Our flock of Australian Spotted ducks is now five years old. These ducks are considered a rare breed by Holderread, originating in the 1920s from mallard, pintail, call, and wild Australian duck ancestry. They are bantams, being larger than calls but smaller than mallards. In our experience, they are much more lively than the wild blacks, mallards, mergansers, buffleheads, long-tails, eiders, and teals that frequent their surroundings.
They spend their days out of their pen in the yard, woods, gardens, and water, returning on their own at dusk each night to the protection of a geodesic shelter. They are extremely personable, independent, gentle, good humored, and forage for much of their food. We can also attest that they make excellent mothers.
From March until August, we have extra fertile eggs for sale for duck lovers who wish to incubate and hatch their own. We would be happy to see this lively breed thrive.
Enjoy the show.
From Holderread Farm breed bulletin #9119 (1991):
"Along with their diminutive size and delightful plumage, these birds have proven to be personable and calm. They are exceptionally hardy and excellent little foragers that are a great help in reducing slugs, snails, sow bugs, Japanese beetles and many other insect pests in gardens and yards, and will eliminate mosquito larva from ponds and pools....
The females typically are excellent mothers and are surprisingly good layers for such small ducks, with annual egg production typically being 45 to 110 cream, bluish or greenish colored eggs that weight 22 to 26 ounces per dozen. The eggs take 26 to 27 days to hatch into lively chipmunk-marked ducklings that display a tremendous zest for life....
The Australian Spotted has been in existence for more than sixty years. While their numbers are dangerously low, I feel they merit being saved, not only for their aesthetic appeal, but also for their practical attributes. Each additional person who raises Australian Spotteds is helping to increase their chances of survival. If a core group of people will raise and distribute the Australian Spotted, their numbers will increase to a safe level."