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Saxony breed standard?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by mandelyn, Aug 15, 2011.

  1. mandelyn

    mandelyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a question on head shape. Some of the babies have the cute "rounded" heads with a dip before the bill. Others have a flatter appearance where the forehead just drops into the bill. Both genders are either or with it, not on one gender or another. The ones with the rounded heads have larger cheeks, making them look really cute. Sort of like call duck cute. The others are slimmer in the face.

    Which is more correct?

    Color variations too... I have two drakes that are darker, the breast is a pretty brass color. While others are lighter, more drab? They lack the definition that the darker ones have. One has a solid breast, the rest are split with white.

    One female lacks the white eye stripe, I know that's no good.

    My preference is the rounded head and stronger coloring. The feet, bill color, body frame... that all appears the same on them. But I don't want to stray too far from the breed standard since my intent is to keep them pure... may as well go with what's correct then too.

    Does anyone happen to have the standard? Or do I need to buy the whole book for one bird? I wasn't able to find it online... there doesn't seem to be a poultry website that lists all the standards... like the American Kennel Club does, you can pull up a dog breed standard quickly without buying anything.

    They are in the book, right.... wouldn't that be funny... I buy the APA standard book and they're not even in it.
     
  2. adubsroit

    adubsroit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    First off: yes, the Saxony is in the newest Standard and to my knowledge this is the only place it is. From what I understand Holderread sells standards per individual duck breed but I opted for the APA SOP 2010 Edition. Second, have you visited Holderread's website?? They have some great pictures of Saxonies..

    Now I understand each breeder will breed for their own preferences but it worries me some that you like the "call duck" in your Saxonies. I have never known for a breeder to breed a Saxony for any such trait - most people I have spoken with have talked about breeding for a more streamlined bird (i.e. Cayuga). As per the SOP regarding the bill in both the drake and hen should be "strong; medium in length, moderately broad, attached to the head slightly below the top of the skull; bill nearly straight along top when viewed from the side" and "males should have as yellow as bill as possible where as females tend toward a yellow-orange; birds which are sexually mature and in season with dark to black beans will suffer no cut/deductions." Their heads should be "moderately large; nearly oval with slight forehead crown." On a side note, the head of a Call Duck should be "short, round, skull wide, well-crowned, cheeks prominent." Again, this is your call but if you're going for SQ and not PQ I would cull/not use anything with a Call-like head/anything from breeding. Also, and in all honesty, if you're females lack facial markings do not breed them just for the sake of time and effort.

    Finally, if you are serious about keeping true to the breed and learning all you can: buy the standard. Lol, it feels weird doing it at first (I always scoffed at people who bred show animals) but it's information is tried, true and.. the standard. [​IMG]


    For quicker reference I will post some of my own birds (mainly females):
    [​IMG]
    The original pair with some pretty decent ideas as to their build and such; male was culled due to infertility issues and his genetics were AWFUL

    [​IMG]
    Two-year old hen - placed Reserve Duck in show and Champion Heavy Duck

    [​IMG]
    Here is the same two-year old with our now 6 month old young hen (background) (placed Reserve-Champ Heavy Duck)

    [​IMG]
    This was the best full-body profile I could get of the 6 month old.

    [​IMG]
    Head profile of the 6 month old - you can see here that here color is infact different from the others (they are unrelated) but is just fine.


    [​IMG]
    Here are the ducks (with Welsh Harlequins and a Cayuga) doing what they do best (all girls except the obvious drake). This drake may not be marked ideally as a male of the breed but as the SOP states, in regards to the drake's head "the less foreign color the better" and notes that juveniles (which ours is) and older drakes in eclipse will exhibit this sort of thing - though "all other things being equal, the bird in nuptial plumage shall have the advantage." The hope here is that while he isn't an ideal drake that his obviously female markings will pass on to his daughters in which we hope for some awesomely marked females (which is our biggest focus right now).

    Do you have any pictures of your ducks?? Love to see 'em.
     
  3. Senna95

    Senna95 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow, gorgeous! This is my first year with my saxonies, and I'd be thrilled if they turn out that pretty. They're almost 3 months now.
     
  4. mandelyn

    mandelyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's what I was looking for, that little description cut from the standard, Thanks! That explains the look in some while others not so much. All of them are from TSQ babies from Holderreads and I had seen the pictures on his site, but wanted the written standard too. I haven't bred anything yet, that's why I'm asking. What I like and what the standard is are completely different and I want to go with what the standard is.

    Your photos helped a lot too, very pretty! I'm wondering if the feather patterns will change on mine though based on the pics of your older birds. On the shoulder mine have a lacing with that pastel grey/light blue coloring while the feathers on yours appear to be solid buff. Some of them have it, others don't.

    I'm noticing a lot of little differences between the individuals as they mature and I need to make my final decision soon on who stays and who goes and then how I will set them up from there. I have one female that's darker colored like the 2nd to last is in your pics, and the rest besides the boys are much lighter.

