Ancona Duck – An Amazing Egg Layer and Excellent Forager

You would think that the breed appeared centuries ago, but nope. The Ancona duck is a unique and relatively new breed, appearing in the past few decades. We just aren’t sure why APA have not recognized it still.

At a glance you may think that this is a Magpie duck, however, the Ancona duck is much larger. Let’s take a look.

Ancona Duck Facts at a Glance

Eggs210 – 280 eggs per year
Egg shell colorWhite, Blue
SizeMale: 6 lbs.
Female: 6.5 lbs.
ForagingVery Good
Originmost probably England

Where Did Ancona Ducks Come From?

ancona duck and ducklings
Ancona Duckling – Photo By tifotter (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Depending on who you ask, the Ancona duck either originated in the USA or the UK. It is highly likely that it came from the UK, but by all accounts, before it arrived officially in the USA, there was some breeder who was developing something known as ‘Ancona’. We do not know whether this Ancona duck was the same breed or a completely different one.

We do not know whether this Ancona duck influenced breed development in the UK. It is unlikely that it was just a coincidence, but a lot of people cling to the idea that the Ancona was developed in the US, so we are willing to entertain the notion.

In either case, the origins of the breed do not matter. This is not actually a recognized breed in either the USA or the UK. Well, at least not by any official association. So, nobody is really going to bother finding out the truth of the origins of the breed.

It is worth noting that the Ancona Duck is unlikely to be around for much longer. This is a critically endangered bird. There are just not that many people breeding them. Sadly, we do not see this changing any time soon.

The only way this bird doesn’t completely die out is if it is allowed to be shown at breeder shows. Of course, you could always try and breed a flock of your own, but do bear in mind that it will be some seriously challenging work if you have never bred ducks before!

The Look of the Ancona Duck

ancona duck and ducklings
Ancona Ducks – Photo By RobinzRabbit (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Ancona Duck has black and white feathers. The actual pattern differs from duck to duck, so no Ancona Duck will look the same as another Ancona Duck in terms of positioning of their coloring.

In comparison to other ducks, the Ancona duck is fairly large (we will talk more about this soon). The head is an oval shape, and they boast a concave beak. It is not a drastically distinctive look, which is probably one of the main reasons as to why it isn’t regarded as a full breed by any sort of breeding association.

Ancona Duck Colors

The Ancona duck comes in a number of color combinations:

  • Blue and white
  • Black and white
  • Lavender and white
  • Chocolate and white
  • Three-colored

Ancona Duck Eggs and Colors

If you love duck eggs, then the Ancona Duck is probably the best one that you buy. It is able to give you around 280 eggs each and every year.

So, unless we are very much mistaken, this means that it is one of the most productive duck breeds. If you had just a small flock of these, you would be pretty much set on duck eggs for a long, long time to come.

Yes. This duck will continue to lay eggs throughout the winter months too, unlike some of the other duck breeds out there. The color of the eggs that the Ancona duck lay can be white, cream, blue green or spotted eggs.

The Amazing Meat of the Duck

We can’t find much in the way of evidence that the Ancona duck has ever been raised prolifically for meat. However, we can find a ton of evidence that those who have eaten Ancona duck find that it tastes absolutely amazing.

As you may well know, one of the most prominent breeds of duck for meat is the Pekin duck. This is because the Pekin duck is easy to raise. It doesn’t necessarily taste the best.

In fact, it absolutely doesn’t taste the best, but commercial duck breeders need to ensure that they can raise ducks with the minimum amount of fuss.

If you want a duck that tastes brilliant, then the Ancona duck is perfect for you. Some people report that it has a distinctive taste, and we guess it does. It does taste like duck, just with a bit more of a flavor kick.

Part of this is down to the fact that despite being a fairly large bird, it doesn’t really have that much in the way of fat on it. This means that you are going to be getting the pure taste of the duck meat, and that is awesome.

While we would highly recommend that you raise the Ancona duck for the eggs, it is always great to have one that can produce a bit of meat too!

An Excellent Forager

This is a duck. They are friendly, but it isn’t really something that you will be interacting with all that much, but they may approach you if they want a little bit of food.

If you have an Ancona duck, you will be pleased to know that it doesn’t really fly away. In fact, it is rare that it will even try to fly. This means that you do not have to worry about your ducks disappearing.

Although, to be honest, they also do not move outside of their main ‘home’ all that much. The only thing that they do with any sort of consistency will be a bit of foraging, and it is a true delight to see your birds foraging.

Care TIps

Honestly, this isn’t a bird that you need to think that much about when you are raising it. It is one that tends to keep itself to itself. We think that the only thing you need to consider is the amount of space that you have available. This duck, just like every other duck, needs:

  • Access to a lot of space
  • Access to a largish body of water

If you can provide it with that, then the Ancona duck is going to feel perfectly content. This is because this is a bird that absolutely loves to forage, as we stated before. The more space you give it to forage, the happier your bird will end up being.

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