The Australian Spotted duck is a beautiful breed of domestic duck which is mainly raised for exhibition purpose. Despite the name, the breed was not developed in Australia. The name Australian Spotted duck is something of misnomer, and the breed was actually originated in the United States.
The breed was developed by John C. Kriner and Stanley Mason of Pennsylvania in the 1920s. They created this beautiful duck breed by allowing Calls, Pintails, Mallards and various Australian wild ducks to crossbreed for several years before selecting the desired specimens. And finally, they did a selection that would form the new breed.
The Australian Spotted duck was first exhibited in 1928. Many duck enthusiasts believe that the Pintails were not in the foundation stock. Because due to chromosomal differences a Mallard derivative and Pintail cross renders a sterile duck.
However, it is possible for a rare mutant mallard-pintail cross to pass on its genes to generations to come, leaving it possible that the pintail did indeed contribute to the specimens. Today, this duck breed is mainly kept as an exhibition bird and it is one of the rarer breed of domestic duck.
Australian Spotted Duck Characteristics
Australian Spotted duck is a bantam duck breed. It has a teardrop shaped body and it’s legs are located at the center. Such body shape and placement of the legs have made their body carriage almost horizontal.
Australian Spotted ducks have oval and moderately streamlined heads without the distinctively high forehead and puffy cheeks of a Call duck. There is a white circle in their neck. The breast and sides of the body of Australian Spotted duck are of deep burgundy color.
And the center of the breast extending under the body is white. Their wings are a dark grayish-brown and the middle of the shoulders and back are dark gray. Their tail is of light gray color and the tail undercushion is black.
These ducks have greenish-yellow bill and brown eyes. Their shanks and feet are of orange color. There are three different color varieties of the Australian Spotted duck which are Blueheads, Greenheads and Silverheads.
And the coloration of this duck breed is complex. Depending on the variety, the drake’s head is of different colors. For example the Bluehead variety has blue colored head, Greenhead variety has green colored head and the Silverhead variety has silver colored head.
Body, head and neck of the Greenhead variety are a fawn color, spotted with dark brown. The coloration of the Bluehead and Silverhead Australian Spotted duck varieties are the same as the Greenhead, except the Bluehead’s flecking and spots are bluish-gray.
And the Silverhead’s flecking and spots are silver. Average body weight of the Australian Spotted duck is around 1 kg. Photo from Holderread Waterfowl Farm & Preservation Center.
The Australian Spotted duck is a rare breed. It is mainly raised for exhibition purpose, but can also be used for meat and eggs production. They are also good as pets.
Australian Spotted ducks have very good personality and they are relatively calm. They are very hardy and excellent foragers. Their great foraging ability can help for reducing beetles, snails, sow bugs, snails or other insect pets from the garden or backyards. Even they will eliminate mosquito larvae from pools and ponds.
As they are smaller in size, so they are great fliers. But they usually love to stay close to home. Despite the small size of the Australian Spotted duck, they have well developed breast muscles and extra fine textured meat. So they can be used as a meat duck breed. And the ducks are the best layer among the bantam duck breeds.
On average, the ducks usually produce about 50 to 125 eggs per year. Their eggs are of cream, blue or green colored. These ducks are great mothers and the ducklings mature very rapidly.
This duck is very easy to tame and also good as pets. Their average lifespan is about 8 to 12 years. Review full breed profile of this duck breed in the following chart.
|Breed Name||Australian Spotted|
|Breed Purpose||Exhibition, Ornamental, Pets|
|Special Notes||Calm, Friendly, Excellent Fliers, Excellent Foragers|
|Weight||Around 1 kg|
|Climate Tolerance||All Climates|
|Egg Color||Blue, Cream or Green|
|Egg Weight||About 50 grams|
|Varieties||Blueheads, Greenheads and Silverheads|
|Country of Origin||United States|