    The one female lacking the white eye stripe was easy to put in the cull pile. But the head shape was throwing me off. Now I know to go with the more stream lined look some of them have.

    When I was comparing to call ducks, it was to explain the rounded head and chipmunk cheeks... not a short little rounded bill. They all have basically the same bill, it's just tied in differently on the heads from duck to duck, some with a flatter appearance and others with a more.... defined forehead? I don't know how to describe that. Some of them the head drops right into the bill, others ... I really don't know how to put it into words. Maybe they'll cooperate with photos and let me sort them out. I know I can get a nice group shot but they're like sheep when it comes to splitting them up. [​IMG]

    A couple weeks ago I sorted them and banded the legs on the keeper birds, but I wanted to go through them again now that they're more mature and see if I chose right. I need my final decision next Friday, that's when the extras/culls go to their new pet home.
     
  5. The Duck ABC's

    The Duck ABC's Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I breed Saxonies, and I actually love the lighter colorings. Mine look very light right now, because they are out in the sun all day. At 4000 feet elevation the UV is very high bleaching them pretty good. This year I did order show quality ducklings from Holderread to better the breeding line. Only 30% of the ducklings I've got from him will have the show quality traits, the rest will be just standard Saxonies. I have several girls from the Holderread SQ line that do not have the stripe. This does not mean they do not have the trait. I breed for calm large birds that lay well. Sometimes you end up with duck that are not so prolific, if you breed for looks. Some of the SQ Holderread ducks I have do not have a nice neck posture either. So the coloring may nice and dark, they are not perfect in other areas. They should be producing good offspring when they breed with my other birds. You never get perfect looks, because Saxonies are bread out of several breeds. This includes the German Pekin duck, which is really large and has a better shape then the regular pekin. When raising Saxonies you will occasionally hatch white ducks. They are useless for further breeding, because their gene will always produce white ducks. Some breeders call them Stanbridge whites and they throw them in as peanuts in duckling shipments. I have one white female on the farm, but her eggs are not being used for hatching. She is really nice and has a funny personality. Just remember when show quality birds are bread only 1/3 of their offspring will be show quality too. There is no way of telling by the eggs or the ducklings what they will be. You have to wait until they are about 4 months old to get an idea.
     
  6. mandelyn

    mandelyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The female I got from your eggs is the darkest female I have! That's funny since you like the light ones. She's turned out very pretty and with good posture, though she's extremely loud and obnoxious. At least she talks to me and makes nice. She's about 4 months old now I think.

    There are two females that seem to have "blossomed" when I was out there today... I hadn't tagged them as keepers but I think I've changed my mind when I compare them to females I did tag to keep. With the more detailed description from the standard I can make more sense of their faces now.

    None of them are perfect, but they're all really pretty. For body I'm keeping the heaviest looking ones with a good stance, the ones that look "balanced" from one end to the other. The heads were really throwing me off, I didn't realize how different some were when I really started nit picking.

    It's a big pile of girls, only 3 males. That was lucky from an order of 10 unsexed!
     
  7. Eroc1_1

    Eroc1_1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Where did you get your Saxony from?
     
  8. adubsroit

    adubsroit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    On the birds subtle lacing and such - I'm with The Duck ABC's on this one. Living near Mt. Shasta is nice but the sun in right on those birds when they go out and I don't know about you but with more exposure it will fade out some. The Duck ABC's are of excellent quality!! I love their darker, rustier colors versus the creamy, sandy shades that I have seen from other lines and I'm really hoping the colors won't fade.
     
  9. GrannyCarol

    GrannyCarol Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I do not show, but started with Saxonys from Holderreads, which I love for uniformity, vigor, temperament and being pretty. I have a pair from another line which are very similar in overall shape and color, but have a different expression to the face. It's not a big deal, they look like they are a little "frowny" and less "smiley" - their foreheads come slightly differently into the bill. As far as what was quoted in the Standard earlier in this thread, both types would fit fine. It's a small difference, but I can tell them apart. I have a mother/daughter from my first ducks that I had to literally band while the daughter was still smaller, otherwise I wouldn't be too sure which one I was looking at, except some differences in behavior and maturity. They are gorgeous, though could use a little more lower stripe for my taste.

    One of my girls hatched out 10 pure Saxonys - out of all three hens and the drake from the second line (so most of them are outcrossed). I have a huge color differential in my little flock. I've got 4 boys and 6 girls and plan to keep a girl. There are some really pretty marked hens, so I'm looking for that, size and temperament. Here's pictures from last week (about 9 weeks old, they started to molt seriously the next day! lol):

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The broody mother is in this picture, but I'm not too sure offhand which one she is!

    [​IMG]

    The really dark one is a drake, one of the really light ones is a drake too. I have two rather light girls with nice facial stripes I'm looking at and just a lot of difference in color overall! The rounder heads are the Holderread stock.
     

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