The Hook Bill or Dutch Hookbill is currently one of the rarest official duck breeds in the world. It is unlikely that you will ever encounter one. However, if you do, then you will quickly notice that it is a very unique duck breed.
On this page, we are going to take a look at this duck breed in a little bit of depth. That way, you know exactly what you are going to get if you end up with one.
The Unknown Origin of the Hook Bill Duck
You would think that the Dutch Hookbill originates in the Netherlands. However, the truth is, nobody actually knows where it comes from.
The Hook Bill duck was first mentioned in a book written by Francis Willughby published in 1676, where he describes the look of the duck and that’s it.
In fact, we do not even have an idea about how it managed to get its name. However, chances are that it was raised in the Netherlands at some point, but nobody ever talks about it.
We can tell you that the Dutch Hookbill duck is in danger of going extinct. There are not that many females left on this planet.
The Hook Bill duck population was endangered in 1980s, there were only 15 ducks left, but today there are a couple of hundreds left in Europe and US. Later in this article you can watch successfully hatched eggs of Hook Bill duck.
We can also tell you that it was first introduced to the United States in 2000 but, as of yet, it is still not regarded as an official duck breed.
The Look of the Hook Bill Duck
This is a unique-looking bird. You see, it’s beak is in a hook shape. Although, to be honest, we are sure that you could have guessed this, right? Basically, the beak of the Dutch Hookbill is slightly curved.
The walk of this bird is similar to that of the Indian Runner duck. However, the Hook Bill doesn’t run like that duck. This has led to some speculation that the birds are related. However, they aren’t. Well, at least they do not seem to be when genetic tests have been carried out.
This is a duck that is on the lighter side of things. It is rare for them to go over 4.5 lbs. (2kg).
However, other than the shape of the beak and the walk, this breed is a pretty normal looking duck. It is available in several different colors due to there being no official standard for this breed.
The Dutch Hookbill as a Show Duck
If you live in the United States, you probably are never going to see a duck show for the Hook Bill duck.
This is because breeders don’t really show off ducks unless there is some sort of official competition.
This is one of the main reasons as to why this duck is in danger of going extinct. There is no real use for it at shows. If it did become an official show breed, then there is a good chance that it can be brought back from the brink.
That being said, the Dutch Hookbill duck is, quite often, going to be used as an ornamental duck breed. People buy these just to spice up the look of their backyard.
To be honest, we can’t blame them. This is a good looking duck, but it is just a little bit on the expensive side. If you are looking for a brilliant ornamental duck, then the Dutch Hookbill is probably going to be a good choice for you, though.
The Dutch Hookbill as a Meat Duck
The Dutch Hook Bill duck is a little bit too small to be used as a meat duck breed. We are sure that there are some people out there using them as meat ducks, but there are far, far better breeds for that purpose.
This one doesn’t even grow that large, and it doesn’t grow all that quickly. This means that you would be waiting forever for a flock of Dutch Hookbills to provide you with a steady source of food.
Dutch Hookbill Duck Eggs
A few centuries ago, the Dutch Hookbill was an insanely popular duck breed. This is because it was able to produce a lot of eggs. The average Dutch Hookbill will be able to lay between 100 and 200 eggs each year.
Yes. This is a pretty big range for egg laying, but people haven’t really put that much effort into making the breed a little bit better on the egg front.
Obviously, this breed ended up losing popularity because of the fact that other breeds that laid more eggs became popular. Well, that, and the fact that the world started to eat more chicken eggs than duck eggs.
Yep. At one point, duck eggs were more popular in Europe than Chicken Eggs. People ended up transitioning to chicken eggs because chickens are simpler to raise.
If you are looking for a Dutch Hookbill as an egg duck, it is important that you talk to the breeder that you are buying the bird from. Find out about how other birds in their flock have been laying eggs.
This should give you a solid indication about what you can expect your Dutch Hookbill to be doing.
If you are breeding this duck, then you will be pleased to know that it is a very good sitter. However, as with all bird breeding, we suggest that you use an incubator and a brooder to ensure that things go off without a hitch.
Raising the Hook Bill Duck
This is a friendly breed of duck. You can probably bond with it. However, this is all going to be dependent on the ducks that you receive.
It is something that you will need to discuss with your breeder to discover exactly what you are going to be ending up with. Some ducks are, of course, going to be friendlier than others.
It is important to note that this bird is a very, very good flier. This is especially true when the duck is on the younger side of things.
Therefore, you will need to ensure that they live in a secure location and that you have their wings clipped. If you don’t, there is a good chance that they will be flying away, and they may not come back!
They are not the smallest duck breeds, but they certainly are smaller ducks, which means that they are going to be a target for predators as they can’t really fight back.