The Ancona duck is a breed of domestic duck. These rare ducks are considered to be a descendant of the Indian Runner Duck and the Belgian Huttegem Duck breeds. It has been stated Anconas were developed in England during the early 20th century, but were not available in the United States until 1984.
However, the Ancona duck was present in the USA in 1911 and was exhibited at major poultry shows for many years after this date. The original Ancona duck occurred only in a black & white variety and laid a pure white egg.
Even though their numbers have increased in the U.S., the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, in their 2000 census of domestic waterfowl in North America, listed the Ancona's status as "critical". Just like most other domestic ducks, the Anconas are a flightless duck, so they don't migrate. They are fairly calm animals and make good pond, yard, and breeding birds. They tend to be excellent foragers, and if allowed will augment their diet with greens, slugs, insects and other arthropods. Their closest relatives are Magpie ducks and Dutch Hookbills. They typically lay 210–280 eggs per year.
Ancona ducks have an oval head, and a slightly concave length bill, with green specks, as well as plumage under the eyes. They weigh approximately 6.5 pounds as adults. They have medium-length necks shaped like an S that is smaller at the top with a wider bottom. As ducklings they are yellow with spots or speckles, and as adults are white with "Pinto" markings (no two animals have the same pattern). They come in a variety of colors including: Black and White, Blue and White, Chocolate and White, Silver and White, Lavender and White, and Tri-colored. Most common is black and white. Their bills and feet are orange, and may also be spotted.
- Duck Breeds
- Holderread, David. "Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks: Breeds, Care and Health." 2001 Versa Press, USA.
- Waterfowl Club of America Yearbook 1913, pp. 55-56
- Poultry Item Vol18, 1915-16
- Holderread, Dave. "Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks: Breeds, Care and Health." 2001 Versa Press, USA.
- American Livestock Breeds Conservancy: Ancona Duck
- Ancona Ducks!
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