Backyard Duck Breeds (The Complete List)

Backyard Duck Breeds (The Complete List)

Backyard Ducks

The most popular backyard duck breeds are the Mallard, Pekin, Muscovy, Cayuga, Buff Orpington, Rouen, Crested, and Saxony ducks. Each of these breeds has its own special set of traits that make them stand out.

For instance, the Pekin Duck is a favorite among many backyard farmers. Its popularity stems from its robust nature and dual-purpose use. Not only is it a hardy breed, but it’s also ideal for both meat and egg production.

Then you’ve got breeds like the Mallard and Muscovy. Both are known for their unique looks and temperaments, adding a touch of diversity to your backyard flock.

There’s also the Cayuga, a breed that’s a hit with those who prefer something a bit different. Known for its beautiful green-black plumage, the Cayuga is a sight to behold. Besides, it’s a pretty good egg-layer too.

What’s more, you can consider breeds like the Buff Orpington, Rouen, Crested, and Saxony ducks. Each has its unique features and benefits, making them worthy contenders for your backyard.

Let’s take a look at each of these ducks in more detail now.

Mallard Duck

The Mallard Duck, known by the scientific name Anas platyrhynchos, is a large dabbling duck across the Americas, Eurasia, and North Africa.

Easy to spot, the male Mallard Duck sports a glossy green head, a white ring around its neck, and a chestnut-brown breast. The female dons a mottled brown coat. Both come with a unique speculum – a white-bordered black or iridescent purple-blue feature on their wings.

The Mallard Duck isn’t a picky eater. They’re omnivores and will happily nibble on plants, invertebrates, fish, and insects. This makes them a great choice for pest control in your backyard.

They’re strong fliers too. Mallards have been noted to hit speeds of up to 55 miles per hour in migrating flocks. A fun fact to throw in – only female Mallards quack. The males stick to a quieter, rasping sound.

Pekin Duck

Meet the Pekin Duck is a large, white-feathered duck, perfect for both meat and egg production. This breed, known as Anas platyrhynchos, originally comes from China. It was introduced to the United States in 1873 and has been a favorite ever since.

Here’s what sets the Pekin Duck apart:

  • It’s got a long, broad, and deep body. This makes it a full-breasted bird carrying lots of meat.
  • The average weight of a Pekin Duck is around 8 lbs. The drake, or male, weighs about 9 lbs.
  • Its creamy white plumage, orange shanks and toes, and a rich yellow bill make it a sight to behold.
  • Known for its calm temperament, it’s a joy to have around.
  • The Pekin Duck grows fast. In just seven weeks, they often reach a body weight of 3.5 kg (8 lb).

Not just a backyard bird, the Pekin Duck is also popular as a pet. Its docile nature makes it a great companion.

Muscovy Duck

The Muscovy Duck is worth considering if you’re looking for a large, quiet bird. This breed hails from the Americas, and you’d note their unique features right away. The trademark of the Muscovy Duck are the bright red caruncles around the eyes and above the beak.

Males tend to be quite large, measuring up to 30 inches in length and weighing in at 15 pounds. Females are smaller, usually reaching a weight of 6.6 pounds. Despite their size, Muscovies are agile and speedy birds. They’re great for those who prefer a quiet backyard since they’re often sold as a “quackless” duck.

While the wild Muscovy Duck sports a black and white color palette, domesticated Muscovy Duck can come in a variety of colors. This means you can choose a bird that you like.

A standout trait of the Muscovy Duck is their meat. Leaner and with a stronger taste, it’s often compared to veal. So, if you’re planning on raising ducks for meat, this breed could be a good fit.

Just remember, like any other pet or farm animal, the Muscovy Duck needs proper care and attention. Make sure you’ve got the right environment for them and that you’re ready to meet their needs.

Muscovy Duck’s size, quiet nature, and unique meat quality makes it a standout choice in the world of backyard duck breeds. Whether you’re a seasoned duck keeper or just starting out, the Muscovy could be the breed for you.

Cayuga Duck

The Cayuga Duck is a duck named after Lake Cayuga in New York. This medium-sized, heavy duck breed is a local to the United States. A significant feature that stands out is the black plumage with an iridescent beetle green sheen. You’d find this particularly striking in sunlight.

The Cayuga Duck has a long head, a slightly flattened bill, and a medium-length neck that is slightly arched. It flaunts a broad, full, and prominent breast with a deep, long, and broad body.

You’d notice large, short thighs on this breed. The legs and beak of the Cayuga Duck are black, and it usually carries itself upright with a long neck. Talking about size, the average weight of a mature Cayuga Duck is between 7-8 lbs.

Besides their distinctive physical features, they’re known for their docile temperament. If you hand-raise them, they’re easily tamed.

