Anybody has a clue why Holderread quit supporting ANCONA breed?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by pascopol, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. pascopol

    pascopol Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The news is Holderread sold all his Ancona breeders. Ancona ducks are no longer listed on his website.

    I was thinking about getting Anconas since they are being portrayed as being rare but supposedly the best layers of large eggs among dual purpose duck breeds, calm, excellent foragers, attractive with their varied plumage, and heavy enough to make a decent roasted duck.

    Sounds like a dream duck breed.

    However if there is no major hatchery or breeder in US supporting this breed, Ancona duck future in US does not look good. To my best knowledge the only significant player left carring Anconas is Cackle hatchery.

    Any comments or thoughts about it?
     
  2. DaveP

    DaveP Out Of The Brooder

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  3. LittleSquidgenHome

    LittleSquidgenHome Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Stromberg's sells them too. They are out there, it is just a matter of finding them.
     
  4. jmc

    jmc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2008
    South Central MA
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    Last edited: Sep 4, 2010
  5. pascopol

    pascopol Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Thanks for your input.

    I did contact boondocker farms, exchanged a few emails with them expressing interest in hatching eggs, since the breeding season is now over, they quoted $52.00 for a doz eggs shipped, but they did not send me paypal invoice so far, also their email system is not working correctly although they claim it is. At this price they wanted me to cover Paypal Charges which I find to be silly.

    So far I am not impressed with their business attitude and proficiency, they may have great birds but that's not good enough if they want to last.

    Can you PM me your honest opinion about Anconas? In my former experience some breeds are rare cause they deserve to be rare, I am not saying Anconas do not deserve to be more popular but it puzzels me that with so many strong points I read about them, apparently they do not have much of following here in US.

    I am also looking into Silver Appleyards, they seem to be growing in popularity in recent years, so there must be reason for it.

    That's why I started this thread about Holderread dropping Anconas trying to get behind the scenes. Thats surely not good prognosis for the Ancona's future here.

    As for Cackle I was thinking about ordering ducks from them next season. I ordered 3 breeds of bantam chickens from them last year, and they turned to be strong, healthy and true to standart. In fact I ordered some eggs of same breeds from reputable breeders and they turned to be no better than Cackle's, in fact Cackle's birds were more uniform in size and coloring overall.

    What was your problem with Cackle?
     
  6. kswaterfowl

    kswaterfowl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We bred Anconas for many years, with our original stock coming from the Holderreads. They were cool ducks, but they were just that...cool ducks. There was a lot of variation in the breed and it was so hard to get a few basic traits set that would allow the breed to qualify for exhibition. Also when we first started there were less than 500 of them in the US. If you look on the other side of the Atlantic they are almost not-known. You can make you own quite easily with average run of the mill hatchery birds. You need some fawn and white runners, a bunch of mismarked swedish, mismarked magpies and I've seen a lot of pencilled runner blood in them as well. All you really have to do is cross them and in a couple of generations you can have birds that are randomly marked like and Ancona. Throw in some pekin blood and you can bring up the size. It may sound like I am joking here...but I am not. There were several times where I found birds at sales and swaps that appeared to be anconas from just looking, but upon talking to the people they had no idea what was in them, or they "showed up" from their pond ducks. I know for a fact that several of the direct from holderread birds we had looked more like pencilled and white runners. You just have to have runner pattern, bibbed, patterned white genes and you have a bird almost exactly like an Ancona...and since they have no official standard, you should be good with the size range you get from the crosses. We ordered replacement drakes from Cackle once, and used them a couple of years, but in the end, realized we were never going to get them any closer to the Standard, so we culled them all and moved on. I still have a like for them, but don't see a point in them when there are so many other breeds, STANDARD breeds that are still not bred to their own standard, or lacking BASIC breed character like egg production, standard color, or standard size.
     
  7. pascopol

    pascopol Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for light in the tunnel kswaterfowl!

    I do not care about exhibition, but you are telling me Anconas are hard to keep uniform to standard as egg production and weight is concerned?

    If that's what it is I have my puzzle solved. Here is the reason why this breed can not gain popularity, if thats what you mean here is the basic weeknes of this breed.

    Anconas cought my attention as a breed described as "Best layers among dual purpose breed" combined with 6lb or more weight with fast growth.

    Unique markings were secondary to me although it would be nice to have birds with some individual varied appearance.

    That sounded like an ideal breed to me. I like lots of baking eggs and roasted duck on occasion but I do not like fatty Pekins eating me out of my house (had them before). I keep a few female Campbells for eggs now but I am not planning to eat them now or in the future, opinion is they are not worth processing for meat.

    So you do not keep Anconas anymore?
     
  8. jmc

    jmc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2008
    South Central MA
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    Last edited: Sep 4, 2010

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