Advice on what duck breed to get.

sandy sea

15 Years
Mar 19, 2008
Rogersville MO
I have 6 six month old ducks. Two Blue Swedish hens, one Welsh Harlequin hen, two Anconas a hen and a drake. I also have an Appleyard drake that I bought as a hen but turned out to be a drake. He is huge. I purchased the ducks as babies and thought that if I got 5 hens and one drake that would be good. Anyway that was not the case, I now have 4 hens and two drakes Since the Appleyard drake is really big should I get two or three more large breed hens for him. I do not want him to fight over the other smaller duck. What is your advice on this matter? What breed?
Heavy breeds, commonly available here in the U.S. are: Pekin, Rouen and Saxony.
Personally i would also consider White Layers, even though they are called a light breed, my four girls are massive, larger and stronger than my Buff Orpington drake. Being developed for egg laying rather than meat (like the breeds above) they don't suffer from leg and hip issues that much.
Thanks for your reply. I was not aware about that the larger breeds had hip and leg issues. That makes sense, I had a Pekin that broke its leg a few years ago. Someone around the corner is selling Anconas. What do you think about getting a few more hens of that breed?
I always imagine what would happen if my big Pekin Drake was the size of a cow :lau
I love anconas but can never get some.saxonies are good, same as pekins :) we neeeeeeeeed pictures!!!
I wanted to get the most gentle and easy-going ducks. What I read about welsh harlequins, saxony and blue Swedish was all very positive for temperament and being gentle. Later I read that saxony females can be rather loud.

I also bought Cayuga ducks having read similar things about their temperament and being gentle. This is all speculative and will be up for debate as I will no doubt report back however not being a duck person over the course of many years and many different broods what the hell do I know?

I thought I read all the best books on ducks and different birds (like guineas & game birds). But I am sure just like everything else in life there is no substitute for experience.

So I’m looking very forward to feedback on your thread as to what others have experienced with these breeds. One thing that I did not consider was the size of the breeds that I chose & hopefully I won’t regret the choice but it’s too late now. Having seen some really big Pekins and other birds with their tummy and chest nearly dragging now understand why the legs are such an issue. They are very fragile. It makes sense being waterfowl that they don’t have big strong legs like a turkey but it is asking a lot for those little fragile feet to carry so much duck.

I’m not trying to hijack your thread, but now I’m very concerned as to what kind of safer environment I can give these fragile duck legs? Is a gravel driveway difficult for their feet, it surely is harder on mine :). My land is varied in vegetation, brush and slope. Hardest part is branches in tall grass and brush and gravel drives . Thank you for inputs
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Actually Pekins weren't developed to live much past 12 weeks they were developed as meat birds, but because of their sweet nature a lot of people has fallen in love with the breed and made them pets. So now some not all can develop leg problems and it's very important that from time of hatch till at least 10 weeks they have a really good diet and also some form of niacin to help with leg development. One of Metzers web sites talks about leg problems with niacin deficiency in Water fowl. The diet and niacin can continue through their lives to protect even as adults. Other Large breeds can develop leg issues too but it seems Pekins really can heave them. Keeping them from getting over weight helps too. They can put on weight fast being they were meant for slaughter so early.

We live in a mountain terrain rocks every where from small ones to very large ones. I can rake and pick up tons and they miraculously appear back in less than a week. A few of my ducks have had Bumble foot and some of my chickens too but for the most part they seem to do pretty well with what they have to walk on. Sharp gravel would be a problem for sure. But sharp anything like this spring we had wild roses growing on their property we went and pulled up everyone that is something I didn't want them stepping on. But to have 18 water fowl and 21 chickens I'd say they do pretty well on what they have to walk on.

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