What is a Heritage Duck?

Heritage ducks have a rich history. They have stood the test of time. Many could be found on your great grandparents’ farms. Records of some of these breeds go back hundreds of years. For example the Dutch Hookbill Duck can be found in paintings and written text dating back as early as the 1600’s.

Heritage ducks have been bred with qualities that have helped them survive through the years such as foraging ability, high egg production, meat quality, and broodiness (raising their own young), these traits also brought great value for the farmers who kept them.

Each of these heritage breeds contribute characteristics that distinguish them from all other breeds.

With the industrialization of farming, duck keeping fell out of popularity. Many heritage breeds are now critically endangered. Some breeds have less than 500 ducks left in the US. Only through preservation efforts can they thrive once again.

Snowy Dutch Hookbill Duck hen.