The Ancona duck is a rare dual purpose breed. It is classified as a medium weight duck breed which was developed in England during the early 20th century.
Ancona ducks are considered to be originated from the Indian Runner Duck and the Belgian Huttegem Duck breeds. They have similarity to the Magpie duck, which is the Ancona duck’s closest relative.
And Ancona duck is the same foundation stock as the Magpie duck. The breed has been raised in the United States for several decades and were exhibited in 1983 in Oregon. They first became available to the public in 1984 and since then their numbers have been increasing. But still rare today.
Now this duck breed is listed in the Critical category of the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy’s Conservation Priority List. Review characteristics, full breed profile and special notes about this duck breed below.
Ancona Duck Characteristics
Ancona duck has many similarities with the Magpie duck, but is a bit stockier. It is a medium sized layer duck breed. The Ancona duck has a medium sized oval head. They have a bill that is slightly concave along the top line, and is of medium length. Their neck is average which arches forward slightly.
Their body carriage is 20-30 degrees above horizontal. The breed is unique among the ducks for their broken, mottled plumage. Like the Holstein cattle, there is no set design. Any combination of white and color is acceptable as long as there are obvious broken areas on the head, backs, sides, and under body.
But the original Ancona duck occurred only in black and white variety. Normally, the bills of Ancona duck are yellow with dark green or black spotting. Their neck is solid white and the legs and feet are orange with brown or black spots. The spots on their feet increase with the age of the ducks.
The Ancona duck has plumage under the eyes. The ducklings are yellow with spots or speckles. The adult ducks are white with markings. The markings vary from duck to duck. And no two ducks have the same pattern.
This duck breed appears in a variety of colors. The color varieties include; Blue and White, Black and White, Lavender and White, Chocolate and White, Silver and White and Tricolored. Black and White variety is most common.
Ancona drakes weight more than the ducks. On an average an adult Ancona drake weight about 2.8-3.1 kg and ducks about 2.2-2.6 kg. Photo form Wikipedia.
Ancona ducks are mainly raised for eggs production. But as they are dual purpose utility duck breed, so they are also suitable for meat production. They are among the good egg layers of all the domestic duck breeds.
Anconas are wonderful dual purpose ducks. They are very hardy and adaptable. They are not flighty and pretty calm birds and also good for pond and backyard. They are calm and become friendly and affectionate if handled form very young age. So they are also good as pets, and like to stay close to home.
This is an excellent layer duck breed. A duck typically lay 210-280 eggs per year. Their egg color is either blue, cream or white. Ducks start laying eggs from their 5 months of age (sometimes can take longer).
Usually an Ancona duck lays for 5-8 years with the most productivity in the first 3 years. Eggs get bigger as the birds get older. Ancona ducks grow pretty quickly and produce high quality meat.
The meat of Ancona duck is more flavorful and less fatty than that of the most Pekin ducks. They are great foragers and can arrange their diet with greens, slugs, insects and other arthropods if allowed to forage freely.
The Ancona ducks are long lived birds. The lifespan of an Ancona duck is up to 10 years. Review full breed profile of Ancona duck in the chart below.
|Breed Purpose||Dual Purpose (eggs & meat)|
|Special Notes||Calm, Friendly, Great Foragers, Very Hardy|
|Breed Class||Medium Weight|
|Drake||About 2.8-3.1 kg|
|Duck||About 2.2-2.6 kg|
|Climate Tolerance||All Climates|
|Egg Color||Egg color is either blue, cream or white|
|Egg Weight||Up to 70 grams|
|Varieties||Ancona duck appears in a variety of colors. The color varieties include; Blue and White, Black and White, Lavender and White, Chocolate and White, Silver and White and Tricolored.|
|Country of Origin||England|