perhaps the most appropriate geographically. There is speculation that the black gene may have arrived via a close relative of the northern mallard, the American black duck (Anas rubripes). This is the bold assertion of early historians of the Cayuga, and it seems equally applicable to the Black East Indian.  The drakes tend to retain their black plumage but the females develop patches of white as they get older. Impure black birds can show elements of brown pencilling, especially under the wings and throat.

Silver Appleyard

The Silver Appleyard is named after Reginald Appleyard, the breeder who developed it at his Priory Waterfowl Farm[1] 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.


The Welsh Harlequin is a breed of domestic duck originating in Wales. In 1949, in Criccieth, Group Captain Leslie Bonnet discovered a colour 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.

Welsh harlequin Duck, only truly Welsh breed of duck

Today, the Welsh harlequin is a light-weight duck breed known for its vivid plumage and egg laying ability. Welsh harlequins weigh 4.5 to 5.5 pounds (2-2.5 kilos). Females have a black bill and brown legs and feet, and their plumage is similar to a mallard but heavily frosted with white. They also lack the eye stripes of mallard females. Drakes are also similar to a heavily frosted Mallard with a yellow/green bill and orange legs and feet. There is also a color variation known as "golden", popular in the UK, which replaces the black feather pigments with a light golden brown color.[1]

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 colouration. The egg laying ability is highly valued as the production exhibited by some hens 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 high 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.

Light Breeds

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. T

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.

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 colors , 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. 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.

Khaki Campbell/Campbell and Dark Campbell 

Mrs Adah Campbell commenced poultry-keeping around 1887 and later purchased an Indian Runner Duck of indiscriminate type which was an exceptional layer (182 eggs in 196 days), and which formed the basis in developing the "Campbell Ducks"; in her own words "Various matings of Rouen, Indian Runner and Wild Duck were resorted to produce them". 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 resorted to further cross-matings. The resulting progeny, introduced to the Public in January 1901, is alleged to have reminded Mrs. Campbell of British army uniforms, hence naming this new colour-form "Khaki Campbell Duck".

The Khaki Campbell Duck was formed and in 1923, Mrs. Campbell's husband, Dr. Arthur Campbell was elected president.The following year, 1924, the Khaki Campbell Duck was accepted to the Standards of the Poultry Club, UK.

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.

The domestic Crested Duck is a duck breed descended from the Mallard. It has its appearance because it is heterozygous for a genetic mutation causing a deformity of the skull. As a result, when a pair of crested ducks breed, the young sort out in the usual 1-2-1 ratio:-

  • 25% are homozygous for the normal allele of this gene and so have no crest and if bred together their offspring will never have a crest.
  • 50% are heterozygous for this gene and hatch with a crest of varying sizes.
  • 25% are homozygous for the crested allele of this gene and die from exposed brain without hatching, as it is lethal in homozygous form.

If a crested duck and a non-crested duck breed together, the resulting ducklings would be expected to be 50% crested and 50% non-crested.

The Orpington or 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 ofOrpington, 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 three colour varieties: Buff, Blond and Brown. The Buff Orpington is an unstable colour due to a blue dilution gene which means that from the offspring, all three colour variations will appear.

Elizabeth Ducks were developed in New South Wales, Australia, in 1972. The first ones were sports that appeared during crosses of Rouen Claire and Mallard type mixes to make a fast maturing meat breed.

They are classed in Australia as Ornamental Domestics. The drakes weigh 3.5-4 lb and the females 2.75-3.25 lb. The bill is blue grey.

© NSW Waterfowl Breeders Association Inc.no 9888867. 2008   

Recent Photos

Notices

A message from the family of the late Robert Hunt.............Patricia,Brendon,Cindy,grandchildren Maegan and William,Mother Betty and his sisters,brothers and family, of the late Robert Hunt would like to thanks all those who attended the funeral, sent flowers,cards and condolences. We were proud and humbled by the high esteem that Robert was held in by so many

"A Limb has fallen from the family tree,I keep hearing a voice that says grieve not for me,Remember the best times, The Laughter the song ,The good life lived While I was strong"

 

This sums up Roberts outlook on life. Please accept this as our personal thanks as there are so many addresses not known.