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The Domestic Duck

The Domestic DuckDomestic Ducks; except for the Muscovy duck, are all descended from the wild mallard. Nobody knows exactly when ducks were first tamed, but it must have been at least several thousand years ago. Tame or domestic ducks are divided into three kinds:

  • Those bred for their meat.

  • Those bred for their eggs.

  • And those bred for their fancy appearance.

  • The most important meat ducks include the Pekin, Muscovy, Black Cayuga, Rouen, and Aylesbury. The Pekin originally came from China. It is a white bird of large size. The Pekin is the most important of all domestic ducks raised in the United States. Pekins carry their bodies at a slanting angle, with the front end higher than the tail. The Aylesbury is also a white duck, about the same size as the Pekin. It originally came from England. It carries its body almost parallel to the ground. The Aylesbury is not as hardy a breed as the Pekin. The Rouen duck looks like the wild mallard but it is much larger. Rouen drakes may weigh as much as eleven pounds. The Black Cayuga breed of all-black ducks was developed in the United States. It is not as popular as the Pekin. The Muscovy duck came from Brazil. There are white and colored varieties. The drake is larger than the female. The female does not quack.

    The market for duck eggs in the United States is limited and production methods are improving. The Indian runner, an erect, extremely slender duck, is among the most popular of the egg-laying ducks.

    Ornamental ducks are grown by duck fanciers. The gray call duck is a miniature Rouen. Mandarin ducks are raised for their gay-colored feathers. Wild wood ducks have also been raised for their plumages. The crested white duck has a topknot of feathers on its head.

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    There are a number of different domestic ducks that are raised. We hope this information is helpful to our sportsmen.