Rare Duck Breeds

A breed of duck can be considered rare for several reasons. One of the most important ones is the competition the birds face with chickens, as the latter generally has higher egg and meat production rates. Other factors include limited ranges, defects in their genetics, or outright competition from different duck breeds.

Despite these reasons and more, the following duck breeds are still around thanks to the efforts of individual breeders rearing them and organizations like the Livestock Conservancy keeping a close watch on their numbers.

Rare Duck Breeds

List of Rare Duck Breeds

Here is a list of duck breeds considered rare, alongside the purpose of rearing them, their current status, and the reason behind the breed being rare in the first place.

Duck BreedPurposeStatusWhy is it rare?
Abacot RangerInitially for eggs; nowadays, for showRare; went extinct in its native UKStopped being reared for its eggs
Australian SpottedExhibitionRareNot properly established
AylesburyMeatCritically endangeredStopped being reared due to competition with the Pekin
BaliEggs, also showEndangeredThe crest on its head often causes offspring to die at an early age
Black East IndianOrnamentalEndangeredLimited range
CayugaMeatUnder watchThe dark color of the duck’s feathers discouraged breeding it for its meat
HookbillFor eggs and meatCritical, with around 1000 individuals left worldwideStopped being reared due to the rise in rearing chickens
Indian RunnerOrnamental, initially for eggsRecoveringLimited breeding
MagpieFor eggs and meatCritical; around 60-100 birds left worldwideLimited breeding
Miniature Silver Appleyard ShowUncommonPrimarily bred for show 
OrpingtonFor eggs and meat, also for showAt riskLimited breeding
RouenMainly meat, but also for showUncommonNot reared as much due to their slow growth rate
SaxonyFor eggs and meatThreatenedTheir population declined during World War II, and has struggled to recover
ShetlandEggsOn the brink of extinctionLimited to its home range of the Shetland Isles
Silver AppleyardFor eggs and meatThreatenedNot properly established
Silver BantamOrnamentalUnder watchNot enough people rear the breed 
Stanbridge WhiteFor eggs and meatRare; was believed to be extinct at one pointUnderreported
Welsh HarlequinEggs and exhibitionUnder watchLimited range


1. What are the rarest ducks in North America?

Some of the rarest duck breeds in North America include the Magpie, the Silver Appleyard, and the Australian Spotted ducks.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Join our subscribers' list to get the latest news, and updates delivered directly in your inbox.