Bantam Ducks

Most ducks have a bantam counterpart — a small or miniature version of a standard breed. However, only a few of them are officially recognized. On the other hand, ducks like the Black East Indian and Call do not have a standard-sized variation and are considered bantams due to being naturally small. Unlike their larger counterparts, bantams are typically not raised for traditional purposes such as egg or meat production. Instead, they are primarily kept as ornamental birds or as pets.

Bantam Ducks

List of Bantam Duck Breeds

Black East Indian Duck 

Size: 1.5-2 lbsEggs: 40-100Purpose: Exhibition

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 receiving official recognition in 1874 by the American Poultry Association (APA).

Miniature Crested Duck 

Size: 2-2.5 lbsEggs: 60-150Purpose: Pet

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 an official breed much later by the Poultry Club of Great Britain. As these ducks possess the same skull deformity that also exists in their larger counterparts, it is rare to see the Crested Miniature as an exhibition bird.

Silver Bantam Duck 

Size: 1.8-2 lbsEggs: 60-160Purpose: Exhibition

The original breeder of the standard Silver Appleyard, Reginald Appleyard, first attempted to breed its bantam version in the 1940s, which led to a duck called the Miniature Silver Appleyard. However, it was not truly a bantam version, as it came from crossbreeding Call males with Khaki Campbell females. This breed would later be renamed and recognized as the Silver Bantam by the Poultry Club of Great Britain in 1997. It is similar in appearance to the Abacot Ranger, which is a standard-sized breed.

Silver Appleyard Bantam Duck

Size: 2.5-3 lbsEggs: 60-160Purpose: Pets, Exhibition

The actual bantam version of the Silver Appleyard, bred by Tom Schaltt of Folly Farms, was formally recognized in 1997 by the Poultry Club of Great Britain. However, as it is relatively larger than other bantam ducks, there is some debate over whether it qualifies as a true bantam.

Australian Spotted Duck 

Size: 2-2.2 lbsEggs: 50-120Purpose: Pet, Exhibition

This bantam’s name is misleading as the Australian Spotted Duck did not originate in Australia. It was created in Pennsylvania, U.S., by John C. Kriner and Stanley Mason, who crossbred various Australian wild ducks with Call Ducks, Northern Pintails, and Mallards for several years. Eventually, the Australian Spotted was made public in the 1990s but has yet to receive official APA recognition.

Call Duck

Size: 1.8-2.2 lbsEggs: 50-100Purpose: Exhibition

The Call Duck was a bantam breed historically used as a decoy to catch other larger wild ducks. Nowadays, it is usually reared for exhibition purposes. While believed to have originated from the Netherlands in the 17th century, it may have come from the Far East, especially Japan. The Call Duck is exhibited separately from other bantams in the United Kingdom because there are about 20 varieties today. However, only eight colors are recognized by the APA.

The Australian Poultry Standard Committee recognizes the Call Ducks present in Australia as a distinct breed. Although they share physical features with the regular Call Ducks recognized elsewhere, they are believed to have developed independently from a mutation of mallard ducks in South Australia. Additionally, these ducks are stated to be larger than their counterparts and come in different colors.

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