The Elizabeth Duck is a rare breed of domesticated waterfowls that was developed in the continent of Australia. Though they are raised mostly for their tasty meat, they have been classed as ‘Ornamental Domestics’ in Australia. These small, stocky birds are known for their good temperament, and needs very little space to be reared.
|Characteristics||Body is small with rounded breast and a broad chest; legs are somewhat smaller while the head is round. Both the male and female have bronze legs, bluish grey bills/beaks, and dark brown eyes|
|Plumage/Color||Drakes: Head feather is glossy green ending at a white ring. Feathers on the chest is claret with a cream outline; belly feathers are off-white; back part has charcoal grey feathers ringed with white; the rump is solid black while the tails is dull black-brown
Hens: Fawn in color, and having brown marks in the center of each feather almost on the majority of the body; primaries are off-white with grey spotting; the secondary flight feathers are blue-green
|Personality Traits||Good-tempered, peaceful|
|Purposes||Meat, also for eggs|
|Eggs||5-8 eggs per cluth|
|Incubation Period||26-28 days|
|Weight||Drake: 1.6 to 1.8 kg
Hen: 1.2 to 1.6 kg
|Diet||Slugs, snails, crustaceans, insects; organic foods; need access to clean water regularly|
|Country of Origin||Australia|
History and Development
In 1972, this new breed of ducks was developed in the Merrylands region in New South Wales in Australia. A man named Lance Ruting crossed two duck breeds – the Mallard and the Rouen Claire ducks and produced this new breed with an objective to make a water fowl that would grow quickly to yield good quality meat.
The breed has been declared as ‘endangered’ by the Rare Breeds Trust of Australia. The Elizabeth Ducks are not available in the wild, but as pets only in poultry farms. At present, this breed is reared only in New Zealand and Australia.
Elizabeth Ducks are found in two main varieties:
- The Mallard-type coloration: Those that have a green head and a brown chest;
- Coffee/Brownish coloration: Those that have blue wing tips.
Both the two varieties have bluish-grey bills.
Reared mostly for their meat, they are known as tender and tasty table bird. Ducklings can reach the age of slaughter very quickly, and can yield anything between 2¾ to 4 lbs of meat.
- The creator of this breed named the waterfowl after his wife Ann Elizabeth Ruting.