The Saxony Duck had all the hallmarks of being a duck breed that would go places but, sadly, it is now sitting close to extinction, with around 1,000 of the birds now kicking about. However, this is a brilliant bird, and if you can find one, it is absolutely perfect for a homesteader.
Let’s take a look, shall we?
The Origins of the Saxony Ducks
The duck originates from the Free State of Saxony, which despite the name is actually located within Germany. It was developed by Albert Franz, who noted that the following breed went into the creation of the duck:
- German Pekin
- Rouen duck
- Blue Pomeranian
There is a good chance that other breeds were involved, but these are the ones we know 100% for sure. The problem is that Germany was involved in a war, a pretty big one, shortly after the duck breed was developed in the 1930s.
Obviously, this was World War II. During the war, most of the birds were destroyed in bombing raids and the like. This meant that the development of the breed was knocked back.
Some of the original bird stock remained, but there simply wasn’t enough to build the breed up to the levels that it did before. Plus, after the war, the German economy wasn’t all that strong, and most countries were not buying German products.
We are 100% sure that this didn’t really help the development of the Saxony duck breed.
We think that if the war hadn’t happened, or at least the duck stock wasn’t destroyed, then the Saxony ducks would have developed in a completely different way.
In fact, we believe the breed would have ended up being a more ‘general purpose’ duck than it currently is.
In the United States the Saxony duck was recognized by APA in 2000.
The Look of the Saxony Ducks
Despite there (apparently) being no Silver Appleyard duck in this breed, the Saxony Duck looks pretty close to it. The only major difference is the size and the fact that this breed of duck is incredibly muscular. The head is on the larger side of things, and the perfect oval shape.
This is a duck that only comes in one possible color, although the Drake and the duck look different on the color front. You will know you have a drake if the head is gray with a white ring around the neck. The duck has a brownish head with two white stripes running past the eyes.
The beak of the bird is always going to be yellow, and the legs of the bird will always be a bright orange. When it comes to being a show duck, the brighter the orange, the better the duck.
This is a duck that is on the larger side of things too. In fact, this is one of the larger duck breeds out there. More on that in the next section.
The Saxony Duck as a Meat Bird
This is a fast-growing duck, reaching a maximum size of about 3kg, although some can weigh a little bit more than this. As you may have guessed, this is a characteristic that makes this bird absolutely perfect for those who are looking for a meat bird.
In fact, this was one of the primary reasons as to why the bird was bred. The duck meat was incredibly popular in Germany in the 1930s, and companies were on the lookout for a duck breed that was easy to raise. It just
Is This a Good Show Bird?
Since there are so few of these birds around right now, its use as a show bird is pretty much limited. The only time that you are going to find competitive Saxony duck shows is if you head to Germany.
They have pretty much died out everywhere else. This is a real shame, because this is a stunning looking bird, and if there was a bit more interest on the show front, this is a bird that won’t be disappearing in the near future.
However, sadly, we feel that things are too far gone for it to be brought back as a show bird now.
Saxony Duck Eggs
As an egg laying bird, this is where the Saxony duck could have probably been a little bit better developed. It is not an amazing egg-laying breed.
Yes. You are going to get some eggs from your duck. The Saxony duck is a breed that averages between 100-200 eggs per year. These will be white eggs on the larger side of things.
However, if you want a duck that is going to be pumping out eggs constantly for you to feast on, then there are plenty of other ducks breeds for you. The eggs are really going to be a bonus for when you are raising your ducks for meat use or breeding.
The Personality of the Saxony Duck
For the most part, this is a duck that is going to be pretty friendly. It tends to be a lot friendlier when you raise it from a duckling.
However, if you are looking for a duck that functions more as a friendly pet than something that is purely for the meat or eggs, then this is really not going to be a good duck for you. While they are fine with humans, they also like to keep themselves to themselves.
This is a bird that loves to forage. In fact, it is well-known for being a foraging bird. Don’t worry about it flying off either. This bird is much too large to be able to fly any long distances.
Well, at least beyond a few meters. If it does disappear, it is always going to come back to you eventually.
Saxony Ducks Care Tips
This is an area where the duck was surprisingly well-developed. This is an easy to raise breed of duck that doesn’t really need anything special in the way of care. Just feed it a good diet, and the duck will grow up nice and healthy. There are no known health issues with the Saxony duck, making this breed a perfect animal for homesteaders.
We do want to point out that because this is a duck that is on the larger side of things, you probably are going to want to put a small amount of effort into controlling the amount of food that it eats, particularly if it does have the opportunity to forage a lot where you live.
Obviously, you do not want to have your duck becoming obese, because this is just going to cause health issues.
Other than this, there is nothing you really need to worry about this breed. They are active foragers and hardy birds, adapting well to all environments, so it is one of the simpler breeds to raise. Just let it do its own thing and you should be fine.