6 Most Common Domestic Duck Breeds

Duck breeds can be classified into two main types which are ornamental ducks and commercial ducks. Ornamental ducks are primarily bred or kept as pets or for decorative or ornate purposes because of their attractive plumage and amusing behavior in water. However, they are poor meat and egg producers.

On the other hand, commercial or utility ducks are bred or kept for egg or meat production. They are characteristically great egg or meat producers, unlike the ornamental ducks. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the common meat and egg breeds of domestic ducks.

1. Indian Runner

The Indian Runner duck is a breed of domesticated duck that is unique in its upright stance. It is believed that this breed was developed from the wild mallard in the East Indies two centuries ago. Owing to their physical conformation, these ducks do not waddle like a typical duck but run. Hence, it is easy for the Indian Runner ducks to walk to the fields.

Indian Runners are highly active foragers, particularly of insects, snails, and slugs. They gain a considerable amount of weight, especially compared to other ducks. Indian Runners are great egg layers, oftentimes surpassing chickens in egg production. A female Indian Runner duck would lay an average of 200 eggs in a year, but they are not very good at incubating their eggs by sitting on them. So the incubation of the eggs is best achieved by using an egg incubator or allowing another hen to sit on them. A mature male Indian Runner rarely weighs more than 2.3 kg (5 lbs).

Indian Runner Duck
Indian Runner Duck

Read: Interesting Facts About Ducks and Geese

2. Khaki Campbell

The Khaki Campbell is a breed developed in England by Adele Campbell in the late 1800s. Campbell’s motivation for developing this breed was to create ducks that would lay well and also have bigger meatier bodies. To achieve this, she crossed an Indian Runner hen with a Rouen Drake. The result was the Khaki Campbell, which is an excellent layer. The hens of this breed are also more likely to sit on the eggs, which is an advantage over the Indian Runner duck.

A mature female Khaki Campbell can lay more than 300 eggs in a year. This duck breed is also flighty and requires plenty of space to forage. They adapt easily to various climates which include cold weather, wet or tropical environments and even hot, dry environments. In addition to their egg-laying abilities, they are prolific slug and insect eaters.

Khaki Campbell Duck
Khaki Campbell Duck

3. Pekin

The Pekin duck is the most common breed of domestic duck. They are white and grow rapidly, making them great for meat production. Pekin ducks were developed in China from ducks residing in the canals of Nanjing. On average, adult female Pekin ducks will lay around 200 eggs per year; however, they are not as broody as other ducks, so they are poor egg sitters. A mature drake can weigh over 5.4 kg (12 lbs), and the females can weigh over 5kg (11 lbs).

Pekin Ducks
Pekin Ducks

4. Rouen

The Rouen duck breed looks like the wild Mallard ducks in color. The breed was first developed in France but was further developed into the present-day Rouen in England. Rouen ducks are of two types. They are the standard Rouens and the production Rouens. The production Rouen typically weighs between 2.7 kg (6 lbs) and 3.6 kg (8 lbs) while the standard Rouen weighs between 3.6 kg (8 lbs) and 4.5 kg (10 lbs).

The Rouen is a popular breed of duck used for meat production. Rouen ducks are known for their lean meat, which makes them a popular choice for restaurants. Rouen ducks are raised mostly on a small scale due to their slow maturation rate – typically 8-10 months to reach maturity. Nevertheless, they are still good meat producers and lay about 70 greenish eggs a year.

Rouen Ducks
Rouen Ducks

5. Muscovy

The Muscovy is a breed of duck that is native to Brazil. These ducks are notable for their large size; males can weigh in at over 4.5 kg (10 lbs). Muscovy ducks come in different colors but are known to have a distinctive bright red tissue around their eyes and beak.

They do not swim as frequently as other breeds because their feathers get wet quickly due to their underdeveloped oil glands. They also have sharp claws which are used to roost in tree branches. A female Muscovy duck can become broody three times a year and sit on the eggs of other ducks, chickens or turkeys.

Muscovy Duck
Muscovy Duck

Read: The Nutritional Requirements of Ducks & Geese

6. Cayuga

Cayuga ducks originate from New York and were developed from native ducks. As meat birds, they have medium body weight–a mature drake can weigh as high as 3.6 kg (8 lbs). They have a characteristic greenish-blue sheen over dark feathers. The color of Cayuga eggs varies with laying seasons. For instance, as laying starts, the eggs are grayish or dark. However, the black color of the eggs will gradually be lost as the laying season continues. Sometimes, the egg will change to white.

Cayuga Duck
Cayuga Duck

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Akinbobola A.

I'm a livestock farmer, certified animal scientist and agro consultant. You can follow Livestocking on Facebook and Twitter. Click here to send me an email
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