Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Two years ago I purchased a black pair of Silky Bantam ducks--an extremely rare breed I was going to raise and promote. Unfortunately I found this breed had some major drawbacks. The eggs failed to hatch repeatedly even though I knew they were viable and could hear peeping. The ducks when I did manage to get a few to hatch weren't the best mothers, and the ducklings tended to be very aggressive towards each other to the point of bloodying wings. So I packed them all up and sent them elsewhere at a major loss. I did retain two pure black female Silky/Australian Spotted Bantam crosses, because we found them to be very lovely to look at and not as aggressive. These two crossbred ducks have proven to be very good layers and setters. One of them crossed with my Silverheaded Australian Spotted male prior to his disappearing one afternoon and we had one female duck born that is a gorgeous shade of blue-grey with darker edges to her feathers. We will be repeating this pairing with a Silverheaded son of the drake we lost and our two black females, as I just love the coloration.
Our blue-grey laced bantam duck(75% Australian Spotted/25% Silky).
The growing ducklings including a female Khaki Campbell(Soup)I got at the pet swap for winter duck eggs(Meghan's favorite breakfast). You can see the wide range of colors available in Australian Spotted Bantams. The lightest ones are Silverheads. The medium colored ones are Blue-head ducks and the darkest are Blue-head drakes. Below is our best layer in the flock. A blue-head who laid an egg a day from August through November last fall after also laying all spring and into July. Many of our ducklings are related to her.
And this is the last of our mature drakes in his nuptial plumage. The more spotting the better by breed standards, so we think he's pretty special. He is a blue-head.

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