The Swedish Blue duck is, sadly, a duck breed that is likely to die out within the next few years. There is very little that can be done about this too. However, the breed is still around for a while, and on this page, we want to talk to you a little bit about the Swedish Blue duck.
Where Do Swedish Blue Ducks Come From?
You would think from the name ‘Swedish Blue duck’ the bird would have originated from Sweden which, to an extent, it does.
However, it doesn’t actually originate from a place that is currently in Sweden. Instead, the Swedish Blue comes from around the area where Poland and Germany meet which, at once stage, was part of Sweden.
While we do not know exactly when this bird was first bred, we do know that the first time it was properly mentioned was in the 1800s.
It was first shipped over to the United States afterward, in 1884, although it never really gained traction there.
In 1904 the blue variety of the Swedish duck was admitted to the American Poultry Association.
As we said at the start; this is a breed that is probably not going to be around for too long now. It is rapidly dying out.
There is just over 100 breeding pairs of this bird left, and they are mostly concentrated to two countries; Sweden and Ireland.
There isn’t really much that can be done to bring the bird back from the brink, and you are going to discover why shortly.
The Look of the Swedish Blue Duck
The Swedish Blue weighs between 6.5 – 9 lbs. for males and 5.5 – 7.7 lbs. for females. This means that it is a medium-sized breed of ducks.
This bird is short and wide. Many people liken the body of the Swedish duck to that of the Pekin Duck, although this isn’t really surprising as they do have much of the same roots in terms of the initial breeding stock.
The ideal Swedish Blue duck will have blue-slate colored feathers. The head will also be blue, albeit a slightly darker color than the others. However, not the whole of the duck will be blue.
There will be a large white patch of feathers on the front of their body.
It is worth noting that breeding the Swedish Blue ducks will not always produce a blue-colored variant, although these are not for show.
This is because the Swedish Blue duck gets the blue color from a genetic abnormality.
When bred, they can appear different colors like blue, black, silver, white or splashed. The blue breed is the only one allowed in competition.
This is the main reason why the Swedish Blue duck is dying out.
Many duck breeds that are on the verge of extinction have been brought back from the brink due to the number of shows out there.
However, when the rules were set for the ‘standardized look’ of the Swedish Blue duck, they were pretty strict. So strict that it is incredibly difficult to breed birds that meet the standards.
As a result, most people don’t bother breeding them.
It is a good duck to have around your home due to the unique look, just do not expect it to be a bird that is easy to get hold of, or easy to raise.
In fact, if you are in the United States, it is almost impossible to purchase a Swedish Blue duck. Very, very few breeders sell them now.
The Swedish Blue Duck for Meat
This is a medium-sized bird, but we doubt that there are many people that are raising this bird for the meat.
It wouldn’t really be worth doing that. Although, there are probably people out there that are breeding the Swedish Blue duck and culling any birds that do not meet show standards.
Do not raise them for meat. They grow slowly, and the meat doesn’t taste that different to other duck breeds.
However, since your initial breeding stock is going to be so expensive, the meat will end up being expensive.
Swedish Blue Duck Eggs and Breeding
Eggs are probably the main reason as to why this bird is raised nowadays. A Swedish Blue can lay up to 150 eggs per year. These will be a medium-sized eggs, so it will probably interest anybody that loves duck eggs.
By all accounts, the Swedish Blue produces some of the better tasting duck eggs too.
Now, onto breeding. This isn’t an especially difficult bird to breed. You can create offspring.
The problem is that it is nigh on impossible to produce blue versions of the duck without interbreeding, hence why there are so few Swedish Blue ducks now.
If you breed together two Swedish Blue ducks, then you will get 50% blue offspring. The rest will be black, white, splashed or silver.
However, any other color than blue, is not going to be accepted by the APA’s Standards of perfection and not allowed in duck shows as they are not seen as a proper Swedish Blue.
In order to guarantee blue birds, you have to breed two blue ducks together. However, the longer this goes on, the more interbred the ducks become, which can cause issues with the bloodline.
This is why many breeders are no longer breeding the Swedish blue duck. There isn’t really any value in it.
There are a couple of positives to this breed of duck. The main is that they are good foragers, and it is a true joy to watch them exploring their environment.
They are also friendly birds too. While they can fly, if you are going to give them everything that they need (i.e. food, shelter, and protection) then they are always going to return.
The major downside to the Swedish Blue duck is that they are very loud. We would not recommend raising this breed if you live in a built-up area. It is not going to end well.
That being said, their loudness does make them brilliant as an ‘alarm’ bird.
– Welsh Harlequin Duck