Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Which Duck Breed is Your Favorite?

     We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of our backyard ducks.  They won't be here until June so we have a while to wait.  We need that time to get their house and run area built and ready for them.  While we are waiting, we are reading about the breeds we chose in our first online order.  We are getting tips from all resources we have available.  As we did with the chickens, we are just jumping into being duck parents and learning as we go.  So, I figured why not ask our followers?   Below you will see images of each breed and a small description of their temperament. These are not our ducks.  They are the various breeds that will be in our backyard soon.  (I do not take credit for taking the pictures. "Google Images" is the source for the photographs. The description of each duck is taken from I trust this source to provide you with accurate information regarding each variety of duck listed below.)  Use the provided  information to vote on your favorite breed. You don't have to own ducks to vote. You can vote based on your experience with each breed, appearance, temperament, or level of egg production...pretty much whatever suits your fancy!

Cayugas are named after the Cayuga Lake in New York. The history of the duck is unkown but it shows characteristics of a Mallard based breed. Their feathers can change colors throughout their life, gray colors can show up between 4 and 18 months of age. Cayugas are medium-weight ducks that have beautiful, iridescent, greenish-black feathers. This is a quiet, hardy breed that lays dark, grayish colored eggs.

Average mature weight: Drake 7lbs., Duck 6lbs.  
Hardiness:    Good
Personality:  Calm
Production:  130-180 eggs per year

Khaki Campbell

The Campbell was developed in the 1800's in England. Adele Campbell the maker of the breed selected for a large carcass size while maintaining egg production. By the 1920's this breed became recognized as the most abundant layer, laying around 340 medium size eggs per year. These beautiful ducks are a warm khaki color, similiar in tone to brown military uniforms. Adult drakes should have slightly darker brown head.

Average mature weight: Drake 4 1/2 lbs., Duck 4 lbs. 

Production:  220 eggs per year
Personality:  Nervous, Possible Flyer


These large ducks have similiar color and markings to wild Mallard ducks. However, these ducks are considerably heavier and do not fly. They were developed in France but the English influenced the Rouen into what we know today. The English increased its weight, changed its shape, and improved its colors. The production type are good foragers, calm, and have gentle disposition. They are known to wander far distances which can make them easy prey. Nice and meaty.

Average mature weight: Drake 8-9 lbs., Duck 6-7 lbs. 

Hardiness:   Good
Personality:  Calm
Production:  140-180 eggs per year

The unusual look of these ducks originates from a flock of mis-colored Khaki Campbells. The Welsh farmer who first discovered the mutation began breeding for the unique color around the middle of the 20th century. A couple of decades later, the first hatching eggs, followed by adult breeders, were sent to the United States. Just like their predecessors, these ducks are great foragers and prolific layers.

Average mature weight: Drake 5½ lbs; Duck 4½ lbs.

Personality:  Very calm, non-flyer
Production:  150-200 eggs per year


Please feel free to leave a commnet about this blog post.  Helpful tips and suggestions from duck owners with experience are gladly welcomed. Don't forget...go to the poll and vote!  When the poll closes I will post which breed was voted the favorite among our followers. 



  1. The harlequins are a favorite among many! They are calmer than the khakis but lay just as well (average 300-350 eggs per year). They are non-flyers and mine stick around and don't usually venture far (I free range as well).
    The pekins are more calm than the harlequins, but don't lay as many eggs. They are popular among many because they are your typical "white duck", plus they tend to be very friendly.I had the most difficult time deciding between the Welsh harlequin and pekins. I found a great breeder who had both. Ultimately, I decide on a trio of Pekin and I love them so far!

    1. Thanks for your input. I had a really hard time deciding which breed to order and decided just to get each of the above. Two of them will be the Welsh Harlequins and one of each of the others. I still contimplate adding a Pekin to the order before they ship. They are pretty and white. I've read that they can be loud. Do you find that to be true?