Most varieties of duck breeds have a bantam counterpart, but only a handful are recognized. Bantams are generally not reared for traditional reasons like eggs or meat. Instead, bantam ducks are raised primarily for show at exhibitions or as ornamental birds.
List of Bantam Duck Breeds
Black East Indian Duck
The oldest of the bantam breeds, the Black East Indian Duck, is known for its green iridescent feathers. While the exact origin is unclear, this duck most likely originated in the United Kingdom but was further bred in the United States before becoming the breed it is today. It was recognized in 1865. Though they can lay about 40-100 eggs yearly, they are primarily exhibition birds.
Miniature Crested Duck
The Crested Miniature is a bantam version of the Crested Duck. It was bred in the United Kingdom by Roy Sutcliffe and John Hall in the late 20th century but was recognized as a standard breed in 1997. It is uncommon as a show bird due to how difficult it is to rear, but it is kept as a pet sometimes.
Silver Appleyard Bantam Duck
Contrary to its name, the Silver Appleyard Bantam is not a bantam version of the Silver Appleyard Duck. Instead, it resulted from crossbreeding Call males with Khaki Campbell females in the 1940s.
Silver Bantam Duck
On the other hand, the first result of breeding the Silver Appleyard Duck led to the formation of the Miniature Silver Appleyard. This breed would later be renamed the Silver Bantam when a true mini Silver Appleyard was recognized in 1997. The Silver Bantam Duck is very similar in appearance to the Abacot Ranger. It is mainly reared as a garden duck.
Australian Spotted Duck
This bantam’s name is misleading as the Australian Spotted Duck did not originate in Australia. It was created in the United States in Pennsylvania by John C. Kriner and Stanley Mason, who crossbred various Australian wild ducks with Call Ducks, Northern Pintails, and Mallards for several years. The Australian Spotted was made public in the 1990s. While it lays about 50-120 eggs annually, it is mainly kept as a pet bird.
A Dutch duck historically used as a decoy to catch other larger wild ducks, the Call Duck is a small bird usually kept as an ornamental breed or reared for exhibition purposes. While it is believed to have originated from the Netherlands, as its depictions have been traced back to the country in the 17th century, it may have come from the Far East, especially Japan. Nowadays, the Call Duck is exhibited separately from other bantams in the United Kingdom because there are about 20 varieties today.