The Cayuga duck is also among the hardiest of domestic ducks. They can tolerate harsh winters, making them adaptable to a wide range of climates.

Another advantage of having the Cayuga Duck in your backyard is its foraging ability. They can obtain most of their diet from foraging. So, you’ll find them instrumental in controlling pests in your garden.

Cayuga Duck is versatile; it’s used for meat, eggs, and ornamental purposes. If you’re interested in raising ducks for meat, the Cayuga Duck is a great choice. Its meat is reputed to be of excellent taste, tender, and of fine quality.

Buff Orpington Duck

Buff Orpington Duck is a UK native duck known for its friendly nature. This medium-sized duck breed is not just a great pet but serves a dual purpose – meat and egg production.

Their body is deep, long, and broad. With an oval head and a curved neck, they are quite the sight. The medium-length bill adds to their charm.

The Buff Orpington Duck’s plumage is buff-colored, a sight for sore eyes. Their feet and shanks are orange-yellow, while their eyes are brown. For the drakes, the bill is yellow, contrasting with the brown-orange bill of the ducks.

You must be thinking, “Are they fit for my backyard?” Here are some facts that make them a perfect choice for backyards:

  • Hardy and Docile – They are sturdy and easy-going. They won’t give you a hard time.
  • Great Foragers – They love to forage and are quite good at it. This trait not only keeps them active but also helps in pest control.
  • Adaptable – They can adapt well to various climates, making them suitable for free-range duck farming.

The Buff Orpington Duck also has a weight range of 7 to 8 pounds. Its meat is of high quality and known for its taste.

Rouen Duck

The Rouen Duck, originating from France, is a heavyweight breed known for its large size and unique color pattern, similar to the Mallard duck. A Standard Rouen Duck is a massive duck, reaching a weight of 9-10 lbs. It boasts a large, blocky body, a deep, level keel, and a back that arches from shoulders to tail.

Rouen Duck’s distinct features include a dark yellow bill, bright orange shanks, and feet, along with black eyes. You’ll notice his head, upper neck, and tail are dark green, while the lower neck and breast are dark brown. Its upper back is dark gray, and the lower body is light gray. A white band encircles its neck, and a diagonal white/blue/white line crosses its wings.

Not only does the Rouen Duck stand out for its striking appearance, but it’s also recognized for its docile and friendly temperament. This makes them great pets, especially if you have kids. They’re excellent foragers too, often showcased in shows and exhibitions.

Rouen Duck is highly valued for its meat even if it might not be the top choice for egg production. Their meat has a lighter flavor than other duck breeds, making it a preferred choice for many.

Crested Duck

The Crested Duck is known for its unique appearance. With their distinctive crest that looks like an afro, they’re a breed that’s sure to stand out in your backyard.

These ducks have a rich history. They’ve been around since before the 1600s, even making appearances in Dutch paintings from the 17th century. Their bodies are carried at an angle, with a medium-length neck that stands straight. Their beak and legs are long and pale orange on the White Crested Duck, while the Silver Appleyard Crested Duck sports dark gray color for these features.

The Crested Duck is also a dual-purpose breed. This means they can be raised for both meat and eggs. They’re fairly quiet birds, usually calm and friendly in nature. This makes them great as pets. Their ducklings grow quite fast, making them suitable for meat production. Plus, these ducks are good layers of large eggs. The only downside is they aren’t as good foragers as the Bali Duck.

The Crested Duck is adaptable too. They’re hardy in both hot and cold climates. You can keep them in constant captivity or let them roam. Either way, they’ll do just fine.

Saxony Duck

The Saxony Duck, a breed from the Saxony region in Germany, is a standout choice for backyards. This large, dual-purpose breed is known for its muscular, close-feathered body and unique buff-blue mallard color.

The drakes flaunt a greyish-blue head, a white neck-ring, and rust- or chestnut-colored breast feathers. In contrast, the ducks exhibit a rich, light buff color and two white stripes on each side of their face. Both drakes and ducks boast a yellowish bill and orange legs and feet.

The Saxony Duck is a active forager and excellent egg-layer. They have an impressive egg production rate, laying between 190-240 large, white eggs annually. Though they may not grow as fast as some other ducks, they compensate by offering meat with more flavor and less fat. These friendly and curious creatures also make good pets.

Despite its many advantages, the Saxony Duck is threatened. With less than 1,000 known breeding birds in the United States and likely less than 5,000 worldwide, the breed faces the risk of extinction. This makes the Saxony Duck a breed worth preserving, not just for its unique traits, but also for its contribution to biodiversity.

While raising the Saxony Duck, keep in mind their active nature. They require a space where they can forage freely. As excellent egg-layers, they also need a safe and comfortable space for laying their large, white eggs.

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