Saxony Duck Breed Profile
This Breed of Duck is The Perfect Backyard Addition
The most often-recognized backyard duck breed is probably the snow-white Pekin duck, closely followed by the domestic mallard, which is mottled brown with blue wing tips. However, domestic ducks come in many other wonderful breeds that should be considered if you are looking for something a bit different.
One of my favorite breeds is the Saxony. Saxony ducks are considered a heavy breed, in the same class as the Pekin, Swedish and Cayuga ducks, among others. This domestic duck breed generally grows to be between 7-8 pounds. Nonflying, they are a great all-round duck breed — fairly calm, relatively quiet, gentle and good layers. These ducks are good foragers, so should be afforded a nice large pen with regularly scheduled supervised free range time to keep them in tip-top shape, happy and healthy.
Saxony drakes are a gorgeous mix of rust, silver and oatmeal tan on their bodies with blue-gray tails and heads and a snowy white ring around their necks. They are lively and active, can be mischievous and are always fun-loving. Like all drakes, male Saxony ducks don’t quack but instead have a soft, raspy sound they make when they get excited.
Meanwhile, the Saxony hens (female ducks) are pale salmon- or apricot-colored with white eye lines and light gray and oatmeal wing tips. Good layers, you can expect between 200-240 creamy white duck eggs per year from a healthy duck. The hens sometimes will go ‘broody’ and sit on eggs to hatch out ducklings.
The breed was developed to be a fast-maturing, dual-purpose (provider of both meat and eggs) breed in Germany by Albert Franz from a mixture of Rouen, Pekin and Blue Pomeranian ducks in the 1930s, but the arrival of World War II put an end to the breeding program and the breed almost went extinct. Fortunately, Mr. Franz was able to regroup and continue his breeding and by 1957 the beauty of his Saxonies had attracted interest at duck shows in Europe. The breed was imported to the US in 1984 by David Holderread and admitted to the American Poultry Association Standard of Perfection in 2000.
Keeping ducks is easy with this beautiful breed. It is thought that there are fewer than 500 Saxony ducks currently in the United States. They are on The Livestock Conservancy critical list, so by choosing to raise a few Saxony ducks of your own, you would be helping to keep this wonderful breed in existence.
Reference Source: Choosing and Keeping Ducks and Geese by Liz Wright, 2008
Originally published in 2014 and regularly vetted for accuracy.