For some time I’ve been mystified by the breed of the ducks that I purchased in November last year. You can read more about my purchase of the day olds, here.
When I purchased the ducklings, they were supposed to be Khaki Campbell crossed with Pekin. As it turns out, they look nothing like either breed really. I had assumed that they were simply a mix of many different varieties of ducks – but after some research and help we may have an entirely different duck breed altogether!
It’s often very difficult to get close enough to take a good photo with my iPhone, but I’ve done my best. There are roughly two groups of five. Each group is predominantly a different breed (some birds still appear to be a mix).
As mentioned, with help and research, it appears as though the mystery may have been solved.
Rouen duck breed
Some of our ducks appear to be Rouens – or variations of Rouen. The good news, is that they are beautiful birds capable of foraging much of their food. Originally from France, the Rouen has become popular worldwide and can lay eggs coloured blue, green or white. Rach is particularly interested in multicoloured eggs and the genetic reasons behind them.
The bad news is that Rouens are meat birds that don’t lay many eggs. This is not ideal for a duck egg farm, and makes my duck egg farming skills look rather shabby indeed!
Blue Swedish duck breed
We also have five ducks that have a blue body with a white patch on their front (with a little white on their wings). I suspected that they may be a mix of Pekin and Cayuga, but it seems as though they may be Blue Swedish. This duck breed is considered an all-rounder with decent meat and decent egg production. Considering the unfortunate news regarding the Rouens, I’ve taken this rather positively. We should get some duck eggs from these girls! These should lay blue, grey or tinted eggs, and they are considered the most hardy duck breed and capable of foraging much of their food.
Another positive that I can take from this learning experience is that I can now enter a new category at the Red Hill Show! Rouens can be entered by their own, so I’ll probably do that and enter a Blue Swedish under the Any Other Variety (AOV) schedule!