The Carolina duck
The Carolina or wood duck The wood duck is a mediumsized perching duck. A typical adult is from 47 to 54cms (19 to 21ins) in length with a wingspan of between 66 to 73cms (26 to 29ins). This is about threequarters of the length of an adult mallard. The adult male has distinctive multicolored iridescent plumage and red eyes,with a distinctive white flare down the neck. The female, less colourful, has a white eye-ring and a whitish throat. Both adults have crested heads. The male’s call is a rising whistle, jeeeeee; the females utter a drawn- out, rising squeal, do weep do weep, when flushed, and a sharp cr-r- ek, cr- e- ek for an alarm call.
The Silver Appleyard duck
This is a beautiful placid duck. They look very stylish with their classical yellow beak and orange legs and feet. They are quiet and are well suited for back garden existence. Traditionally kept as a dual purpose bird, they lay lots of large white eggs and they grow quickly making a good table bird. They tend to be very friendly and sociable, trusting and gentle, ‘a real looker’. They love to take life ‘easy’ at a slower pace then most other domestics.
The Indian Runner duck
The comics of the duck world, Indian Runners will amuse you for hours. They are very busy and
great for the back yard; they love snails and slugs and are one of the best forms of organic pest control. They are predominantly kept for eggs: laying well over 200 per year. The eggs vary between white, off white and pale green. They cannot fly. The females quack and the males have a hoarse whisper. Each have their own character - they provide great amusement in the garden and never fail to entertain. They make great pets, and are a firm favourite with children. Although they can be quite skittish at first, with time and patience you can easily win their confidence. Moonridge Farm sells fully feathered and point of lay birds at £30 each. Day old (in season) are priced at £15, each sexed.
The Khaki Campbell duck
This is a fantastic duck, great to keep alongside your flock of chickens, although they are best
housed separately. Due to their size, placid nature and egg laying ability, they are very compatible to be kept free ranging. This breed has been mainly developed for egg laying. They are extremely agile and average 320 eggs a year, outlaying most types of chicken. A great duck for the back garden, they are great foragers and extremely inquisitive and can be easy to tame with food and treats. They lay white eggs. Campbell’s are just as comfortable on land as in water, making them an excellent choice for back yard producers. Being excellent scavengers they are easy to keep and are extremely hardy. Moonridge Farm sells them for £20.
The Muscovy duck
The Muscovy are generally gentle birds unless the female is sitting or has a young brood. Muscovy drakes don’t quack, but instead produce a low hiss. The females only make a short, weak quack and this is what makes them the quietest of all the ducks. They can fly well so they will need to be wing- clipped. They are perching ducks, so like trees and logs. They do not swim as much as other breeds because their oil glands are under developed. This means that they do not require a large source of water. They love company and will seek you out in the garden . They are excellent slug and bug killers . As they are perching ducks they have claws so are not easily handled, but they are friendly inquisitive ducks and do not tend to be as flighty as some of the other domestic ducks. They make excellent broodies often sitting and hatching up to 16 plus ducklings. Moonridge Farm sells them for £20.
The Mandarin duck
The adult male is a striking and unmistakable bird. It has a red bill, large white crescent above the eye and reddish face and ‘whiskers’. The breast is purple with two vertical white bars, and the flanks ruddy, with two orange ‘sails’ at the back. The female is similar to female wood duck, with a white eye-ring and stripe running back from the eye, but is paler below, has a small white flank stripe, and a pale tip to its bill. Both the males and females have crests, but the crest is more pronounced on the male. Like many other species of ducks, the male undergoes a moult after the mating season into eclipse plumage. When in eclipse plumage, the male looks similar to the female, but can be told apart by their bright yellow- orange beak, lack of any crest, and a less-pronounced eye-stripe. Mandarin ducklings are almost identical in appearance to wood ducklings, and very similar to mallard ducklings. The ducklings can be distinguished from mallard ducklings because the eye-stripe of mandarin ducklings (and wood ducklings) stops at the eye, while in mallard ducklings it reaches all the way to the bill.
Moon Ridge have a wide variety of ducks
Indian runner ducks
Khaki Campbell ducks